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June 20, 2024

Good Old Days

by Geoff Flavell in Blogs

Flooring in Victorian Era

During the Victorian era, solid floors in homes were constructed using a variety of natural and durable materials, catering both to functional needs and aesthetic preferences.

1. Quarry Tiles and Ceramic Mosaic Tiles: These were primary choices for flooring due to their durability and versatility. Quarry tiles, made from natural clay, were shaped and fired to create hard-wearing tiles, commonly used in kitchens and service areas. Entrance hallways often featured ceramic mosaic tiles, small and colourful, arranged in intricate patterns to form visually charming designs. These mosaic tiles were not only decorative but practical, concealing dirt and wear in high-traffic areas.

2. Lime Mortar: Floors were typically set on a bed of lime mortar, a mixture of lime and sand, known for its slow curing process. Lime mortar is breathable, allowing moisture that penetrated the floors to evaporate, thus preventing damage from moisture accumulation.

3. Rubble Fill: Under the mortar layer, a base of rubble fill was common. This layer consisted of broken stones and bricks, providing a stable foundation and aiding moisture management by facilitating drainage and reducing the risk of dampness under the floor.

4. Flagstones: In addition to tiles, flagstones were used especially in utility spaces and external areas. These large, flat stones were also set in lime mortar, for their robustness and longevity.

5. Timber Floors: Victorian homes featured timber suspended floors typically to the front and middle rooms. These floors often had carpets or textiles, adding warmth and comfort to the interior spaces.

The combination of these materials and construction techniques highlights the Victorian era’s commitment to creating durable, functional pleasing living spaces. The use of breathable materials like lime mortar played an important role in managing the damp conditions common in the period, ensuring the structural integrity of the homes. The entrance hallways, often adorned with ceramic mosaic tiles, served as a testament to the era’s intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Each house is unique and it is important to continue the legacy of these former fittings. Ready to preserve your fixtures? Get in touch!
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