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Using Old Flat Roof Tiles as Bathroom Tiles

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  1. #1
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    Default Using Old Flat Roof Tiles as Bathroom Tiles

    yep.....CRAAAAAZEEEEEEE

    (remember that I am in Czech Republic)

    I have an idea to cut 120y.o.old, flat, terracotta tiles to make wall and floor tiles. They are naturally and beautifully discoloured and may even lend themselves to the creation of patterns (ie I will have blackened tiles and terracotta coloured tiles).

    I cannot find a scrap of information on the internet about this. This worries me that there is an extremely obvious reason why this is so stupid that nobody has even bothered to query it on the net.

    Before you begin typing:

    I KNOW THAT THEY ARE POROUS and that they will need to be sealed well - particularly in the bathroom/shower where I want to use them but are there any other considerations that I am missing?

    Thanks in advance.

    m
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  2. #2
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    It would be a waste of time here, lets face it our roof tiles come with feet hating knobbly bits. If they are flat, free of flaws (life threatening cracks) then there would be no reason why they couldn't be used. You have identified that they are porous but then so are the meriad of stone tiles available, and other than the shower area probably no great reason to seal them. Sounds like an affordable plan to recycle the old roof.

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    You have made me the happiest man in the world. Thank you.

    Makes you wonder, though, why nobody seems to have thought it/written it/done it. I mean, I am not exactly a genius.

    I will post pics over the coming weeks, I am off to buy a diamond wet saw.

    My intention, then is to:

    - select for flatness and colour
    - high-pressure hose
    - drop them all in bleach to kill stuff (will test to see if it discolours substantially the 'coloured' tiles)
    - cut and dry

    Cheers!
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

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    I would have thought that they would be to brittle to be used as a floor tile.!

  5. #5
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    Hi Jiggy,

    I had considered that and the floor tiles will be cut small to minimise breakage and the seating tiles will be mosaic fragments.

    cheers,

    m
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  6. #6
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    well.......my tiles are all cleaned and the diamond wet saw arrived today and works will although I would not call it a precision instrument (for AUD140 I gets what I pay for).

    I will send some pics soon but I have a few first time tiler issues.....

    1. The bathroom has one wall that is original and that has ensured that the room is not square. There is a 6cm difference between the far end and the door. I am throwing up (almost literally) whether to just do a brick pattern (which would be consistent with original brick flooring within the house) or do a border tile and then a brick pattern within that. Suggestions....comments...?

    2. Either way, as the cutter is not precise and given the wonkyness of the rest of the house, I am leaning towards simply making a guide line in the middle of the floor from the far end to the door to keep things from going completely crazy and then just cut the edge tiles to fit. Obviously, if I am doing a border tile, I will lay all the border first and then do the above. Unfortunately, I have mild dyscalculia (measure three times, cut five times.....which maybe why I am using such an abundant material) but fortunately, I have an excellent 'eye'. So the idea is that it will not be perfect but will look somewhat more original than being extraordinarily precise. Suggestions...comments...?

    3. Suggestions for grout colour with terracotta? I am leaning towards (but not where I threw up) a black or darker shade as the rest of the house (including the bathroom ceiling) is wood with black caulking between the planks. Suggestions...comments...?


    THIS will actually be the easy room. Once completed, I move onto the shower/steam room....22m2 floor, walls, ceiling...............aaaaarrrgggh......I will be mosaicing the ceiling and the bench seat and having to work out some sort of system that doesn't involve maths (I am only partially joking here) to cover everything else and not look as though the roof has just caved in.

    cheers,

    m
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  7. #7
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    I cut 80 x 150mm x 82.5mm. I get four tiles to the...um....tile.

    It looks LUVERLY.

    I did a dry lay and it is perfect...just what I wanted. May not be to everyone's taste but .....yum yum yum

    Pictures later.

    Oh and...as the tiles are not precise and just as imprecise after I cut them, I won't be using spacers as I will need the differing widths of grout as wriggle room to try to keep it somewhat straight. Fair enough?

    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

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    Sounds like a plan to me Matt, but then I also suffer from measurement failure. I am constantly amazed when one of my tradies asks me to measure and cut something. You would think after all this time they would have worked out this was not a good idea...

    Some pix would be good. And on the subject of borders ... I would avoid them as they will require a degree of precision by their very nature ...

  9. #9
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    Thanks BC. I have pics but am too tired to find the cable .......hopefully tomorrow. It will be raining here so I can't cut anymore tiles anyway.

    Cheers

    m
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

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    ...and one more question....

    I know that they will need to be well sealed because they are porous. I had planned to do that once they were all laid and the grouting had been done. My Czech friend has told me that I should dip them completely in sealant and dry them before laying. This makes some sense (although it will cost alot more) as I can imagine that the old tiles unsealed would pull alot of water out of the tile cement very quickly. Whadaya reckon?

    cheers
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  11. #11
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    Default photos.......

    the original roof tiles and soaking in strong bleach....scrubbing brush
    p7150017.jpgp7150018.jpgp7150015.jpgp7150016.jpgp7150019.jpgp7150020.jpgp7150021.jpg


    After cutting the tiles, a dry lay. Keep in mind that they need another wash and are not sealed yet.

    p7210042.jpgp7210043.jpgp7210040.jpgp7210041.jpg

    m
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  12. #12
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    [cough] bump [cough]
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  13. #13
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    ooops, sorry, dozed off there for a couple of days.

    They look fabulous! Love the tonal variation they achieve and the rich colour (which I presume will remain once they are sealed). Also like the pattern in which they are laid. Well done you. Though I would have thought cutting tiles was an ideal wet-weather occupation ... Surely you have a spare barn somewhere in that complex that you can set things up??

  14. #14
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    thanks BC

    there are MANY places but none where I have enough light.

    Cleaning these is a bugger once they are cut. Each tile needs to be thoroughly scrubbed under running water to remove all the dust/mud. This also raises another dilemma: my plan in the shower/steam room was/is to use mosaic pieces of the same material for both the ceiling and the bench chair. Anyone have any bright ideas about how to thoroughly wash these mosaic pieces? On the up side, they will not have been cut with a diamond wet saw but with tile snippers. On the downside, that don't really matter, they still have to be scrubbed. I tried just washing them and it is not enough.

    Hey people....if youse could have a go at answering my questions above soon, that would be appreciated. I know that this is a bit goofy and experimental but your guesses at the answers to the questions are going to be alot more sound than mine. On the basis of my guesses, I won't even start.

    In particular...I need to know quickly about whether they should all be sealed before laying (ie dunked for total all round sealing) or layed and then sealed. Laying them first would be much easier for me but I am worried that the unsealed underside will suck too much water out of the tile cement too quickly and cause problems.

    Thanks in advance.
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  15. #15
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    Question. Why clean after cutting? Why not clean nice big tiles, instead of teeny weeny ones?

    I agree, sealing all round would be my instinctive choice, simply because i have seen what happened to the plasterers when they tried to put a modern top coat onto my ancient unsealed plaster - sssshhhhhhhhhhhhluuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrp was the result. And the cracks are amazing (note to self, get on the phone to these cowboys and get them back to sort out their mess).

    So if it were me, (and bear in mind this is just my opinion based on nothing other than common sense), I would scrub them clean before cutting (which you seem to be doing anyway), then cutting, then dunking (probably in a dilute sealant mix?), drying, laying and then sealing thoroughly over the top.

  16. #16
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    Thanks again BC

    I thought like you until i used the diamond wet saw. Post cut, everything is covered in a slurry of terracotta mud that is difficult to shift quickly.

    In fact, I am now going to NOT clean before cutting as my post-cut cleaning should remove not only the slurry but the lichen (etc.) as well.

    Sometimes, as I found, logic is not as good as the real thing.
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  17. #17
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    Bother. I am all at sea when logic fails ...

  18. #18
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    hey.....keep the faith!

    I am all at sea when the tilers won't/can't respond....

    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  19. #19
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    hmmmm.......

    I would trust advice received on this forum more than from a commercial site but as everyone seems to be hibernating...this seems to answer many of my questions:

    Sealing & Maintenance - LIVING TERRACOTTA

    It does, however, include a withering array of products that I will not be using. I plan to use tung oil and turps and I am not sure what I am going to use over the finished, grouted, floor as a final sealant. Normally it would be a beeswax but I am not sure that it will survive the underfloor heating etc. in the two areas.
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  20. #20
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    THere is a spot of warmer weather coming up so maybe some of them will stir themselves into action. That site looks interesting, but as you say, a lot of products and words - not much to show what they are talking about though ...

  21. #21
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    Hi BC

    For the love of God.......

    On a couple of sites they say that terracotta tiles must be laid "on a flat bed of tile cement with a toothed trowel to ensure that there are no air bubbles underneath. Now, call me stupid but........how can the cement be flat if it is spread with a toothed trowel? Am I missing something?
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  22. #22
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    The toothed trowel will give you a flat surface as the teeth move through the mix and the top of the teeth is flat. Not sure how this eliminates air bubbles as there are gaps where-ever the teeth were. Getting back to the tiles ... It occurred to me that if you were to clean them and pre-seal them when they are big, then the slurry that comes from cutting them might wash off more readily once they are cut. Worth a try anyway ... Will go away if you are getting annoyed ...

  23. #23
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    yes, that was my point about the toothed and flat....I can achieve a flat bed with a flat trowel or a toothed bed with a toothed trowel but I can't achieve a flat bed with a toothed trowel.

    For the next tiling section I am going to try cut, scrub, seal so that I am not having to scrub twice....

    I would have thought that the tilers would have found this moderately interesting, given the material being used....oh well...
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  24. #24
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    This is a little bit of a repeated post but thought I should put the (near) finished photos here too for completeness.

    And thanks to all who helped.

    p7290030.jpgp9040045.jpgp9040048.jpg

    I am really happy with the result for a first tiling job with unusual material. One big mistake: I laid one of the tiles upside down . If you are on your hands and knees and you are searching for it, you will eventually find it. I only noticed because the grout clung a bit more to that tile. I think I will just leave it.
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

  25. #25
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    Looking blooming marvellous. As you say, pity the tilers were apparently uninterested. Perhaps you are too far away to be of potential client status ...

  26. #26
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    Thanks BC. I am quite chuffed with it as the overall look has exceeded my expectations and it has the feel of a good, strong, long-lasting surface. THANK GOD! It would have been a very expensive failure that would have involved destroying the water barrier and probably the underfloor heating as well.

    Total cost:
    30.00 grout
    40.00 tile cement
    20.00 silicon
    120.00 diamond wet saw

    TOTAL = 210.00 (but MANY hours)
    Yes, my questions are stupid! And just to confirm my stupidity, I am restoring a 120y.o. farmhouse in Czech Republic without great language skills and surrounded by people that make me look positively sober. This forum is my last chance for straight answers (if not sobriety). Be gentle with me. Cheers!

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