40 Years of …wedi
September 13th, 2023 marks wedi’s 40th anniversary!
In 1983, wedi invented the original “wedi Building Panel”, the first inherently waterproof tile backer board, which we continue to make today.
Over time, wedi has developed to become a shower system manufacturer offering today a complete program to help build and waterproof custom tiled showers in many different designs.
Since 2017, we have started to build up our manufacturing in Batavia and by 2024, we will produce all our wedi products in Batavia, IL proudly “ Made in the USA” and also source all major ingredients and supplies needed in North America and as local as it is possible.
Leave a comment below and tell us how long you’ve loved wedi!
Helmut Wedi, a Tile Setter Master by trade, establishes the wedi GmbH company in Emsdetten, in north-west Germany, in 1983.
This allowed him to commercially manufacture his main invention, the wedi Building Panel a waterproof and lightweight tile backer board made with its trademark blue foam core.
Helmut Wedi led the wedi Company until the “boss” passed away in July of 1998 following a short but serious illness. His son Stephan Wedi, himself a tile setter master by trade, took over the reigns of the company.
Photo from inside the original manufacturing plant with its automated wedi Building Panel coating line made by a process patented by Helmut Wedi. The plant at that time was 23,000 sqft.
The huge success of the wedi Building Panel in Europe transformed the trade. In 1990, when the Berlin wall came down, it created a huge demand for building materials in the newly opened eastern regions. To keep up wedi built a new manufacturing plant on a green field and it would also include a training center for professional installers as well as administration and R&D.
wedi started applying its foam core tile backer board technology and knowledge to invent the first wedi Fundo Shower base a presloped shower floor panel with factory integrated drain.
wedi registers its US-based business, at that time an import and sales office, and the wedi Corporation is born.
wedi North America’s success over the years has resulted in the opening of our first local manufacturing plant in Batavia, Illinois. The photo shows our employees and some customers in front of the plant on the day of the Grand Opening.
wedi becomes a proud part of the Ardex family of companies to better support future growth. wedi remains independently focused and operating, but also is now an active partner working closely with the many Ardex companies to use the available knowledge and synergies and ultimately develop best possible solutions for the tile and related industries.
In anticipation of wedi Batavia manufacturing the entire wedi line of products locally, we doubled our factory foot print and started installing CNC and coating areas to support the manufacturing of Fundo shower systems and more products.
From 2023 until 2024 we are adding specialists, engineers, and support staff to our operations and training has begun.
Our first Fundo shower base will be readily manufactured in the autumn of 2023. From the middle of 2024 wedi North America will be self-sufficient and proudly manufacturing and sourcing in the USA.