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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use clay roof tiles?

Clay has been a traditional material for roof tile manufacture for thousands of years. The Romans first discovered the benefits of fired clayware for not only flooring and storage vessels but also as a durable and attractive roofing product.

Clay has many benefits over other materials such as colour retention, durability and availability.  

Where does the clay come from? 

 All the clay used in the manufacture of our tiles comes from our own on-site quarry, as it has done since the company was founded. This clay is of the highest quality and receives no further chemicals or additives during the manufacturing cycle.

Are the tiles really made by hand?

Every tile and fitting is hand moulded from lump clay by our own trained craftsmen, using the same techniques as their predecessors. The tools of their trade comprise wooden moulds, sieves, strikes, barrows and traditional benches. 

Why use hand-made tiles?

Hand made tiles have a unique texture which gives any roof a totally distinctive appearance. Due to slight variations caused by the traditional firing and drying methods, each tile can differ in colour, size and shape. But taken as a whole, the effect is one of old fashioned  quality. As the roof comprises a large percentage of the fabric of the building the choice of roof tile should command as much consideration as the other major building components such as bricks and windows.

Are hand-made tiles very expensive?

In comparison to quality machine made tiles, a genuine hand made product will probably cost in the region of 10% extra. You are of course buying a product which will enhance the overall appearance of and add considerable value to your building.  

Should I consider using reclaimed tiles?

Reclaimed Swallow's tiles are almost impossible to obtain. We would urge caution when selecting reclaimed tiles as very often they have completed their useful life and may not have been removed from the original roof with the greatest care, thus suffering damage which may not be apparent when selecting packs. New Swallow's tiles are generally around the same cost as any quality reclaimed tile with the added benefit of achieving a new roof with a mature appearance.

Are factory visits possible?

We encourage all potential customers to visit our works. Not only will you be shown every aspect of production, but it is also possible to see our tiles in situ and collect samples of your choice.

Can I buy direct from Swallow's Tiles?

Yes, Our tiles are available through Builders' and Roofing Merchants throughout the United Kingdom, but may also be purchased directly from the company.

How many tiles will I need?

As a rule of thumb, we would estimate 60 tiles per square metre. It is essential that you discuss accurate quantities with your architect, quantity surveyor, supplier or contractor.

Do I need to order well in advance?

Our standard items are usually held in stock, but should you require a particular colour blend we aim to complete all orders within four to six weeks. This is subject to seasonal demand, but contact us direct for an accurate quotation.

How will I receive my tiles?

All orders are packed and labelled individually by our specialist team, thus ensuring consistency of colour or your chosen blend. The tiles and fittings are packed into secure crates and shrink-wrapped for on-site protection before loading onto our vehicles which are equipped with cranes for efficient offloading.