Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Restoration Resources: Victorian Fireplace Tile

One of the typical problems the average Victorian Homeowner faces is fireplace tile replacement. Normally its totally gone or replaced by Z-brick. Often all we have is the "bumpout" which may require finding a mantle and of course all new time on the floor in front and the back areas.

In the old days that meant scrounging salvage dealers hoping to eventually picked up enough tile to do a surround but often there were significant color differences and it never quite looked "authentic"
Fortunately several tile companies have sprang up in recent years to fill that void. Often duplicating original designs of long gone tile manufacturers. One such company is L'ESPERANCE Tile Works. http://www.lesperancetileworks.com/

In addition to a fine line of Fireplace tiles they also offer "subway tile" in varied colors for use in fireplaces, period kitchen backsplashes and bathrooms.


Linda Ellett said...

Thank you so much for featuring our work on your blog!! I'm thrilled to find someone with your enthusiasm and experience for such an important area of historic services.

I just read your blog from yesterday and I have an interesting antidote from your part of the world. We were just out in Columbus at the Ohio Research Library, doing research on the A.E.T. tile company. One of the first notebooks we looked at had a note attached that said "This page and the following notebook were found between the walls of an old house". It was a notebook full of clay and glazes from one of the Ohio potteries. So - if you happened to find any old glaze notebooks in your travels...please let us know!

However, one tiny correction on our company. There may be a number of other companies that have sprung up in the last few years...but we've been doing this work for over 31! And loving it! You can find our reproduction tiles in the Ohio State House and James Thurber Home.

Thanks again!
Linda Ellett
L'esperance Tile

Todd McFarland said...

Paul, do you know the term for that ever so common greenish rectangular tile around fireplaces. Is it called alligator tile or something?

Paul Wilham said...

Linda, please email me at victiques@gmail.com I have some documentary photgraphs of a house that is currently on the condemn list. It has a remarkable circa 1905 tile fireplace with some scenic tile. that I have not been able to document, This might be a tile worthy of reproduction. If you are interested drop me an email and I will send you the photos I have.