This article appeared in Architectural West March/April 2011.

An Architect’s Dream…
One-Stop Shopping for Clay Roof Tile in the West
by Claire P. Davidson, specifier

I am a long-time admirer of clay roof tile. Whether it’s on a rustic Tuscan villa, a warm Spanish hacienda, a peaceful Japanese garden, a sprawling Palm Beach mansion, or a historic California Mission, these timeless, beautiful roofs are extraordinary. So, I was eager to help when my friend, Liz, told me she was faced with what seemed to be an impossible challenge. An architect, Liz had recently purchased a 100-year-old bungalow in the foothills of Los Angeles, Calif. The challenge: finding the right replacement tile for repairs to her clay tile roof.

The clay tile on my friend’s roof dated back to the 1920s, manufactured by the L.A. Brick Company, which had long been out of business. After weeks of searching on our own and coming up empty handed, Liz and I decided to pay a visit to MCA Clay Roof Tile in nearby Corona, Calif. We arrived with our sample piece of tile and soon learned that MCA produces an entire line of replica tile for replacement and repairs to historical homes, buildings, and institutions. They were able to match our old tile even down to the color.

Happy with our good fortune, we were curious about the MCA factory and wondered what else they had to offer. We discovered a company whose capabilities were expansive and whose selection is almost limitless. More traditional styles of tile range from one-piece “S” mission, to the two-piece Corona tapered mission, and classic tapered mission tile. Roman pan tile and the distinctive pre-cut Turret Tile® are also available. MCA offers a variety of historical tile reproductions, along with Straight Barrel Mission, and their newest product, onepiece Classic “S” Mission tile. Japanesestyle tile, flat tile, and improved “S” tile are also offered.

Color has always been a critical factor when selecting the right tile for any project. The color is crucial to the design of the building, and the bigger the selection, the better. We were thrilled to discover a vast array of colors and blends, including 52 colors rated by the Cool Roof Ratings Counsel (CRRC) as Cool Roof colors. Liz was especially impressed with the Green Building aspect of the natural clay tile, and the fact that the Cool Roof colors can qualify for LEED points and California’s Title 24.

With only a handful of clay tile roof manufacturers in the United States, MCA stands out when it comes to endless possibilities. Our stop proved to be an enlightening and rewarding experience. Whatever style, color, or texture… whether the design is rustic, historic, or contemporary, with one-stop shopping at MCA Clay Roof Tile, an architect is limited only by his own imagination.