Victorian Tiling Company Were Tiling
qest craft scholar for Victorian Tiling

Path Tiling

Outdoor Path Tiling across Scotland and the North of England.

In Glasgow, Newcastle and so many other cities across Scotland and England that feature original sandstone homes, when early spring hits, many residents with a garden or outdoor balcony/roof terrace begin thinking about finally getting their garden spruced up. And that can often mean the front path that leads to the house.

So many original Victorian & Georgian homes once featured a tiled pathway which sadly is no longer the case.  Over the decades, these beautiful outdoor tiled features have been cracked, ripped up, paved over or worse.  But now, the demand for period conservation tiling work for homes front path tiling has returned.

We are Were, tiling experts specialising in Victorian Mosaic tiling for the likes of hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms, vestibules, conservatories and of course front (and rear) path tiling.

If you have dreamed of having a new outdoor path tiled with a beautiful mosaic patterned design to it then Were Tiling are just a phone call away.

There are of course a few things to think about when it comes to outdoor patio tiling:

What is involved in path tiling?

As with all historic floors the problems come from the substrate supporting the tiles in one form or another. It can be the structural movement of the building, movement from supporting joists or floorboards, or damp and water ingress into the substrate or wood. In the main it comes from the fact that the mortar beds were put directly onto floorboards and across joists and not overboard as is common practice today. Over the last 100 years the substrate has moved because of the settlement of the building, the wooden joists and floorboards expand and contracts over time and that movement leads the Mortar bed to move and crack and then tiles become damaged, chipped or cracked.

With any conservation project, we start by removing the tiles from the damaged area so we can analyse the substrate. All substrates from this era were poured in a few stages, much in the same was they were in Greek and Roman Times. With a Statumen, Rudus, Nucleus and setting bed, these are Roman Terms that have been found in architectural books of the classical era. The Statumen is a bedding of fist sized stones or slabs, followed by a rudus, which is a mix of rubble and lime or sand cement beaten solid to a thickness of around 9 inches. Then the upper layers, a finer mortar mixed with three parts of crushed tiles, slate, ceramic and brick, again mixed with lime or sand cement. Then lastly, the setting bed, this is often various depths and this is usually where the two layers become detached from the each other.

When analysing historic floors, sometimes only the setting bet is damaged, which requires much less work. The layer is removed to the point that the substrate is solid and stable. From this point, the original mortar bed needs to be moisturised, with a mix of water and SBR, so a new setting bed can be poured and bind to the original Mortar.

In other buildings the movement may have cracked right down through to the Statumen, to the original boards. In this instance the Mortar bed needs to be removed entirely. Then over boarded with cement board, and a new mortar bed installed. This will allow slightly more flexibility if more movement occurs. Putting another layer of protection between the structure and the tile. Although it is every unlikely the same amount of structural movement will occur again, as with any new building most of the settlement occurs during the first few years after the building is finished.

Once a new setting bed is installed the area can be re-tiled, using the original floor tiles combined with reclaimed historic tiles and where reclaimed colour matches cant be found we will use reproduction geometric tiles from Winklemens or Craven Dunnills. Then the cleaning can commence.

We do all our cleaning with a combination of Machine and hand cleaning. Using specialist floor machines, combined with diamond cleaning pads that only require water, although we do occasionally use cleaning products depending on the state of the floor. Once the floor has been stripped and cleaning. The floor is left to dry for 7 to 14 days. This is to let the base dry out and any efflorescence (salts) come to the surface of the floor. Once the base is dry we return to colour intensify and seal the floor. This can be burnished with either a Matt finish, which leaves the floor in a more natural state. Or we can seal the floor in a wax coating. This is a more traditional way the floors were probably originally finished, although this finish does require more maintenance.

What Our Customers Say

Brian from Newcastle

We were replacing a carpet in our hall and discovered the original Victorian tiling was still there. Andrew came to our home, looked at the tiling and gave us a quote with no hassle. His attention to detail and careful and methodical approach are clear in the end results. We are so delighted with the work that he has done. We never thought about having a tiled hallway but we are more than delighted with the results and it has increased the value of our home considerably.

Andy from Glasgow

We were looking for our Storm Door area and hallway to have a matching contemporary geometric tile design to them. We want a modern take that worked with our period Victorian home. Andrew was one of three tilers we call. He was the only one who took any measurements and really looked at the set up that we wanted. We went Were because they seemed to know what they were talking about and we were impressed with their detailed quote breakdown. It meant we knew exactly what to expect. And the end result - we could not be more happy with the end results. Our hallway looks better than ever.