When the time comes to have your new roof installed, you probably consider all of the classic options: 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles, metal, and tile. If you're really "in the know" you might look into cedar shakes, too. These roofing materials are all popular for good reasons, and they serve a lot of homeowners well. However, they are far from the only roof materials -- and far from the only good roof materials. If you're okay with going off the beaten path a little bit, you may want to consider using one of the following roofing materials instead.
Fiber Cement Tiles
Fiber cement has become pretty popular as a siding material, so you may have heard of it in that context. It is basically a mixture of wood fibers and concrete. A lot of fiber cement is made to look like wood. However, it does not rot, and it has the durability and water resistance of concrete. Fiber cement roofing isn't terribly popular, but it is around. It is really strong and offers excellent protection for your roof. (It's as hard as concrete tile, but looks more natural.) Another big advantage of this material is that it comes in many colors, and the color never chips off. The color is instead incorporated into the fiber cement material and runs all the way through it. Fiber cement roofing can also be considered an eco-friendly material because it is made with waste wood that would otherwise have been thrown away.
Rubber roofing comes in big sheets, which your roofer unrolls over the prepared roof surface. It is thin, which makes it a good choice if you need your roof to maintain a low profile. It's also very waterproof, making it a great option in rainy climates. Most rubber roofs are made from at least some recycled material. They are lighter than most other roofing options, making them a good choice for older homes and homes with structural concerns. The only downside to rubber roofs is that they are tough to repair. If the rubber gets a rip or a tear in it, then you may need to have the whole roof, or a substantial piece of it, replaced. Thankfully, this does not happen very often as the rubber is quite tough.
If you need a new roof installation, make sure you consider fiber cement tiles and rubber as options. They are not for everyone, but they have their places.