Summitville Tiles deal deepens General Shale thin brick portfolio

Summitville thin brick

Tennessee-based General Shale, a major player in clay and concrete masonry, has acquired Summitville Tiles of Ohio. The deal represents a strategic expansion of the suitor’s thin brick portfolio, especially in commercial precast concrete panel and industrial projects. Summitville offers embedded veneer units in 25 colors and wire cut, Landmark or Olde Towne series profiles. In addition to thin clay brick and ceramic tiles, the producer is well known for Strata-Tile, a unique mixture of clays that emulate the earth’s natural striations; premium quarry tiles; high-durability industrial floor brick, specified globally for breweries, dairies, bakeries and food or packaging plants; plus, an expansive tile care product line.

“Summitville offers products unique to our portfolio, while further strengthening us as the market leader for thin brick solutions,” says General Shale CEO Charles Smith. “This acquisition is an important step in furthering our position as the complete and sustainable solutions provider for the building envelope in North America.”

The Summitville Tiles transaction coincides with Smith earning the 2024 BIA Lifetime Achievement Award. The Brick Industry Association presents the honor to individuals who, over 25-year or longer careers in the industry, have given substantially of their time and talents to advancing clay brick. Smith arrived at General Shale in 1992, just after graduating from Tennessee Technological University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology and a minor in business management. He rose through the ranks from supervisor, plant manager, regional manager, vice president, and chief operations officer, leading into a 2014 CEO appointment. Smith has shepherded General Shale through difficult and prosperous times, always maintaining a vision for a successful future. Along with company duties, he has served on the BIA Board and Executive Committee, plus multiple operating committees and task forces.

Ludowici molds shingle, barrel and other clay roofing tile profiles whose colorfast performance and glaze owe to a 24-hour, 2,100°F firing phase.

The world’s top clay building products operator and parent of Tennessee-based General Shale has closed on Terreal Group of France. In its largest acquisition ever, Wienerberger AG, Vienna, adds Terreal roof repair and renovation product businesses in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, along with a North American satellite whose principal brand, Ludowici, dates to 1888. Ludowici produces terra cotta tile and architectural elements at a New Lexington, Ohio operation located amid premium clay deposits. The Terreal transaction was announced days after General Shale acquired another Buckeye State clay unit producer, Summitville Tiles.

The Ludowici plant is one of 29 Terreal sites strengthening Wienerberger’s position as a leading provider of roofing, solar power assembly, building envelope and rainwater capture solutions in Europe and North America. In the former market, building stock renovation and refurbishment will mark a major step toward climate neutrality and achieving European Green Deal targets, as old pitched roofs account for roughly 30 percent of energy losses in buildings. Weinberger solar and water management offerings will enable home and building owners to further reduce emissions and conserve resources.