Hand made floor tiles

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Alice Abbott
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Hand made floor tiles

Post: #165208 Alice Abbott
Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:26 am

We have been given some very old and apparently hand made terracotta floor tiles. They are about 5 inches square and a little over an inch thick. On one side they are chipped, worn and stained (I estimate they are a couple of hundred years old judging from where they came from) but they have never been turned so the "underside" is as good as new, smooth and even coloured once they have been scrubbed.

At the moment our kitchen area is bare except for a wood burning range which already sits on a stone plinth. The floor is flat compacted earth for 75% of it's area and oak boarding which we have laid ourselves for the other 25%. These cover and form the roof of the cave (sort of half underground cellar) below. The entire room is around eighteen feet square and we estimate we have ample tiles to cover the earthen bit.

However when we put down the boards we allowed for much thinner modern tiles laid on a bed of cement, now the tiles will need to sit directly on the earth to be in line. Is this feasible? It seems to be how they were laid originally as there is no sign of mortar etc on them. Would we just make sure the area is flat and lay them? And then presumably use some sort of mortar in the joins to seal them? Or should we rake out the earth to a lower level and lay cement anyway?

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Thomzo
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Re: Hand made floor tiles

Post: #165268 Thomzo
Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:45 pm

Crikey, I take it you aren't in the UK. Building regs would never let you lay a floor directly on bare soil.

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Odsox
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Re: Hand made floor tiles

Post: #165290 Odsox
Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:03 am

Thomzo wrote:Crikey, I take it you aren't in the UK. Building regs would never let you lay a floor directly on bare soil.

Zoe

Up until the mid fifties just about all country cottages in the UK had rammed earth floors in their kitchens/scullery !
I think building regs only apply to newly constructed houses and not ones built before the WW2, until you apply for planning permission for any improvements.

I agree with Susie, lay a bed of sand, or sand & dry cement, or sand & lime. If damp is a problem lay a damp proof membrane (sheet of thick polythene) first and put the sand on top.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Alice Abbott
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Re: Hand made floor tiles

Post: #165557 Alice Abbott
Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:25 pm

Thanks for all those ideas, we appreciate them!

The sand idea really appeals as we have a huge pile of sand lurking under a plsatic sheet in one of the barns so we can do it without spending any money.

The floor is amazingly flat and a thinnish layer of sand will bring the tiles up to be level with the boards so it would all work well. From counting and measuring we have discovered we have more than enough for the kitchen and also there are some thinner tiles (about a quarter inch thick) which will make a great "skirting" all the way round. We seem to be lucky that the tiles will fit with only a miniscule gap at the wall edges which we can fill in and cover with the thinner tiles. Also the room doesn't have any nooks and crannies - I'm not sure how we could go about cutting these tiles if we had needed to.


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