Needless-to-say, re-flooring Balintore is one of the most expensive parts of the restoration both in terms of material and labour. The positive aspect is that when reinstating stone floors, one can install underfloor heating and insulation.
As a temporary and unsatisfactory flooring solution, we had arranged the slabs and slab fragments lying around into as flat a surface as we could muster. Today, we lifted these slabs in preparation for the proper flooring solution. Some of these flags were partially de-laminated when we laid them, but on lifting these up (several winters down the line), they miraculously cleaved into intact sheets right in from of our eyes, much is the way slates are produced, but without any of the effort. So one slab, for example, split into 3 new slabs, each roughly a centimetre in depth. Hurrah, this means that we have extra new slabs with which to patch the existing floors. albeit with some extra support underneath required. Some of the original floor slabs at Balintore are 3 inches thick - no support required!
The new stone surfaces revealed by the splitting were not what one would have expected. They were dark and riven with a beautiful greenish hue. The photograph was taken obliquely to the light to show the surface texture. The stone floors in Balintore are currently flat and a light dusty grey, but now I realise the original colour and texture could have been very different. A similar argument applies to the stone the castle was built from. It looks a purple-brown colour now, but originally before oxidation it was a mid grey. This become apparent to me one day, when I saw some stone, internal to a block, revealed. So when first built, the castle was a very different colour.
|newly split surface of stone stab : emerald and riven|