How Much Does It Cost to Install a Slate Roof?

Typical Range:

$4,570 - $21,773

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 225 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated January 23, 2023

Reviewed by Eric Gonzalez, Founder of Regions Commercial Roofing, Inc.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average roofing installation price for a slate tile roof costs anywhere between $4,570 and $21,773 depending on your roof’s slope, pitch, and size. Most people pay around $12,980. You’ll pay between $10 and $30 per square foot, or $1,000 to $3,000 per square, for a typical single-story home. You should consider factors like the type of slate (synthetic, hard, or soft), roof pitch, height off the ground, and if your roof can support the added 800 to 1,500 pounds per square. Job complexity and slate shipping will also affect your budget. Other cost factors include the price of the slate itself, labor, and materials like flashings, nails, membranes, caulk, and felt.

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National Average $12,980
Typical Range $4,570 - $21,773
Low End - High End $420 - $44,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 225 HomeAdvisor members.

What Is a Slate Roof?

A slate roof is one constructed of slate shingles. These are thin, even slices of slate laid over the roof frame and base layer. Slate is a sedimentary rock formed under extreme pressure deep within the earth. It's a hard, durable material comprised of clay and volcanic ash which, over the course of millions of years, has formed into the tough, durable stone we know as slate. 

Slate roofs are extremely heavy, even when the shingles are thin, so your roof will likely need to be reinforced before your roof contractor can add the slate. These roofs have a luxurious, high-end look, and they'll last for decades, but they're costly to install and require frequent maintenance. 

Slate Roof Cost per Square Foot

Real slate roofs cost $10 to $30 per square foot on average to purchase and install. Some homeowners have reported prices nearing $80 per square foot, which likely includes freight, materials, and installation for a high-end, complex install. The cost per square foot depends on the type of slate you want:

  • Hard slate: $20–$30 per square foot. Lasts 100 to 200 years.

  • Soft slate: $10–$20 per square foot. Lasts 50 to 125 years.

  • Synthetic slate: $5–$10 per square foot. Lifespan varies.

Slate Roof Price per Square

Slate roof shingles cost $1,500 per square on average but may range from $1,000 to $3,000 per square. Each square is 100 square feet.

Slate Roof Tile Prices

Slate prices range from $5 to $15 per square foot for the materials alone. You can talk to your installer about what type will work best with your home style and budget. Natural slate tiles harvested from the earth are a premium product in limited supply. They also come in different categories—hard and soft—and in several colors, shapes, and sizes.

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Synthetic Slate Roof Cost

4 synthetic slate roofing types compared to real slate roofing by costs, with real slate roofing ranging from $10 to $30 per square foot

Synthetic slate roofs cost $5 to $16 per square foot, depending on your material choice. They generally cost about half as much as natural slate. You can choose a synthetic slate look from a variety of sources, including:

Slate Roof Installation Cost

Labor costs $5 to $15 per square foot or $50 to $100 per hour

Installing natural stone is a labor-intensive project that requires specialized knowledge, skills, and experience. Because of that, it’ll take about 10 to 12 hours to install one square of natural stone. 

Synthetic slate is a little less complex to install; you’ll pay only $3 to $5 per square foot. That cost is about the same as any asphalt, metal, or composite roof installation.

Cost to Replace a Slate Roof

In addition to the $10 to $30 per square foot to install a new roof, you’ll pay $2 to $5 per square foot to tear off the old roof. Disposal fees cost extra and vary by location—contact your local landfill or contractor for specific fees. Optionally, you can rent a dumpster or have your pro do it. Dumpster rentals cost $300 to $500.

Additional Material Costs to Install a Slate Roof

Additional materials cost $2 to $5 per square foot, depending on what your roof needs. Your pro includes these costs in your quote. Important steps and materials include

  • Bituminous membrane

  • Weather shield

  • Copper flashings and nails

  • Structural reinforcement

  • Sheathing

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Pros and Cons of a Slate Roof

Installing a slate roof is a big expense, so you need to make sure it's the right choice for your property. Before beginning this project, you should be aware of slate roof pros and cons.

Pros

Here are the primary advantages of a slate roof.

  • Easy maintenance

  • Long lifespan

  • Extremely durable

  • High-end look

  • Energy efficiency

  • Repeatedly recyclable

  • Natural appearance

  • Good return on investment

Cons

Here are the key drawbacks of a slate roof.

  • Considerably more expensive than many other options

  • Extremely heavy and may require structural reinforcement

  • Complicated to install

  • Although strong, the tiles can crack with impact damage

DIY Slate Roof Installation vs. Hiring a Pro

Unless you’re a professional roofer with slate installation experience, don’t DIY this project. Without proper knowledge and experience, a DIY job at best won’t work and, at worst, can cause catastrophic damage to your home.

Installing a slate roof is not as simple as installing an asphalt shingle roof, as it requires several specialized tools and skills. It is also a tedious process that can take anywhere from three months to a year for larger, more intricate roofs.

Even among roofers, slate is a specialized skill. Not only will you want to skip the DIY choice, but you’ll also want to carefully interview and select a local slate roof installer with a portfolio of successful jobs. Always get quotes from at least three professionals, check their ratings, and carefully inspect their past work. Never hire a roofer without slate installation experience.

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FAQs

What’s the difference between synthetic slate vs. asphalt?

Real slate comes from natural stone. Synthetic slate comes from various sources made to look like slate. For either hard or soft natural stone, expect to pay $10 to $30 per square foot, each of which will last 50 to 200 years. If you choose synthetic slate, budget $3 to $16 per square foot for recycled asphalt, metal, or fiber cement. These options will last 20 to 50 years. 

How long do slate roofs last?

Real slate lasts 50 to 200 years. Soft slate lasts half as long as hard slate or about 50 to 125 years. It’s the fixings and the timbers that support the slate that generally need replacing before the slate shingles themselves. Weather impacts the longevity of the roof. Normal weather conditions won’t have an impact on the length of life of a roof but extreme weather including tornadoes and hail can reduce the lifespan of a roof. 

Are slate roofs worth it?

Slate roofs are worth it for historical homes or those in areas with other slate or high-end roofing materials. You’ll receive an ROI of approximately 85%. Plus, it’s more environmentally responsible since it’s both a natural material and lasts up to 200 years. Its long lifespan keeps it out of landfills. In fact, the waste of asphalt roofs, which only last between 20 and 30 years at best, accounts for up to five percent of all landfill material in the United States.