To Stagger, or Not to Stagger … That is the Question

Straight, staggered or custom staggered. What’s your preference?

When purchasing DaVinci Roofscapes synthetic slate roofing tiles, it’s important to determine before ordering your composite slate shingles exactly what type of coursing you plan to have on a roof. That’s because the coursing can affect the amount of product needed along with the overall appearance of the roof.

A quick education can help you know the differences between the coursing options.

Straight Coursing is when a roofer snaps a chalk line on the underlayment and then installs every tile on the line. The first course of slates is laid directly on the starter tiles. The simulated slate roofing tiles should be laid out directly as they come out of the bundle (also known as rack-style, stairstepping or pyramiding) to prevent the same size shingle from being placed on top of another.

Fake Slate
Staggered Coursing is when a roofer snaps the chalk line (again on the underlayment and not on the tiles) and then “drops” every other tile down an inch. The alternating placement of the tiles makes them appear staggered.

Slate Alternative
Custom (or Double) Coursing can be achieved when a roofer creates their own staggered look. They may start by snapping a chalk line as the beginning location and then drop tiles down every inch (or even two) in a random manner.

Polymer Roof
A few key notes about coursing:

  • Bellaforté Slate tiles cannot be staggered; they have to be placed in a straight course. That’s because the tiles are self-aligning.
  • Never use red chalk. It may permanently discolor the polymer slate.(See Using The Right Color Chalk Line Makes a Difference)
  • For more installation details, view our installation guides by clicking HERE.