Last summer we started restoring our guest bedroom and after one of the first steps – removing our laminate flooring – we were lucky to find some original period hearth tiles. As with everything in this house, they were covered in layers of gunky paint, but after a bit of stripping, we were amazed to find these lovely tiles!
Whilst they are lovely, some of them are sadly in a bad condition. We’ve of course been scouring our local antique and reclamation centres, but with thousands of different designs, it’s pretty much impossible to find the exact missing ones.
Not one to give up lightly, we eventually managed to find a solution and managed to find a company that prints onto tiles. Here’s the result.
Obviously, as the image is only printed onto the tile there isn’t any texture to it like on the original, but other than that it’s a pretty good match!
We thought replacing the tiles would be fairly straightforward, but as usual, when we think a project will be quick and easy it turns out to be the opposite.
Luckily the broken tiles were easy to remove just with a hammer and chisel, but at some point, a thick stone slab had been added to the back of the insert so that the new tiles wouldn’t fit into the opening as easily as imagined.
Being too scared to cut the new tiles (they were too expensive to mess up), we decided that cutting the stone slab would be a better option.
After chiselling away the corners of the slab the rest was straightforward. First of all, we gave the existing tiles a good clean (by covering them in a stripping solution to remove any last bits of dirt and paint) and then just glued down the tiles and grouted between them.
And this is what it looks like now.
If you look closely, you can of course tell the difference between the new and old tiles – mainly because the new ones are cleaner and shinier – but from a distance, you’d almost never know.
Have you ever discovered any hidden period features in your home? Have you ever replaced any tiles?