The clay pantile is one of the oldest ceramic roof tile models in the UK, originally imported from the Netherlands during the 17th century. The modern clay pantiles used today are based on this original style, with a large s-shape profile that is single lapping, meaning the ends overlap only the tiles in the course immediately below, unlike plain tiles which lap two courses.
Over three centuries ago, the use of pantiles in the UK started to spread inwards from the east coast ports where the imported stock would have originally arrived by boat. This explains why we still, to this day, predominantly see the tiles used on the eastern side of the country, such as East Anglia, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Humberside, as well as the Eastern seaboard of Scotland. Pantiles are sometimes also found in western counties such as Bridgwater and Somerset.
As the tiles became more popular, they began to be manufactured locally and this is how the pantiles we see today came to be produced. Traditionally, bricks and clay pantiles for use in a local area, were made by small regional manufacturers using existing clay resources, which is why there is such a regional variation in colour.
This history, combined with its traditional curved appearance, means the clay pantile has become a permanent feature in UK architectural identity and local vernacular in certain parts of the country. Still dictated by planning and a popular choice, not only for heritage and refurbishment projects but also for housebuilders looking to create a traditional appearance, it is easy to see why clay pantiles are still in high demand.
Yet, just as the early pantiles evolved to meet requirements in the UK, the pantile is evolving again to make it more suited to the increasingly extreme weather, more stringent fixings standards, skills shortages and build speed challenges facing today’s architects, builders and contractors.
In recognition of this need to adapt to new roof fixing and performance challenges, at Marley Eternit we have developed a ground-breaking new clay pantile, the first of its kind in the market.
Our brand new Lincoln tile offers a traditional pantile look but is designed to reduce installation times. This innovation means getting the traditional pantile aesthetic, required by planning in some parts of the country, is now much easier and faster to achieve, whilst still meeting the latest fixing requirements to BS 5534 and the NHBC technical standards
Although it has a classic clay pantile s-curve shape, the tile has an enhanced thin leading edge and the most significant innovation is the Lincoln’s completely ‘open-gauge’ which is how it speeds up installation. The gauge can be adjusted on the roof, providing flexibility, without the need for specialist fittings or complicated measuring and setting out.
Traditional pantiles don’t always work well with dry fix systems because the high roll can lead to gaps when using standard dry fix ridge rolls. However, our new Lincoln has been developed with this in mind, so not only can it be used with wet bedded mortar and mechanical fixings for a traditional finish if required, it has also been designed to work in conjunction with our Universal accessories for a complete dry fix solution. To speed-up installation further, the tiles can be installed with our one-piece tile clip, SoloFix, which can save up to 30% roof clipping time compared to traditional clip fixings.
The Lincoln is the latest addition to our range of interlocking clay tiles, which includes the Melodie single pantile and the Maxima double roman, offering a selection of easy-to-fix clay options for maximum flexibility, enabling faster completion times and reducing on-site costs. Developments in design mean that whilst our new interlocking clay pantile range continues to give a classic appearance, they can be used with confidence at much lower pitches than traditional clay pantiles – the Lincoln can be used down to just 17.5 degrees and the Melodie down to a market leading 12.5 degrees.
These innovations mean that beautiful clay pantiles can continue to be part of our regional heritage yet, their evolution means they are now even easier to fix and more suited to the rigorous standards and tolerances needed on roofs today.