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Historic Restoration

Ludowici has a prominent position in the architectural history of the United States with installations and production dating back to 1888.  Perhaps that history has touched you in some way and, as the local Ludowici representatives, you may need our assistance.

Cabrini College Mansion Philadelphia, PA

Cabrini College Mansion
Philadelphia, PA

Institutions, contractors, owners, historic preservation organizations, and architects are often faced with the daunting task of cataloging, identifying and understanding the tile that is, or at one time was associated with projects under investigation for historic restoration, replacement or repair.  we also find that where those entities may be faced with the replacement of cedar shake applications that they typically express strong reservations with regard to longevity and fire performance.  New construction projects can also create product choice difficulties as owners seek to mimic, not necessarily duplicate, the historic appearance of their facilities.  Ludowici can assist you through each of these problems with a broad offering of services and product solutions – all based on the unparalleled beauty and performance of Ludowici’s vitrified clay products.

Ludowici has been in continuous production since 1888 at one of the original plants in New Lexington, Ohio.  Today, the Ludowici plant has state of the art kilns and a production workforce that includes fine craftsmen with the skill to hand produce custom pieces and accessories, experienced and talented ceramic engineers with the knowledge and ability to reproduce colors, textures and finishes found on historic tiles, and the equipment capable of producing those tiles in volume or small quantities.  Essentially, Ludowici is a custom production facility with the capability to recreate historic tiles long out of production, both those originally produced by Ludowici and those produced by tile manufacturers of the past such as Mifflin Hood, Heinz or the United States Tile Company out of West Virginia.

You are welcome to visit Ludowici for a plant tour and consultation at their Factory of Ideas to fully understand Ludowici capabilities and to develop your particular project.  As your local Ludowici representative our services are also available to meet with your team, review your project and discuss options, tile identification and costs and to generally develop a path forward for your restoration or new construction projects.

Restoration and preservation services that Ludowici offers include:

 Tile Identification Often the first step is to understand what tile style, color and texture you have or, in some cases, believe you once had.  We can often identify with a photograph and tile dimensions but offer an identification process that involves carefully packaging and sending representative tiles to Ludowici.
Tile Testing It is certainly important to work to maintain the historic fabric of structures.  In order to understand if old tile is a candidate for re-use on your project, Ludowici offers a testing service to determine current breaking strength and moisture absorption in accordance with Tile Standard ASTM C1167.  With those tests in hand the design professional can make a decision as to the current physical properties of the tile and if they are candidates for re-use or should be replaced in kind.  Contact us and we will guide you through the process.
Budget Estimates Once identified, Ludowici provides quantity based costs for your use in budgeting.

Color and Texture Approvals


Once the decision is made to move forward, Ludowici will prepare samples for color and texture approval, often working with the project team through this process to fine tune the final product.  Color matching is a mixture of art, science and perception.  Ludowici ceramic engineers are skilled in the process.
Tile Production

Ludowici uses the old tile to fabricate molds for use in production of new tiles.  Whether an out of production field tile or ornate cresting, Ludowici can recreate the tile for individual repairs or complete replacement using molds produced from old tiles.  Minimum quantities typically apply, with certain items simply requiring a piece count, others (hip and ridge tiles for instance) may require 25 piece minimum or 100 piece minimum (field tile) for production.

Renovation Quik Ship

A program developed for small quantity (less than 100 pieces) repairs of popular historic tile styles and colors.

Project Site and Team Meetings

To review project in detail, offer experienced insight, establish course of action, etc.

Ludowici Crown Contractor Program and Ludowici Shield Extended Weathertight Warranty Program

For Institutional and Commercial structures only, this program exists to ensure architects and owners that Ludowici is installed in a professional and accurate manner according to the highest standards possible and to provide the opportunity to obtain not only the Ludowici 75-year material warranty but also a 20-year or 10-year labor and material weathertightness warranty from Ludowici.

Historic replication or the desire to maintain the historic nature of the project setting through the use of materials offering a similar look can be achieved with Ludowici tile solutions.  Examples of Ludowici capabilities includes:

  • Cedar shake replacement – Ludowici has a broad offering of “shake-like” products, many of which have been the product of choice for historic projects both for longevity and fire performance.  Ludowici Georgian Tile, custom beavertail, custom widths and ridge comb, were selected for the museum quality historic restoration of Mt. Pleasant Plantation, Surry County, Virginia.  The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation chose various Ludowici tiles for their original restoration projects.  Colonial Williamsburg’s buildings featuring Ludowici include the Colonial Capitol and Chiswell-Bucktrout House along with Brafferton Hall on the campus of William and Mary.  The Philadelphia National Independence Historical Park also features prominent buildings with Ludowici Tile, including the Library of the American Philosophical Society and Carpenters’ Hall.
  • Slate alternatives – where lightweight alternatives to slate are desired, Ludowici offers LudoSlate, LudoSlate Premier and Lexington Slate.

There is much more to the Ludowici story and how we can assist you.  With this introduction we invite you to engage us with your inquiries, questions, and problems.

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