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welcome to Authentic Tile for the Period Home

Heritage Tile defines the original, vintage tilework of the period homes and businesses of pre-war America. The Heritage Tile of Oak Park studio is your destination to re-discover our uniquely American tile heritage, featuring timeless subway tile, classic porcelain mosaics, sculpural ceramic accessories, and decorative art tile, all set in Chicago's historic Oak Park neighborhood.

about us

Our mission at Heritage Tile is to reproduce the original, historically-authentic tilework of pre-war American homes and businesses, and to set a standard for our ceramic tile craft in an effort to preserve our uniquely American tile heritage.

The Heritage Tile of Oak Park studio is a local design resource to homeowners in historic Oak Park and surrounding neighborhoods, and a destination for architects, designers and preservation specialists throughout the Chicago Metro area.

Visitors to the Heritage Tile of Oak Park studio will experience our featured tile brands of Rookwood Pottery, Subway Ceramics, Subway Mosaics and other exclusive and historically authentic tile collections not to be found elsewhere!

 

studio information

studio hours & events

146 N. Oak Park Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60301

Tue - Fri | 9:30am to 5:30pm [Thursday evenings by appointment]
Sat | 10am to 2pm
Sun | closed
Mon | by appointment

phone: 708-919-1600
e-mail: info@oakparktile.com
fax: 708-851-0488
"Heritage Tile of Oak Park NEWS"

March 8th: Pleasant Home lecture series

Richard D. Mohr, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and of the Classics at the University of Illinois gave a lecture titled “Art Tiles in the Prairie School” at the Oak Park public library.

INTRODUCTION: Though there is quite a lot of literature on Prairie School architects’ uses of art glass, next to nothing has been done on the same architects’ uses of art tiles, even though, between 1907 and 1915, nearly all the major figures in this movement at least dabbled in their use ― Frank Lloyd Wright, George W. Maher, Walter Burley Griffin , Marion Mahony, Dwight Perkins, Robert Spencer Jr. , William Purcell, and even, late in his career, Louis Sullivan. These architects’ work incorporates tiles by some of the country’s greatest art potteries, including Grueby Faience of Boston, Rookwood Faience of Cincinnati, the Pewabic Pottery of Detroit, and Chicago’s own Teco Pottery. Based on an on-going series of articles about Prairie School art tiles, this talk will raise awareness of the overlooked medium of Prairie School design.

March 8th: Pleasant Home lecture series

Richard D. Mohr, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and of the Classics at the University of Illinois gave a lecture titled “Art Tiles in the Prairie School” at the Oak Park public library.

INTRODUCTION: Though there is quite a lot of literature on Prairie School architects’ uses of art glass, next to nothing has been done on the same architects’ uses of art tiles, even though, between 1907 and 1915, nearly all the major figures in this movement at least dabbled in their use ― Frank Lloyd Wright, George W. Maher, Walter Burley Griffin , Marion Mahony, Dwight Perkins, Robert Spencer Jr. , William Purcell, and even, late in his career, Louis Sullivan. These architects’ work incorporates tiles by some of the country’s greatest art potteries, including Grueby Faience of Boston, Rookwood Faience of Cincinnati, the Pewabic Pottery of Detroit, and Chicago’s own Teco Pottery. Based on an on-going series of articles about Prairie School art tiles, this talk will raise awareness of the overlooked medium of Prairie School design.

June 27th: The Search for Vintage Tilework

Our search for vintage American heritage tilework is underway, and we are calling on the residents of Oak Park, River Forest and neighboring communities to help us document these remarkable and historic treasures of the ceramic arts from a bygone era.

Heritage Tile of Oak Park is known for our complete collection of historically-authentic subway tile, decorative art tile, trim components, classic moldings, floor mosaics and ceramic accessories to restore the period home to its original character. We are inspired and informed by the vintage tile installations we work on in this community, celebrated internationally for its architectural heritage.

As a part of our educational mission, we have begun to survey and document original, vintage tile installations in the period homes of Oak Park and River Forest, from the turn of the last century to the depression era of the 1930’s. Our goal is to share the results of our survey of these unique tile installations with homeowners throughout the community so they can identify the sources of this tilework and its historical significance.

We are requesting that you send us your photo images of vintage:

  • fireplace surround and hearth tiles
  • entryway floor mosaics
  • bathroom wall tile and floor mosaics
  • kitchen backsplashes
  • other decorative tile installations (fountains, niches, etc.)

Any additional information that you can share on the age and architectural style of the home would be of interest. All information we receive will be held in strict confidence. Any publication of images or communications in any form will require your expressed approval. Please send your image files and inquiries to neal@heritagetile.com or address questions or correspondence to our studio and showroom.

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careers

Architectural Liaison - San Francisco, LA, Boston & New York

Independent architectural representatives for a US-based specialty ceramic tile and stone distributor. Representative will schedule appointments with pre-selected trade accounts in their respective metro area, and execute a series of marketing campaigns to these accounts on a recurring basis. Emphasis is on education and technical project support. Candidates with an architectural and/or interior design background are encouraged to respond. Interest and/or experience with historic restoration, marketing, innovative design and technical solutions is a plus.

For consideration for these positions, please email resume and cover letter to lizh@heritagetile.com

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featured collection: Rookwood

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World-renowned for their impeccable design tradition and craftsmanship, Rookwood Pottery continues to embrace their legacy of excellence with inspiring designs and tilework of exceptional quality.

Rookwood Pottery, America’s first woman-owned manufacturing company, was founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols in Cincinnati, Ohio.  For the next 60 years, Rookwood became the most artistically prolific and internationally renowned producer of architectural tile and decorative pottery in America. 

A victim of the depression, Rookwood Pottery ceased formal operations in 1941, but remained alive in its legacy of art pottery, which steadily appreciated in value and veneration for the next 70 years.  An auction in 2004 attracted a record-breaking price of $350,000 for a single Rookwood vase.

In 2005 a group of local Cincinnati-based investors purchased the assets of Rookwood Pottery, including over 3,000 historic molds, and recruited a team of talented and experienced ceramicists to restore the Rookwood Pottery tradition with a complete collection of art tile decorative designs and vast palette of classic glazes.

Today, a restored collection of Rookwood Pottery is now available for period homes to renovate and new generations to appreciate. Heritage Tile of Oak Park can assist you with your historic art tile project and guide you in achieving the standard of craftsmanship and artistry that defined the original Rookwood Pottery.

  • 6x6.FT.Barbary Coast
  • Chesapeake Bee
  • Chesapeake Butterfly
  • Chesapeake Dragonfly
  • Eros Corner
  • Eros Liner (1)
  • Finnegan
  • Fiori
  • Gatsby
  • Guinnevere
  • Prelude Leaf
  • Prelude Rosette
  • Revival Cardinal
  • Revival Classic A
  • Revival Classic B
  • Revival Robin
  • Stuart
  • Tree Of Life
 

featured collection: Subway Ceramics

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Subway Ceramics, as a Heritage Tile company, is pleased to establish its first studio in the Village of Oak Park, a destination for architectural enthusiasts and scholars alike.  Past restoration projects in the area include a variety of historic residences and institutional structures, including the 1912 Day Nursery in River Forest, IL.

 

Subway Ceramics, the exclusive tile supplier for the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's 1910 Park Inn and adjacent City National Bank buildings in Mason City, Iowa, provided the historically authentic subway tile walls and mosaic floors for the 29 bathrooms and hotel lobby. The last remaining hotel in the world designed by Wright, and model to Chicago’s Midway Gardens and Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, the historic Park Inn will re-open on September 10, 2011, 101 years to the day after its first opening.

The original, vintage tilework of the pre-war period home was 3/8" thick, with a flat surface, square edges, and a pencil-thin grout joint. These original tile characteristics were lost when changes in production methods, installation techniques and design aesthetics occured over time. With the Subway Ceramics collection, you can restore this classic form and glaze qualities of traditional, heritage tilework in new tile installations.

Subway Ceramics is dedicated to preserving our uniquely American tile heritage with an authentic collection of reproduction subway tile, trim, mouldings, floor mosaics and ceramic accessories. Subway Ceramics is capable of restoring the tilework in the period home back to the way it was over 100 years ago. Subway Ceramics is a Heritage Tile company.

studio serviceshow can we help you preserve the original character of your period home?

technical design guidance A resource for restoring the historical tile character of your period home

Our design staff will help you to identify the distinctive characteristics of American heritage tilework, provide assistance in selecting tile design options to meet your needs, and support you through the completion of the project:

  • Historic authenticity: presenting tile options that are consistent with the age and architectural style of your home;
  • Budget objectives: representing tile products that are affordable yet traditional and of much better quality than conventional, contractor-grade tile;
  • Digital Designs: preparing custom 2D & 3D renderings to assist you in visualizing the tile design options and the results you will achieve;
  • Installation support: serving as a technical resource to your tile contractor throughout the installation process.

 

heritage tile showroom the timeless & classic tilework to preserve the authenticity of your period home

Our Oak Park studio/showroom vignettes demonstrate the distinctive characteristics of American heritage tilework, providing a wide variety of classic tile options for bathroom walls and floors, kitchen backsplashes, fireplace surrounds, and foyer floors. Our Oak Park showroom features:

  • Subway Ceramics: as a Heritage Tile company, our Oak Park showroom is the exclusive dealer in the Chicago-area for this complete collection of historically authentic tile fields, trim, mouldings, accessories and mosaics.
  • Rookwood Pottery: the most exciting story in tile today is the recent reincarnation of this century-old brand and our access to an authentic tradition in American handcrafted tilework that we can now offer in our Oak Park showroom.
  • Subway Mosaics: a vast array of decorative floor designs in unglazed porcelain are now possible in this historically authentic collection of reproduction mosaics. A Heritage Tile exclusive, this collection offers custom fields and borders in 16 patterns and 24 classic colors.

 

thank you for contacting Heritage Tile of Oak Park Providing professional design services for all Heritage Tile projects

  1. Our homeowners clients are faithfull stewards of the past and dedicated supporters of our mission to reproduce and restore our American heritage tilework, seeking authentic materials and craftsman to preserve the original character of their old homes.
  2. Our contractor clients are the true masters of their profession, eager to learn from their forebears and carry on their tradition for quality and attention to detail. Mindful of the differences in the methods and materials commonly in use today, preservation-minded tile mechanics are resourceful and creative in their installation of these reproduction tile elements.
  3. Our architect and designer clients quickly grasp the precise system of American heritage tilework, and are swift to employ them as signature elements in their designs, evoking an authentic aesthetic for their clients of period residences, restaurants and businesses. A specialization in historic preservation is a professional distinction that they have earned through their dedication to learning the traditional building trades of our architectural past, of which heritage tilework is only one component.
  4. Our showroom clients are challenged to find products that serve their customer's needs while providing differentiation from similar businesses in a competitive market. Heritage Tile offers an alternative to the myriad of tile products that can be found in virtually any tile showroom, and a clear choice between the timeless, original tilework and the newest trends that may soon appear dated.

Thus begins your path of discovery in the old world craftsmanship of this period, which will likely lead you to the conclusion that pre-war tilework is unmatched in precision, sophistication and aesthetic beauty. It is our priviledge to represent our uniquely American tile heritage to our clients, where ever they live, work or travel.

Call us: 708-919-1600