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Synthetic Slate Roofing Synthetic Slate Roofing

Synthetic Slate Roofing

Synthetic slate is also known as composite slate, simulated slate and fake slate.  Smart people in lab coats figured out ways to engineer relatively authentic looking fake slate tiles in the 1990’s using a variety of synthetic compounds.  Since then these products have steadily taken market share away from natural slate because it is cheaper and easier to install.  Some materials look pretty good too.

Synthetic Slate Roof Costs in Minneapolis

Cost Modifiers

Other than the material selection, the biggest cost drivers in the installation of synthetic slate roofs in Minneapolis are the roof size, complexity, roof slope and height. There are about a dozen manufacturers of synthetic or composite slate products. Each has its own pros and cons. Some systems are more labor intensive to install while others come with proprietary installation components that cost more but save on labor. Obviously, labor will increase with the additional layers of existing material to be torn off. Having a smaller yet still important affect on price are the number off penetrations and accessories such as chimneys, skylights, stacks and vents.

Synthetic Slate Roof Replacement Costs

Let’s say you have a typical 30 square, 9/12 pitch asphalt shingle roof with one layer that needs replacing and you want to move to synthetic (composite) slate. What is the potential cost range for such a roof? Answer, $29,400 to $45,750 (30 x $980-1525). Given the high cost of the roofing product, we always install heavy duty, full coverage underlayment as per each manufacturers recommendations. Synthetic and composite slate materials need to be installed using great care. Cut pieces along the valley, the peak and the rake edges need special attention as the interior of some products have hollowed-out structure. Inexperienced installers can leave some ugly details behind.

Synthetic Slate Pros and Cons in Minneapolis


  1. Slate roof appearance at a much lower cost
  2. Many color and texture options


  1. High initial installation cost
  2. Certain products may look inauthentic

Slate Roof Resources

Here are some helpful links to vendors and manufactures that know their stuff.

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