Hook Fixing Slate vs Nail Fixing Slate

Hooking Fixing Slate Benefits

Hook fixing slate, also known as hook-fixed slate or hook slate, refers to a method of securing roofing slates using hooks rather than nails or other fasteners. This technique has several benefits, including:

  1. Enhanced Durability: Hook fixing slate provides a strong and secure attachment for each individual slate, making it more resistant to wind uplift and other external forces. This method helps prevent slates from becoming dislodged or damaged during severe weather conditions, ultimately increasing the longevity and durability of the roof.

  2. Reduced Maintenance: The use of hooks eliminates the need for nails, which can corrode over time and potentially lead to slate displacement or leaks. By avoiding nail-related issues, hook fixing slate can significantly reduce maintenance requirements, saving both time and money in the long run.

  3. Improved Aesthetics: Hook fixing allows slates to lay flatter and more evenly across the roof surface. This results in a visually pleasing appearance, with cleaner lines and a more consistent slate arrangement. The absence of exposed nail heads also contributes to a neater and more aesthetically appealing roof.

  4. Easier Repair and Replacement: When a slate needs repair or replacement, hook fixing simplifies the process. The hooks can be easily disengaged, allowing for the removal and replacement of individual slates without disturbing the surrounding tiles. This convenience can be especially beneficial when carrying out routine maintenance or addressing specific issues without requiring extensive rework.

  5. Increased Roof Ventilation: Hook fixing slate often involves the use of slates with pre-drilled holes or slots, which helps facilitate better roof ventilation. These openings allow air to circulate more freely beneath the slates, helping to regulate temperature and moisture levels in the roof space. Improved ventilation can contribute to a healthier roof structure and may help prevent the formation of mold or rot.

  6. Compatibility with Historic Buildings: Hook fixing slate has been a traditional roofing method for centuries, making it particularly suitable for historic or heritage buildings where maintaining the original aesthetic is crucial. This method preserves the authenticity of the structure while providing the benefits of modern roofing techniques.

It’s worth noting that hook fixing slate may require specialized hooks, slates, or installation techniques depending on the specific system used. Consulting with a roofing professional or contractor experienced in hook fixing methods is recommended to ensure proper installation and maximize the benefits associated with this approach.

Nail Fixing Slate Benefits

Nail fixing slate, also known as nail-fixed slate, is a traditional method of securing roofing slates using nails or similar fasteners. While hook fixing slate offers specific advantages, nail fixing slate also has its own set of benefits, including:

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Nail fixing slate is often more cost-effective compared to hook fixing slate. The materials required for nail fixing, such as nails and standard slates, are generally less expensive than specialized hooks and slates designed for hook fixing. This can be advantageous when budget considerations are a priority.

  2. Established and Widely Used Method: Nail fixing slate has been employed for many years and is a well-established roofing practice. Many roofers are familiar with this method and have experience working with it. The availability of resources, including standard slates and nails, is abundant, making it convenient and accessible for roofing projects.

  3. Time-Efficient Installation: The process of nail fixing slate can be relatively quick and straightforward, especially for experienced roofers. The nails are typically driven directly through the slates and into the roof substrate, securing them in place. This efficiency can be advantageous for projects with time constraints or when rapid installation is required.

  4. Adequate Security: When properly installed, nail fixing slate can provide sufficient security and resistance against typical weather conditions. The nails penetrate through the slates and into the roof substrate, creating a firm attachment. While hook fixing may offer enhanced resistance to wind uplift, nail fixing can still provide satisfactory performance under normal circumstances.

  5. Compatibility with Existing Structures: Nail fixing slate is often compatible with existing roofing systems, particularly on older buildings. If the original roof was installed using nail fixing, maintaining consistency in the repair or replacement process can be essential to preserve the historical integrity of the structure. Nail fixing allows for the continuation of the traditional style and construction methods.

  6. Familiarity and Availability: Since nail fixing is a well-known and widely used method, it may be easier to find experienced roofers who are familiar with this technique. Additionally, nails and standard slates for nail fixing are readily available in the market, making them easily accessible for repairs, replacements, or new installations.

It’s important to note that nail fixing may have some drawbacks, such as potential nail corrosion over time, which can lead to slate displacement or leaks. Regular maintenance and inspections are necessary to ensure the integrity of the roof and address any issues promptly. Consulting with a roofing professional or contractor is advisable to determine the most suitable fixing method based on your specific project requirements and circumstances.


Both hook fixing and nail fixing are viable methods, each with pros and cons as detailed above. It’s worth noting that the Spanish and French prefer the hook fixing method. Is it time the UK adopts this method? Maybe, but tradition is tradition, and we can be stubborn when it comes to changing that.