Something Old? Something New? Something Broken.

This weekend I tiled the fireplace hearth. We removed this old gas heater which was bolted to the tiled hearth.

I spent ages lifting the 100-year-old tiles from the hearth, the tiles came up easy enough it was as if they were just placed there and not even cemented in, but the condition in which they were in was sad. I think dust and grime were the only things holding the tiles together, some just turned to dust. I was left with this…

…and a box of broken tile…

…and a very small pile of tiles that had survived 100 years.

I had hoped to find some tiles to match in with the old but after a bit of research I found it unlikely the old tiles were very thick and modern tiles are very thin the only thing that had the same thickness were outdoor pavers!

So this left me with two choices

  1. Put all new tile down. This option would be easy for me who has never tiled before, I could do a simple pattern and the tiles being new would all be the same shape and size likely giving me a much neater end product. Cons– I would have to throw out the old tiles, it would cost more.
  2. Create a pattern with old tile and use broken ones in a mosaic style. This second option ment that I could keep it as close to the original as possible, I wouldn’t have to find tiles to match the fireplaces register and it would cost me nothing. Cons- It would be harder to tile and the end result could look like a bad craft project!

After all this back and forth internalizing I went for option…drum roll please! 

Option 2, use old tiles.

The job is not complete yet, I’m waiting the 24 hours for the grout to dry so the register can be put in place and then the fireplace surround reattached.

Here is a while in progress photo…To tell you the truth I was worried at this point it did not look to good with all that grout everywhere! Then with a wet sponge I started to wash the grout away revealing the tiles and I knew I had made the right choice, the old tiles just seem to work.


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