Classic tile shapes an overview

Roofs have been covered with clay tiles for centuries. In the process, some classical forms have developed that have survived to this day. An overview of the classics under the roof tiles and some historical forms, which one finds only rarely, you get in this post.


The Biberschwanz, or affectionately called "beaver" by the roofers, is one of the oldest roof tiles ever. On many country houses you can still find it today because of its rustic look.

Each district has its own beaver with a very special shape. North German beaver forms differ significantly from those in southern Germany. Also almost triangular shapes are common in some areas.

Classic tile shapes an overview: roof

The laying method is traditional with double or even triple coverage. The problem with the beaver is that it means a very high roof weight. For individual cover types, the basis weight may be up to 60 or 70 kg per square meter. This is often more than modern roofs can carry.

Frankfurt pan

The Frankfurter Pfanne is a very light roof tile developed by the manufacturer BRAAS. He is probably one of the most widely laid roof tiles on German houses.

In addition to the low weight (only about 35 - 40 kg per square meter) and despite the high price of 1 EUR per piece, he has become a very popular clay roof tile, which you often see.

Harzer pan

The Harzer Pfanne, also developed by BRAAS, is a cost-effective variant that only costs around 60 - 70 cents apiece. Although it is less common than the Frankfurt pan, but a very good and very cheap alternative among the clay roof tiles.


Hollow pans are curved S-shaped and have on both sides a so-called brim. At these points, the roof tiles interlock to form a rainproof roof. For hollow cut pans there are different ways of laying:

  • the so-called Aufschnittdeckung
  • the pre-cut coverage
  • one of the two cover types with changed Krempenformen

For each of the coverings own hollow bricks are used. For the Aufschnittdeckung short-cut pans are used, for the Vorschnittdeckung one uses long-cut pans. For low roof pitches, the Aufschnittdeckung is recommended rather, the page coverage must be adjusted here.

Heidelberg pan

The Heidelberg pan has also become a classic. However, it is not a clay roof tile, but a concrete roof tile, which is made by ETERNIT. The Heidelberg Pan found a wide spread within a very short time.

Well-known historical variants

Monk and nun bricks

The monk and nun bricks got their name because they are always laid in pairs. Convex and concave roof tiles interlock and then form the well-known, double-covered wave pattern. For the naming was also crucial that this cover was used mainly in churches and monasteries, and is therefore preserved to this day. It was already widespread in the Roman period.

Monk and nun bricks can still be bought today from some manufacturers, but the way of laying is considered obsolete.

tower bricks

They were not used for the covering of towers, but mainly - because of their small format - of turrets and bay windows. You still get them today, they are popular for the cover of garden sheds and arbors. Today you should use them mainly on formwork and a bituminous membrane.

Video Board: The Classic Set from Shape Mags