Following on from my last blog post on tiling my external walkway with Victorian tiles, where you saw it just cement clad and this computer generated image of the tiles, I’m pleased to report that works have started and it’s now looking great.
Before the final reveal, I thought I’d give you a peek and dedicate today’s post to how the tiles were installed.
As the tiles came in small pieces, they were like jigsaw puzzles. Imagine how tricky it would be to place them together and do it well.
The most important part even before the tiles went down, was for the surface to be perfectly flat and levelled.
The floor had to be levelled to create a uniform look and to ensure that there would be no ‘bounce’ left, or the tiles would crack or loosen.
I had real trouble with this, as after the original tiles were removed, the surface was incredibly uneven.
I found a builder who did rendering via one of those trusted tradesmen websites.
He came one gloomy day and placed the cement down quickly, then left.
To my horror it was done poorly, as it was uneven with bumps and marks.
Now here is a cautionary tale – do not pay until works are done. ( Up till this day, I still have these trust issues).
As it was raining and there was going to be a huge gulf of wet cement between us, I had to pay him first.
When I rang him to come level it after the tiler said it was not suitable, he refused.
In fact, he said he had left the country to go back to Poland!! – yeah right! So that was money down the drain.
The next person I hired had to try his best to make good of an impossible mess, and thankfully it was better, although not perfect.
With every dark cloud comes a rainbow. I’m not even sure the latter is a saying, but that’s how I saw it. ( Just remembered, should be silver lining right? Oh well, rainbow sounds better).
My tiles were being supplied by Olde English tiles, the wholesale company of the Victorian tile company Original Features.
They sent me their best tiler, Brian, from the Classic Victorian Tiling company, to get the job completed.
Let me tell you this. Brian was amazing and definitely the rainbow after the dark cloud.
It was nose down to get the job done from day one. He even spent a whole day making the ground more level.
He was professionalism with a capital ‘P’. The whole job took him only one week to complete.
There was no disruption to us at all. He never came in, stayed outdoors and got the work done.
He protected the tiles at the end of each day with wooden walkways and even had a special sign to tell people where to walk.
Placing Victorian tiles down, is not your average tiling job. It is a truly specialised job of patience and skill.
I watched how Brian painstakingly placed each piece down on the screeded concrete ground to create the desired pattern.
Each tile had to be an equal distance of 1 to 2 mm apart to achieve a uniform grout line.
As the Olde English tiles were natural clay products, there were the expected variations in their colours and sizes. So Brian would have had to mix tiles of the same colour from different boxes together to achieve an evenly distributed colour.
Once all the small pieces have been placed, then grouting took place.
Brian finished the job off on a Sunday when we were still indoors, unbeknown to me. He left it looking sparkling clean.
I was so sorry not to get a chance to say thank you to him, so this is a post to say so.
Another last word of advice, if you are thinking of placing tiles in your external walkway, do ensure that all external building works, painting and landscaping are done first.
The worst thing is to have your expensive tiles ruined right?
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the process. It’s not all plain sailing.
I’m so pleased with how amazing the tiles from Olde English Tiles and Original Features look. The quality is superb ( I’ll be talking more about this in my next post and the final reveal).
Have a wonderful day. x
( Victorian tiles were kindly supplied by Olde English Tiles)