Slate roofs

At Formento, we are specialist in laying and maintenance services for slate roofs.


Since ancient times slate plates have been used as roofing elements for building in Piedmont and Liguria. Actually, slate is a natural material that easily flakes in thin and regular plates and for this reason it is suitable for the realization of light plates.


Slate is also an impermeable material and frost doesn’t damage it. These qualities make slate a long-lasting material able to cope with the action of weather conditions. Energy consumption for the production of slate plates is low if compared with other materials.


Hence slate is a material fully in line with the requirements of the new ecologic and sustainable architecture.


Unfortunately, slate has been forgotten over the past decades and only few craftsmen are able to handle this material.

At Formento, we have always been very close to our region, Liguria and its tradition. That’s why we specialised to use slate in our works. Our workers underwent a special training for the laying and the restoration of slate roofs, according to traditional techniques.


Roofs can be laid with hangers or with lime.


In the laying with hangers plates are laid down at horizontal slats or battens through stainless or copper hangers:

  • It is the most modern method
  • Maintenance is easy
  • It allows the aeration of the plates and of the roof and it is long lasting


In the laying with lime every single plate is nailed to the underlying wooden plank using plaster as binding agent:

  • It is the traditional method, even if it is less rapid and a little more expensive
  • Because of its reduced thickness of the plates its durability is reduced even if today companies try to use 1 cm thick plates to realize roofs

Types of slate roofs

  • typical roof “alla genovese”: double or triple according to the number of tiles per square meter, tiles have a regular rectangular shape
  • “scales” roof: used on curved surfaces to realize domes in churches or steeples
  • “alla piemontese” roof: its typical feature is the particular curved shape of the tile in the lower corners area
  • “French” roof: it is different from other roofs for the “lozenge” disposition of square tiles; sometimes plates can have a hexagon shape
  • “tranciato” roof: typical mountain roof with an irregular and rustic shape


Typical “ciappe” used in the past for slate roofs are fascinating still today and their grey colour is a distinctive feature of the landscape.


Slate is the perfect combination between tradition and modernity. That’s why this material is fully in line with Formento’s values: we cannot forget the past, but we must look to the future.