Natural vs Synthetic Slate (And Why Synthetic Might be the Right Choice for You)

by | May 11, 2023 | Alabama, Blog, Mobile, Slate Roofing, Synthetic Slate Benefits, Synthetic Slate Roofing | 0 comments


Slate offers the homeowner a sophisticated and elegant curb appeal as a roofing material option. The appearance of a home with a slate roof is set apart from the others on the block simply because of its striking beauty. It is unmatched when compared to other roofing materials. The hardest part is deciding whether to go with natural or synthetic slate. We will compare the two below and decide which is the better option. 

Trusted synthetic slate roofing in Mobile

What Exactly are the Two Types of Slate? 


Natural slate is a popular material simply due to its durability and long-lasting life. The natural slate is mined and cut into square tiles that are installed on your roof one at a time. You may have to wait until the slate is available since it is sometimes hard to come by. The weight of natural slate can be heavy on the frame of the home. Before fully deciding on this particular product, it would be wise to discuss the structure with your roofing contractor in Mobile.  


Synthetic is a fraction of the cost of natural. Synthetic slate shingles are made of recycled materials such as asphalt and rubber polymers created to mimic natural slate. Chisel marks are included to give it a look of authenticity. The beauty of this product is that it is lightweight so additional support in your home is not needed. 

The Differences Between Natural and Synthetic


A huge difference between natural and synthetic slate is the fact that real slate is not recyclable or reusable at the end of its life and can end up in our landfills. Synthetic slate, however, can be reused for a variety of uses. Here are a few ideas on how to reuse synthetic slate:

  • Edging around a garden
  • Pond lining
  • Outdoor mural
  • Plant markers
  • Birdhouse


As noted above, natural slate is quite heavy and when placed on a roof, may need extra support built into the frame of the home. It can cost nearly 300 pounds per square, which is a 10ft x 10ft area. Synthetic is approximately half that weight. That alone makes the cost more budget-friendly when compared to natural slate. 

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That leads us to the price of synthetic vs natural. Natural slate can cost nearly twice as much as synthetic slate roofing. Again, considering the weight factor, the structure of the home may need extra support so that is an added fee as well. Natural slate tends to break off or become brittle therefore repairs are more often when compared to synthetic.

Long Lasting

Synthetic slate tiles are fire resistant, impact resistant, and can withstand extreme weather conditions such as severe winds, strong storms, and beating hail. Natural slate tiles may have a difficult time keeping up with the durability that their counterpart can withstand. ‘Due to the strength offered by synthetic, the life span is nearly 100 years. This roofing material will most likely outlive the home itself! 


Are you desiring for your home to “pop” and stand out from the other homes on the block? Is your home an architectural design that would excel in appearance with synthetic slate? This material is for you! This beautiful material looks so much like real slate, it even has chisel marks on it. Just keep that a secret from your neighbors and they will think you spent a fortune! 

When it comes to slate, the beauty and appearance are stunning, however, the differences can make one stand out stronger than the other. Synthetic is lighter, more cost-effective, and easier to maintain than natural. 

Contact Super Roofers in Mobile to help define other amazing factors that make up slate roofing. We are the roofing experts ready to assist you, with slate or any other type of roofing material. We have been serving the local area for years and are ready to help you with our expertise and excellent customer service. We are anxious to learn of your vision for a home and roofing project. Call us today and let’s discuss how a slate roof can help you stand out from the other homes on the block.