A small triple border antique French ceramic floor
A small antique French ceramic encaustic floor, dating from the early part of the 20th century, reclaimed from its original home and now fully restored tile by tile in our workshop, it arrives ready to relay. The floor surface is c.6.5m2 with individual tile counts by tile type below.
There are two principal field tiles, which can be laid in a damier lay, as we have shown in the photographs, or in fours as a larger damier style lay. Both principal field tiles are 14cm sq and 15mm thick and in a cool palette of greys and blues. This small floor is framed by its original triple border tile series consisting of same size border and a half size border of 14cm x 7cm, laid in duplicate.
The floor has cleaned well and the 15mm thick ceramic is excellent; a small number of tiles bear edge nibbles or groutable chips, as a random section of the floor below details. Being ceramic and highly fired it can be laid inside or outside of the home and being an excellent distributor of heat will work well with underfloor heating systems. A dense ceramic and slip these tiles will not require sealing once laid and a regular wash will be all that is required to maintain their beauty.
Tile quantities, give or take one or two:-
FIELD TILES - 218, being 109 of each - 4.2m2 / 45.2 sq. ft.
LARGE BORDERS - 56 plus 4 corners - 1.2m2 / 12.9 sq. ft. or 8.26 linear metres / 27 linear ft.
SMALL BORDERS - 102 plus 8 corners - 1.1m2 / 11,8 sq. ft or 14.3 linear metres / 46.8 linear ft.
Antique tiles were most commonly made in single or two tile moulds. Before current computer automation methods their moulds were made my hand and the colour slips mixed by eye. Kiln temperatures could also be variable, as could the firing time. The result is that often tiles display subtle size and thickness variations and there can be tonal variations in colours, owing to the slip mixing and/or firing time. All of this makes these handmade tiles unique and adds to their charm. Some floors display their subtle variations in size and tones, some not, but when photographing we always take a random section of the floor so that it is representative of the whole. A tiler should always dry lay a section of the tiles to familiarise himself with them before starting to fix lay.