There are around 109 factories in Morbi that manufacture Roofing tiles. Since modern homes in India are made with concrete ceiling, the usage of roofing tiles is mostly limited to elevation purpose. Thus most of roofing tiles company are nowadays also making decorative roofing tiles (for elevation purpose).
Roof tiles are designed mainly to keep out rain, and are traditionally made from locally available materials (near Lilapar & Lalpar village) such as clay or slate. Modern materials such as concrete and plastic are also used and some clay tiles have a waterproof glaze.
A large number of shapes of roof tiles have evolved. These include:
Flat tiles - the simplest type, which are laid in regular overlapping rows. This profile is suitable for stone and wooden tiles, and most recently, solar cells.
Imbrex and tegula - an ancient Roman pattern of curved and flat tiles that make rain channels on a roof
Roman tiles - flat in the middle, with a concave curve at one end at a convex curve at the other, to allow interlocking.
Pantiles - with an S-shaped profile, allowing adjacent tiles to interlock. These result in a ridged pattern resembling a ploughed field.
Mission or barrel tiles are semi-cylindrical tiles made by forming clay around a curved surface, often a log or one's thigh, and laid in alternating columns of convex and concave tiles.
Roof tiles are 'hung' from the framework of a roof by fixing them with nails. The tiles are usually hung in parallel rows, with each row overlapping the row below it to exclude rainwater and to cover the nails that hold the row below.
There are also roof tiles for special positions, particularly where the planes of the several pitches meet. They include ridge, hip and valley tiles.
Fired roof tiles are found as early as the 3rd millennium BC in the Early Helladic House of the tiles in Lerna, Greece. Debris found at the site contained thousands of terracotta tiles having fallen from the roof.In the Mycenaean period, roofs tiles are documented for Gla and Midea.
The earliest finds of roof tiles in archaic Greece are documented from a very restricted area around Corinth (Greece), where fired tiles began to replace thatchet roofs at two temples of Apollo and Poseidon between 700-650 BC. Spreading rapidly, roof tiles were within fifty years in evidence for a large number of sites around the Eastern Mediterranean, including Mainland Greece, Western Asia Minor, Southern and Central Italy. Early roof tiles showed an S-shape, with the pan and cover tile forming one piece. They were rather bulky affairs, weighing around 30 kg apiece. Being more expensive and labour-intensive to produce than thatchet, their introduction has been explained by their greatly enhanced fire resistance which gave desired protection to the costly temples.
The spread of the roof tile technique has to be viewed in connection with the simultaneous rise of monumental architecture in Archaic Greece. Only the appearing stone walls, which were replacing the earlier mudbrick and wood walls, were strong enough to support the weight of a tiled roof. As a side-effect, it has been assumed that the new stone and tile construction also ushered in the end of 'Chinese roof' (Knickdach) construction in Greek architecture, as they made the need for an extended roof as rain protection for the mudbrick walls obsolete.
Some of the leading roofing tiles manufacturers from Morbi include Bharat Industries, Shittal Potteries etc.