Glossary of Technical Terms








This section explaines some of the most familiar terms used in the clay roof tile market.

Plain Tiles

Plain tile
Small roofing tile (265mm x 165mm) cambered and having no other feature except nibs/nail holes.
Hand made
A plain tile made by hand for additional aesthetic requirements.
Peg tile
A tile similar to a plain tile but without nibs and with holes for pegs.
A traditional plain tile, arched along its length from head to tail providing a neat, clean aspect with emphasis on the course line of each row of tiles.
A tile arched both horizontally and vertically to break up the dominance of the course line and give the roof an undulating look.
Creasing Tiles
A flat tile without nibs for decorative features on walls and window sills.


Large format and profiled tiles

A single lap tile moulded to an S-shape which gives the appearance of ‘waves’ and ‘troughs’ on the roof.
Interlocking tile
A single lap tile that connects with adjoining tiles by means of close fitting ribs.
Overs and Unders (ItalianTiles)
Half-round overs, flat tray unders.
Over and Unders (Spanish Tiles) Half-round interlocking Southern European style tiles.


Different parts of the roof and related products

The edge of the tiles projecting over the gable (the gable is the triangular upper part of the wall at the end of a ridged roof).
The point of junction where the roof slope meets a vertical surface or intrusion (e.g. chimney or wall).
Tile and a half (Gable tile)
A tile one and a half times the width of a standard plain tile to maintain a broken bond at verges and abutments. Sometimes called a gable tile.
Cloaked or dry verge
Tile used at the verge (gable) which wraps over the edge of the roof and eliminates the need to mortar bed the verge tiles.
The overhanging lower edge of the roof.
Eaves (or Top) Tiles
Short tiles used in a single course to give a double course of tiling at the eaves. A single course of short tiles is also used both sides of the ridge.
The apex of two slopes on a pitched roof.
Ridge Tile
Tile covering the apex.
Decorative ridge
A ridge tile available in a variety of shaped crests.
The end ridge of the gable which has some form of decoration on it, e.g. a scroll, a ball top or a fleur-de-lys.
The junction of two inclined surfaces which meet at an external angle.
Arris hip tile
A purpose made tile, used with plain tiles, which ‘wraps’ around a hip. The pitch of the roof must be stated when ordering.
Bonnet hip
A rounded hip tile used with plain tiles which gives the appearance of a lady’s bonnet (known as a ‘granny’s bonnet’). The void beneath hip tiles is filled with pointed mortar.
Mitred hip
An abutment of two tiles at the hip.
Decorative Hips
A hip tile available in a variety of shaped crests.
The junction of two inclined roof slopes which meet at an internal angle.
Valley Tile
A tile used at this junction. The pitch of the roof must be stated when ordering.
Vertical Tiling
General term applied to plain tiles fixed to walls to form a wall cladding.
Mathematical Tiles
Hanging vertical tiles which gives the appearance of brick cladding.