How to Install Rake Tiles on a Flat Tile Roof

Pattern Variations for Rake Tile Installation

In this video, I’m going to show you how to install tiles on your rake for a flat tile roof. Now, the pattern on every rake system is going to be a little bit different depending on the pattern of your tiles. Remember, depending on the size of your rake, you’re going to make it shorter or longer tiles either at the eave or at the ridge, so this kind of varies case by case but the concept remains the same. Your first piece of rake, you essentially want to cut it to line up with your first tile. Now in this case we have the short tile installed here. I’ve done this for a different demonstration. However what we’re going to do is obviously we’re not going put a 2-inch piece of rake, we’re going to measure it out, and we cut out a piece of rake coming from all the way at the bottom of the eave all the way to this first tile. Once we have this in place, it lines up with the bottom of the second tile.

What Length Nails to Use When Installing Tiles on a Rake

Now, one thing you want to make sure is you want to make sure you’re using long enough nails to get a good grab into your rake board. Now depending on the size and what you’re nailing into, you want to ensure that it’s not protruding out from the backside, so just use essentially the longest nail possible without sticking through. And for these rakes, you definitely want to make sure that you’re putting a nail in each opening, that way you’ll know that this is completely secure. You can also put adhesive on this top side to ensure that the rake doesn’t pull off this way. For this demonstration I’m not, but really all that you need to do if you want to have extra security is put some mastic on the backside before you stick it on, that way you’ll know both the top is secure chemically and they’re mechanically fastened in the side.

How to Overlap Rake Tiles

Now, we’re going to install this piece right here again, depending on your layout, the depth and the overlap is going to vary. For this demonstration, I’m going to have a 3-inch overlap. Now this last piece right here, we’re not going to install until we have this side of the rake installed in order to be able to properly join these last two pieces, so I’m going to leave this as is for now, work on the other side, then once I get to the middle, I’ll install the final two pieces simultaneously.

Now, one thing actually I want to show you here is, you can use bits of tiles to raise up as needed, so if you have a gap that you’re trying to fill, just get a piece of the tile of the same color, put some adhesive on it, and that’s going to help you fill up that gap right there. You can either use that or some mortar. However, that’s really just an aesthetic work.

Now, you’ll see that the underlayment is actually coming out past the rake. We can let this stick out then cut it later or you can cut it beforehand. I personally don’t mind it hanging over because I want the underlayment to go as far as possible without being visible. So I just like to install the rakes, then take a knife and cut it off later.

Now any time you have a rake overlapping, you will always want to put a nail in this hole right here, but because it is an overlap, you want to drill it first with a masonry bit. And generally, for these holes you want to use longer nails. Again, the hope, the idea of the length of the nail is go as long as possible to get a good grab into your rake board, not long enough to penetrate through it. So every tile, every rake is going to be a little bit different, so I’m not going to give you the exact specifications on what nails to use, but the concept remains the same.

Setting the Two Center Rake Tiles at the Ridge

Now we’re all the way at the ridge and we’re ready to install our two pieces. I’ve precut these rakes as there’s no real science behind it besides having it lined up. What I want to do is I want to prop it up so it’s at the correct angle. If you don’t prop it up, you’ll see that the angle of this rake here is not aligned with this, so we want to prop it up and have it look something like this. And again, you can use broken pieces of tile to do this. So what we want to do is use some caulking or adhesive, and just put a dab on it. And what this is going to do is it’s going to secure this tile and ensure it doesn’t move as we’re installing it. Alright, so I’ve got this lined up and I know what I want it to look like, what I want to do now is prior to installing it, I always prefer to put a little bit of adhesive at this corner, that way the two rakes will both be mechanically fastened on to the rake board and they’ll also be glued together. But yeah, I’m just going to put just a slight bit of caulking here on this edge. And obviously pick a color that matches the tile as close as possible. So we’ve got this installed, now we want to make holes here.

Now one mistake that I did make that I want to point out to you is these two nails right here, any time you’re working with tiles, you want to make sure that you at least have an inch of grab, an inch of meat, between the nail and the edge itself, and if not, this little piece of concrete is going to break off quite easily. So in a real-world application, what I would prefer to do is leave this hole as is, since that hole is already there, we won’t touch it, we’ll just make another hole about an inch, inch and a half away from that, and nail it through there to have a little bit of more meat. Final touch that can be done is just applying a little bit of spray paint on top of these nails heads. You can clean off the excess with a paper towel. The purpose of this is take the shine off so you don’t see it from the ground level. So again, that’s purely aesthetics right there. Not needing to be done. And last thing I want to demonstrate what I meant by this little bit of edge that’s left easily breaking.

So with just a tap or two… maybe not as easily as possible, but you can see that this edge here is prone to breaking, so always make sure you have enough grab on your nails and that you are nailing about an inch, inch and a half in from the edge of your tile.