Buying and Sourcing Reclaimed and New Tiles

Buy and buy recycled tiles

Ask your neighbors if they still have tiles. Beware of construction and renovation works in the area. Due to modification and construction work, properties from a similar local period may have the same or similar design and spare parts may be available.

Salvage recovery companies and professional restoration companies tend to keep stocks of salvaged original parts because they are more popular than modern replacement parts for repairs. After you find the source, send the details of what you are looking for in advance to avoid wasting time. You may not be able to find all the colors and shapes you need, and you should always mix the new and the old and try to use the old whenever possible. If you have some loose tiles as an example, you can easily complete the color matching of existing tiles. If not, the pictures and photos for reference and the dimensions will help. Remember that the original tiles are imperial rather than metric.

When buying used tiles, make sure that the sides and back are preferably mortar-free. Removing the mortar from the bottom is tricky and time consuming. This is the work that an expert has to do and it is easier to remove the mortar. This can be done, for example, with a paint scraper (a sharp knife with a handle).

Try to ensure that the tiles are recycled from interior floors, as they are generally in better condition. Avoid saucer-shaped tiles or tiles that look like too many holes.

When using recycled tiles it is necessary to lower the base to fix them or to thin the tiles to get a neat horizontal finish as thin mortar needs space. Old geometric tiles are often about 12 mm thick and are laid directly on wet cement or lime mortar. In this case, when removed, they cannot simply be glued back with glue, as they will be proud of the surrounding tiles.

It can also be repaired with modern matching replacement parts. The important factors here are size and color. The number of replica tile manufacturers is limited, but within these ranges, very good colors in various sizes can be purchased for repairs.

Tiles are also available through various online advertising sites.

Buy new tiles

The most suitable modern replacement tiles are now metric sizes, usually 9-10mm thick. They are called dust pressed tiles and the color runs through the entire tile.

Ranges are available, some in 25 colours, including traditional and modern shades. The colors may vary slightly between production runs at the factory, but they usually remain very consistent. The thickness of the tiles in the affordable range is about 9 mm.

Apart from the very subtle differences in size and colour, the modern series is the closest to the original system of pressed, molded Victorian tiles in ceramic powder.

Some replicated Victorian floor tile series have square-edged tiles, which are molded so that they can be firmly put together to reproduce an accurate and authentic look. The tiles are individually arranged to create spots and boundaries that require minimal cutting.

The original Victorian tile floor was based on the Empire system. All geometric components in most modern series are based on the metric system. If tiles in English sizes are required, in almost all cases tiles will have to be cut from larger tiles.

Geometric style Victorian molded tiles have unlimited design possibilities, with traditional layouts ranging from very simple black and white checkerboards to very complex layouts with decorative painted tiles.

These modern collections now offer the possibility to recreate the full matching design with real details and offer a variety of colors for repair work. The very important point here is that modern tiles are thinner than the originals and easier to use for minor repairs because when the tiles are placed next to the existing originals, they leave room for the adhesive.

Helpful suggestions for repair work

  1. Check the mechanic’s certificate to make sure they have received similar types of training and previous jobs.
  2. Check the recommended colors for repairs.
  3. The work is usually gradual so you can quickly check the tiler’s progress and skills.
  4. Stick to the minimum number of grout lines to get a real look.
  5. Please note that the final cleaning will reduce the appearance of repaired areas as the color will be significantly brighter.

Helpful suggestions for installing new tiles

  • If you are buying loose form tiles, make sure the assembly tool has experience installing traditional designs, especially if they are complex. Slab tiles are now available from some companies, increasing the ability to hire qualified tilers to adapt to complex designs.
  • Try to get a diagram of the plan design.
  • Be sure to provide all fixing specifications, e.g. type of adhesive and grout used.
  • Always ensure that the surface to which the tiles will be attached is firm and smooth, and check before purchasing tiles.

General Maintenance and Maintenance of Exterior Wall Tile Solutions

  1. Try cleaning at least once a month by removing organic matter such as leaves.
  2. Check that the joint line is full and top up if necessary to minimize water seepage and consequential damage.
  3. For a deep clean to remove accumulated dirt, use a diluted form of patio cleaner, then wash immediately to neutralize it. This approach is more suitable for the maintenance of new devices.
  4. If you have any other questions, please consult an expert.

Why are Victorian floor tiles more popular than other types of flooring?

Reasons for Installing New Mosaic Elements/Geometric Victorian Floor Tiles

  1. Practical, wear-resistant, easy to maintain
  2. Beautifully decorated
  3. Sustainable
  4. Stay in line with the architecture of the time.
  5. Increase and maintain the value of attributes

Suitable for new device applications

  1. Halls, paths and porches
  2. Greenhouse, bathroom and kitchen
  3. Storefront and shopping area
  4. Garden features
  5. Adaptation to architectural or interior design solutions

Malik has been working in the mosaic restoration field for over 12 years. He is the owner and director of London Mosaic Restoration, a small professional company responsible for repairing and installing antique mosaic floors.

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