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Author Topic: That 'big project' I've been banging on about for a few years now....  (Read 32497 times)
James Harrison
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« Reply #275 on: June 04, 2020, 07:47:25 pm »



And another evening at it.  If you're wondering why progress seems so slow, it's because I limit myself to one hour an evening of hammering and banging.  Don't want to upset the neighbours. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #276 on: June 05, 2020, 05:49:38 pm »

I've popped a few more of the modern tiles up and the originals appear to go as far as the recessed doormat, just behind the front door.  I did think they'd have been robbed out to install this but intriguingly the pattern stops there too; that is, the red/black diamond pattern turns to just straight red.  I'm a little perplexed by this; perhaps there's a step, perhaps the tiles are themselves recessed for a mat, perhaps they've just been robbed out. 

Guess we'll find out when I work my way back there.
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Deimos
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« Reply #277 on: June 06, 2020, 02:50:17 am »

Press on! .....or rather more accurately: Pry off!   Grin
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James Harrison
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« Reply #278 on: June 06, 2020, 10:00:19 am »

Further progess.  All of the modern tiles are off (except those in the recess) and it appears that the recess is, in turn, set into a recess.  The original edging tiles carry on eithe side of it to the front door.  If that weren't enough, I had another go at the walls last night with a scraper and it appears that I've got a wall of original, or at least old, paint fron the front door back to the arch at the foot of the stairs. 

Plans for today then are to see if I can source a lead testing kit (If it is original 1900-and-something paint I'm reasonably sure it's either washable distemper or linseed oil paint, however if the wall has been replastered at some point between about 1920 and 1993 there's a likelihood it's lead paint). 

If it is lead paint it will of course have to be sealed in and covered over.  If it isn't lead paint, I'll carry on uncovering it, clean it up and see exactly what I have in terms of condition, area and colour / tone. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #279 on: June 07, 2020, 12:52:17 pm »

In some areas I'm now reaching a point of hammering and chiselling away for no real return, so a change of tactics is called for. 

Soap, water and a suitable scraping tool (I'm using a screwdriver)



This is in the wet state- in dry condition the colours are duller and more chalky (the water where I live is so 'hard' that it wouldn't surprise me to learn that at night it goes around mugging little old ladies). 

It's looking encouraging though. 
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #280 on: June 10, 2020, 12:07:49 am »

I know a thing or two about clay tiles and stone from a past lifetime; Given that the tile floor is in the interior of the house, and you have carpet next to it, I can't give you the advice of using muriatic acid to clean up the mortar. If the tiles were outside, that would make your life a lot easier. Also, you may not be able to restore any real shine to them because they're all scratched now. One thing that could help is a synthetic stone sealant (never use oil based sealant - ever!), which could bring back some color and a satin shine to them.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 12:12:15 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

James Harrison
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« Reply #281 on: June 10, 2020, 05:35:53 pm »

Good advice.  Another reason I couldn't use acid is the fumes and vapours- and my lungs are already poor enough as it is.  If I can't revive any shine to them, to my mind it's no great loss- it just adds to the patina.  They're 110+ years old after all, you'd expect some sort of aging. 
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Deimos
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« Reply #282 on: June 10, 2020, 06:24:48 pm »

If you had been considering replacing some of them, I'd just go whole hog and replace the entire hallway floor with the reclaimed/reproduction tiles that [you said previously] are available. That way you don't have to be concerned about matching the "worned" look of the original tiles. Yes, more expense, but sometimes it's the better way to go in the long run.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #283 on: June 10, 2020, 07:35:03 pm »

The only ones I'm planning to replace are those which have been robbed out.  So far it looks like I'll only need three or four, and that being the case it's cheaper to go to an architectural reclaimation yard and buy a few.  The modern reproductions I've found are slightly too small (4" square vs 4.25") and- although sourcing obviously new tiles is, speaking with my academically-qualifed architectural conservationist hat on, correct, I know the mortar-filled gap around the new tile would get on my nerves.   
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James Harrison
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« Reply #284 on: June 11, 2020, 08:18:06 pm »

I've reached the halfway point with clearing the mess.  7' 7" cleared from the foot of the staircase, 7' 2" to go to the front door.  It feels like I'm getting somewhere. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #285 on: June 13, 2020, 09:35:38 am »


Plans for today then are to see if I can source a lead testing kit (If it is original 1900-and-something paint I'm reasonably sure it's either washable distemper or linseed oil paint, however if the wall has been replastered at some point between about 1920 and 1993 there's a likelihood it's lead paint). 


Famous last words.  Lead paint in the hallway, lead paint in the dining room.  Luckily it's not flaking or chipping off, so- at the moment- it's safe, insofar as it can be safe.  What this does mean, of course, is that extra care will be needed when removing the wallpaper over it. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #286 on: June 14, 2020, 02:43:50 pm »

All mortar chiselled away, or at least as much of it as can be chiselled away.  The remainder is the stuff that's too small to be effectively got at, with the chisel at least.  Out with white vinegar, soapy water, putty knives and a brush and so on and so forth.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #287 on: June 14, 2020, 03:51:16 pm »

And- another element brought full circle- chiselling out the original recess for the doormat.  Which is larger than the one that replaced it- so a new mat is needed.  I've found somewhere that will not only produce the size I need, but offers an option to personalise it... (you can see where this is going).... so I've ordered one with 'Ventnor' printed on it as a nod to the original name of the terrace. 
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #288 on: June 15, 2020, 03:33:41 pm »

I like the sound of that (Ventnor) although ours would definitely have to say 'Abandon hope!'

Do you know if your terrace has any connection to the Isle of White, are there any other streets nearby with IoW inspired names?  Not that that means much as our road names are all Lake District related and there's no other connection.
But you know, Queen Victoria and Osborne House ...
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James Harrison
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« Reply #289 on: June 15, 2020, 07:11:18 pm »

To my knowledge, there are no local links with the Isle of Wight.  I guess someone just thought it was a pretty name.
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Madasasteamfish
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« Reply #290 on: June 15, 2020, 07:24:38 pm »

To my knowledge, there are no local links with the Isle of Wight.  I guess someone just thought it was a pretty name.

Well a quick google search suggests that Ventor potentially derives from the family name le Vyntener. It's entirely possible that a similarly named family was a major landowner in the area. Have a look around at local street and pub names as any pub named (blank) arm's usually refers whomsoever was to the local lord (many similar pubs near my parents refer to 'Leeds' as the Duke of Leeds was one of several nearby landowners).
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James Harrison
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« Reply #291 on: June 16, 2020, 07:44:54 pm »

Progress to date....



In the wet state.  When dry I'm anticipating there will just be a sheen of dusty mortar clinging on for final washing-down.  All told about 2/3 of the floor is now tolerably clear of mortar. 
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Deimos
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« Reply #292 on: June 16, 2020, 10:12:54 pm »

Classic harlequin....nice  Smiley
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James Harrison
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« Reply #293 on: June 18, 2020, 07:40:34 pm »

Apart from the dusty chalky residue that always seems to get left behind, the hallway floor is now totally cleared.  I'm in two minds about taking the skirting boards off, temporarily, to see what is going on at the edges of the floor (which would also allow me to clear out some of the gaps where tiles have come loose and gaps opened out with loose grout).  For tonight though I think a rest, as I've been on it for the better part of three weeks.   
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« Reply #294 on: June 19, 2020, 01:11:55 am »

It is interesting that the non-tiled gap near the door isn't centered (that would really annoy me). Do you think it was added before or after the tiles?

Sorontar
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Banfili
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« Reply #295 on: June 19, 2020, 01:33:44 am »

It is interesting that the non-tiled gap near the door isn't centered (that would really annoy me). Do you think it was added before or after the tiles?
Sorontar

It would annoy the bejasus out of me, but if you take the radiator into consideration, and you can see the gap nicely at the back end of the radiator, it is centred!

You are making great progress, James!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 01:38:33 am by Banfili » Logged
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« Reply #296 on: June 19, 2020, 08:01:40 am »

It is interesting that the non-tiled gap near the door isn't centered (that would really annoy me). Do you think it was added before or after the tiles?

Sorontar

It looks to me like it is centred to the door (which makes sense for a doormat recess) and the door isn't centred to the room.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #297 on: June 19, 2020, 05:19:15 pm »

You know, I hadn't noticed that!  (I put it down to usually scrabbling around on my hands and knees there and seeing only half of it at at time).  Oh well; it is what it is.

~Addendum~

The floor has about reached a point of diminishing returns.  I've:
-hammered 95% of the mortar off;
-scraped 95% of the remaining 5% off;
-washed it down to remove 95% of what was left after that;
-polished it to remove 95% of what still remained. 



And that is the result.  I reckon most of what's still on there will wear off given time, wear and cleaning.  Time for the next element of the hallway; remving layer upon layer of paint from the central heating pipes.  They're copper under the caked paint, you know....
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 07:27:28 pm by James Harrison » Logged
Banfili
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« Reply #298 on: June 19, 2020, 10:12:08 pm »

And looking very nice indeed, James!
Do you have one of those electric floor polishers with the stiff bristle pads, and the soft polishing pads - regular scrubbing and polishing with one of those might help over time - or did you do it all by hand?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 10:15:22 pm by Banfili » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #299 on: June 19, 2020, 10:21:49 pm »

And looking very nice indeed, James!
Do you have one of those electric floor polishers with the stiff bristle pads, and the soft polishing pads - regular scrubbing and polishing with one of those might help over time - or did you do it all by hand?

I concur. And as a conservationist would you consider the silicone sealant afterwards just to bring colour back a bit? You might not be able to get rid of every single bit, but isn't that part of the history now?
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