Charlotte’s weather is unpredictable—one minute it is a lovely sunny afternoon, and the next, we are under a storm warning—which is why we need a durable yet impeccably gorgeous roofing solution… and terracotta clay roof tiles from Ludowici are just that.
With over 134 years of experience, Ludowici is a leader in architectural terracotta clay roof tiles, design, and manufacturing. They offer a broad range of color and texture options, allowing endless inspiration for architects, designers, and homeowners alike.
Ludowici’s traditional terracotta tiles and wide range of innovative terracotta cladding products are both stylish and sustainable, making them the number one choice in green building.
The custom craftsmanship means that these tiles have highest wind uplift capacity and weather performance of any clay tile on the market, so your home will be protected for decades… and look good in the meantime!
We had the opportunity to speak with Jessica Snoke, a Market Manager at Ludowici, to learn more about their history and how we can incorporate Ludowici terracotta tiles into our homes and businesses.
Tell us about how Ludowici got started in America and when they started making terracotta clay roof tiles.
Four hundred years ago, the Ludovisi family of Rome, Italy, began producing expertly crafted clay roof tiles. By the late 1800s, their descendant, Carl Ludowici, used this unique form of old-world craftsmanship in his roof tile factory in Chicago, Illinois. His products’ popularity led to several factories’ expansion until Ludowici was eventually consolidated into a single facility in New Lexington, Ohio where they are still made to this day.
How does your team of experts work with your clients to meet their customization needs?
This process begins by reaching out to the local rep to discuss the project’s overall design direction, budget and expectations. From there we will move on to profile and color selections using a multitude of tools, including profile samples, color slabs and installation pictures. Sample color cards and a sample mock-up will be sent out with each sample request to show the color and texture on a larger scale. If a profile match or custom color is required, we will work with our team in New Lexington throughout the matching process.
What features make Ludowici’s products stand out from the rest?
Ludowici tiles are more than just beautiful. They are backed by one of the best material warranties in the industry. We give you peace of mind that your investment will last for many years to come, with a 75-year non-prorated material warranty, including color, on every tile we produce. The clay composition of our tiles creates an ultimate breaking strength able to resist high wind stresses experienced during extreme weather events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes. When properly installed, high-quality terra cotta tiles can sustain winds over 125 miles per hour—the kind that would easily strip off many other roofing materials. Ludowici products last a lifetime in any climate—and are always Grade 1 certified. Grade 1 tile is considered the highest performing and is approved for use in any climate.
How does the terra cotta tile-making process work?
The manufacturing process begins by harvesting the clay and grinding it down. The material is run through several screens to get the right particle size and purest material. Once it passes through the screens, it goes into a storage room and moves on to production. Production begins on various production lines, with the clay being pressed, molded or extruded into many different shapes. Various trimming and finishing techniques are then used to prepare the clay for glazing. The glaze, basically just a ceramic slurry made up of frits, silicas, and other clays, is sprayed onto the wet tile’s surface before firing. The tiles are then fired at 2100 degrees F. The result is either a matte or high gloss finish that is now a permanent and non-fading part of the tile.
Tell us about Ludowici’s sustainability efforts.
Made from the earth and creating zero waste, terra cotta is the choice in green and sustainable building products. Ludowici terracotta tiles are 100% recyclable, energy-efficient, and free of toxic and synthetic ingredients. Our tiles do not require chemical cleaning, which protects the environment from harmful runoff. We strive to be good stewards of the land we harvest. Ludowici products earn many certifications and ratings from the organizations setting the standards for sustainability: Cool Roof Rating Council, Cradle to Cradle, U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program, and Energy Star.
Why is custom craftsmanship so important in Ludowici terracotta clay roof tiles?
All Ludowici terracotta products have been proudly manufactured in the USA since 1888. Our commitment to quality has never changed, which is why we are one of the world’s most trusted sources of distinctive architectural terracotta. Our customers can expect their investment to last a lifetime and rest easy knowing we’ll be there, now and in the years to come.
What iconic locations feature Ludowici tiles?
Ludowici products are installed on some of the most iconic locations, including the Plaza Hotel in New York City, the White House Promenade, Fort Benning, Harvard University, the Empire State Building Promenade, East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, GA and the observation deck at the Rockefeller Center.
How does one get started if they are interested in Ludowici terracotta clay roof tiles or products?
The local sales rep is here to help you with personalized service, from take-offs to sample mock-ups and custom product development. We can help your team find the perfect solution for your project. Part of that process allows you to access profile and color samples, product specifications, quote management and technical information.
Who are the Ludowici Authorized Crown Roofers we can use in Charlotte?
Our commitment to the highest quality products and services means that we must consistently hold ourselves to the highest standards. This extends to those who install our products. Ludowici has three tiered levels of roofer programs, each requiring stringent vetting and a thorough training process. A few Crown Roofers in the Charlotte area include John Bolton with Tile Roofing, Inc., Baker Roofing and The Century Slate Company.
• In partnership with Ludowici.