The Team at GNR boasts significant levels of experience in all types of traditional slating.

Slates as a roof covering remain among the best options for an array of properties, from grand buildings such as St Pancras International to the streets of terraced houses which form a good portion of our housing stock.  Slates have been the mainstay of traditional roofing work for centuries.

Further, despite other advances in technology, the roofing industry and in particular  the discipline of slating remains traditional. The methods by which a roof is slated have not altered over time, some of the component parts are admittedly different but the principals remain identical.

Moreover, done properly, it would not be unreasonable to expect a slated roof covering to last in excess of 100 years. Examples of such can be seen in most parts of the UK where Victorian terraced houses still boast their original slate roof coverings.

There are a number of types of slating and an array of slates to consider when undertaking a roofing project. The information below presents a few of these but is by no means exhaustive.

All slating work should be carried out in accordance with BS5534, amendments have been made in 2014 and most recently during 2018. The standard sets out a number of core practices to ensure all slating and tiling work is fit for purpose.

Slate Roofing

Tally Slating

Each slate is the same size, they are laid in courses from the eaves to the ridge on a roof. An under eaves course forms the starting point, usually supported by a proprietary plastic eaves tray. Each slate should be twice nailed using copper nails. Wider slates should be used at abutments and verges where appropriate to minimise the cuts which cannot be securely fastened.  When such a roof covering has been installed the slates should sit flat and the perpendicular lines formed should be straight from eaves to the apex.

Diminishing Course Slating

Slating in diminishing courses and random widths is a traditional way of installing roof coverings. Often seen when using Burlington or Westmorland slates.  Large slate courses are placed towards the eve of the roof, the size of slates then diminishes towards the ridge. The slates are all random in size and it is important to consider minimum side laps swell as head lap.

Types of Roof Slates

Further, at GNR we use a number of different types of slate. Historically, the slates used in the UK tended to be Welsh, from quarries such as Penrhyn or Ffestiniog. When undertaking slating projects it is common to reuse slates previously removed which, even after a century on a roof, are perfectly serviceable.

Moreover, much of our traditional slating work utilises reclaimed Welsh slate along with some of the following varieties:
Burlington Slates, Westmorland Slates, New Penrhyn Slates, 

Chinese slates are cost-effective roof covering.

Stone slates are also a popular choice for certain roofing projects.

Further, Fibre Cement Slates have become popular in recent years due to cost, Large format slates that can be used to cover large areas quickly and subsequently cheaply. Such slates will not have the same lifespan as traditional or natural roof slates.

Slate Roofing FAq's

How much does it cost for a new slate roof?

The cost of slate roofs can vary depending upon the size, nature of the building and complexity of the details. At GNR we prefer to undertake a survey of each property prior to presenting a quotation.

How many slates per m2

This will depend upon the size of slates, the amount of headlap needed.

What should a roofer provide when pricing a job?

When presenting costs for a re roofing project, a roofing contractor should carry out a survey of the property, obtain images and dimensions. A full written specification should then be provided outlining what the contractor is going to do.
The specification should outline what is involved in the project and how much all of the elements such as scaffolding are going to cost.

What battens should I use with slates?

Generally, you should use a 25mm x 50mm treated softwood batten, At GNR we favour John Brash Red for they uniformity and quality.  When re roofing a terraced house it is usually necessary to use a 19mm x 50mm batten due to the join with next door and the original sizes used tended to be 19mm thick.

Should I use new or second hand slates?

Clearly there are advantages of using new slates for a roofing project, however, reclaimed slates, sourced correctly can offer excellent value for money versus new equivalents.

How much do slates cost?

Slates vary in price considerably depending upon where they are from, what size they are, and what grade. For instance, a new Welsh slate from the Penrhyn quarry can cost as much as £4.00. An equivalent second-hand Welsh slate is likely to be around half the cost whereas a Chinese or Spanish slate could be half again.

Can I re use the slates from my roof again?

Usually, when replacing roof coverings on terraced houses for instance, it is possible to reuse a large proportion of the slates. The slates, so long as the roof is of an age and the existing nails fatigued, can easily be removed, sorted and re-fixed. Second-hand slates are readily available to make good shortages to match.

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Slating Services GNR Roofing offer

  • Complete Re-Roofing
  • Slate Roof Repairs
  • Roof Survey Reports

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