According to national color expert Kate Smith, the most timeless roofing colors used on American homes include black, gray and cedar. Colors that are gaining popularity in “shaking up” today’s roofs include shades of green, clay and terracotta.
“Black never goes out of style for any use,” says Smith, president and chief color maven of Sensational Color. “From the little black dress to the luxury black car to a crisp black tuxedo, there is an upscale feeling about black that crosses product and category boundaries.
“It’s not surprising that black, which denotes power and authority, is perhaps the most popular roofing color. For a lighter shade of black, gray clearly is the next most timeless color for roofs — especially because so many people have selected natural slate roofs over the years.”
Smith notes that bright colored roofs were far more common historically than people realize.
“Colorful roofs with a range of reds, greens and even golds were used in all styles of homes in the past,” says Smith. “And, for homes with wood roofing, nothing matches a natural cedar color for a timeless appeal. Again, the historical aspect of people using real wood shakes, which were widely available in rural areas, has driven the popularity of this color over the years.”
New Classic Roofing Colors
In today’s home environment, Smith points out that consumers are expressing themselves more often with different colors – and blends of colors – on their roofs.
“I’ve seen how people’s tastes vary and how they enjoy having 49 standard roof colors to choose from,” says Smith. “While a majority of people request the polymer roofing tiles in black and gray, some people really wish to ‘shake up’ their roofs. Those homeowners may select a green blend of roofing tiles that beautifully complements both warm and cool tones on the rest of the home. And, green roofs work well in wooded settings or can easily ‘soften’ the look of a home in an exposed location.”
For a Mediterranean style home, Smith suggests that a terracotta or clay color can add accent appeal to the exterior. To replicate the look of cedar, but get all the advantages of a polymer shake roof, Smith recommends a Tuscano blend of light, medium light, medium and dark autumn colors that combine to provide the timeless “color feeling” of cedar.