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  • JRC Technical Standards

    When working with slates, strict standards and procedures must be adhered to ensure that the end result is of the best quality and that constructs meet safety regulations. With the highest quality slates, it is vital that slates are installed correctly to give the best results. For more information on BS 5534 and BS EN 12326, see below.


    On August 31st 2014, the British Standard for Slating and Tiling (BS5534) was updated to contain a number of changes which are designed to improve roofing structures.

    Following the publication of the update, there will be a six month co-existence where both the old and new standard will exist together, giving builders the option of using either standard. The new standard becomes mandatory at the end of February 2015, which any roof not started by this point must adhere to. The following guide gives a quick overview of the requirements and changes within the roofing industry.

    What is BS 5534?

    The British Standard for Slating and Tiling provides those in the industry with guidelines and methods of best practice relating to the installation of a roof. There is a large amount of information included, such as batten selection, fixing methods, uplift formulas, and much more.

    Installing to this British Standard is not a legal requirement, but it can be included in a specification and upheld in a court of law if necessary. Many manufacturers who provide products for the roofing industry usually ensure that installation guidelines follow the standards closely. This is for protection and to ensure suitability, as deviation would require documented evidence to prove this. In addition to this, many third party warranty providers and insurers will only cover buildings which have been constructed to relevant British Standards.

    Why has it been changed?

    The main reasons why BS 5534 has been changed are an increase in extreme weather within the UK and to bring the standard into alignment with European Standards.

    What has changed?

    The main changes relate to the overall structure of the roof, including:

    Fixing – Updated wind load calculations mean that single lap tiles have to be mechanically fixed with either clips or nails. This can effect installation time and costing.

    Mortar Bedding – Using mortar as a sole means of fixing roof tiles has been deemed as insufficient. Tiles and fittings bedded with mortar must also include a mechanical fix.

    Underlays – With newer styles of lightweight underlay becoming increasingly popular, the guideline updates now outline how to properly secure these underlay types.


    Introduced in 2004, BS EN 12326 Slate and stone products for discontinuous roofing and cladding comprises two parts – EN 12326-1 Product Specific and EN 12326-2 Methods of test.

    Although there are defined requirements within this standard, the slates which meet the criteria can vary a great deal in quality. Slates must conform to the standard and carry the CE marking, but nothing is mentioned about the performance of slates or their quality in use.

    There is a comprehensive list of requirements within the standard, but this can often fail to clarify the quality of slates for specifiers. If you take a look at our data sheets section, you can see an outline of the test results to see which is suitable for your requirements. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us to discuss your requirements and we can outline what is best for your requirements.

    Different tests check the quality of slates across various areas which can affect the quality and longevity of slates, including:

    We ensure that the slates we stock meet the latest requirements, so that you are covered in that regard. We also stock higher quality slate, rather than those which just pass the test, so you can be sure that the slates you get from us here at JRC will last for years to come, rather than conforming to standards and ultimately being inferior.

    If you are uncertain about the suitability of slates for your project in any way, feel free to get in touch with us for the best advice and information.

    Obligatory Requirements For Slates

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