Sunday, 1 April 2018

Easter Tiling

I took a fortnight's break before Easter with the intention of tiling the walls and floors of Balintore Castle's kitchen wing. Sadly, the delivery of both sets of tiles were late so the floor tiles arrived with just 4 days of my holiday left, and the wall tiles will arrive on the very day I leave the castle.

It's very frustrating, but I have been trying to make the best of my remaining time, and
instead of celebrating Easter I have been tiling furiously - aided by my friend Andrew and my cousin Ann.

The choice of floor tile for the kitchen is an interesting one. I went for black riven slate as this is a natural material like the original flagstones. These flagstones have long since been removed but it would cost around £400 per square metre to replace. There is now underfloor heading taking up some of the original flagstone depth, so I had to go for something thinner which will also help with heat transfer. It is important that the kitchen still has the quality of a work space so rougher riven un-calibrated slates seemed the natural choice.


The downside of irregular slates soon became apparent, trying to align them vertically or even to get them to fit into a regular grid is a nightmare. Ann cut up a large cardboard box to form cardboard spacers: these have some "give" so worked better than plastic spacers which would have been inappropriate.

Anyhow, the picture below shows the almost completed kitchen tiling  - it is a large area! 


almost completed tiling in kitchen

While waiting for the tiles, I was able to seal the mahogany worktops that Gregor had constructed from fantastic quality mahogany shelving I bought at an architectural antiques auction in Manchester. Gregor has been concerned that his worktops would get stained or water-marked, so I sealed the worktops in the scullery and the kitchen that surround the various sinks. The seal was some kind of oil, that recommended being applied between 20 and 30 Celsius. That was not going to happen at Balintore: the puddles round the castle are still frozen! :-) Anyhow, I applied 2 coats as recommended and this has brought out the wood well.

You will see that the unit doors are the doors from the Nottingham Natural Museum that I got from an architectural yard in (guess where?) Nottingham. These feature in an earlier blog entry here.

sealed worktop in kitchen


sealed worktop in scullery

23 comments:

  1. Great job! If I were there I'd gladly lend a hand.

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  2. Amazing to see the new countertop and the coming tiles. I think they're a fantastic match. It looks like it's been that way forever.

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  3. Hi David, love reading your blog! A project like this would be a dream for me. We are fairly nearby and would love to come see the castle; it sounds like you aren't there at the moment but just thought I'd check. Do let us know if there'll be someone around and we could come see it sometime, we would really love to.
    Thanks!
    Chloe
    chloe.hequet@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Chloe, I've sent you an email about an opportunity to visit. Thanks for you comment, David

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  4. Those counter tops look great! And look perfect in the space

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    1. Glad you like the worktops. I would have preferred (expensive) iroko for its superior resistance to wear, but some cheap mahogany turned up and this is quite a hard wood in itself. Not sure how it will look after some years - fingers crossed.

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  5. Hi David, we’ve been past a view times and admired your project from the roadside, and blog of course.
    We are in a Monifieth and have a grey Marble Victorian fireplace we have removed from our ground floor flat in the old Bonar and Low villa, built in 1872.
    It might suit one of your rooms? I can send pics of it assembled (it’s current dis-assembled like a dinosaur skeleton :-), and it’s yours if you want it.
    Drop me an email pls.
    T.ferry@balmoral.co.uk
    Cheers,
    Tam & Sharon

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  6. Amazing work your doing David I’m sure it will looking amazing when finished I would love to come visit and take some photographs x Tracy - Dundee

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Tracy - get in touch when you want to visit. There is a guided tour at 11AM tomorrow (14/05/2018) so if you can make it, you are very welcome.

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    2. Unfortunately I’m working I’m out venturing today at some abandoned buildings

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  7. Great to see a update David, the floor looks great. Hope for some good weather this year to help move things forward

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  8. Hi David
    It was great to meet you on the Aberdeen/London sleeper recently, when we were prevented from sleeping! Having now seen pictures of your castle, I can now see why you are so passionate about it. I will now follow your blog and maybe come and see it one day.

    All the best of luck with the renovations this summer

    Ian

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    1. Hi Ian,

      I seem to have missed your message - apologies - only catching up now! That was a memorable and enjoyable evening (despite the circumstances) and one definitely makes a deeper human connection in times of adversity.

      Best wishes,

      David

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  9. HI David - How can I reach you? I am a TV producer in the US - can you email me your contact info? sinrod@gmail.com

    Thanks,

    Jay

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  10. Hello I am really impressed that you are restoring such a large and beautiful building! I would love to be able to take some external shots and possibly some drone footage. If that would be possible my email is gthomson2785@gmail.com I look forward to keeping up with this blog :)

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  11. David I’d love to speak to you about the castle and your project for an article - could you email me - I cannot find your email address! Isabella.mackie@gmail.com

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  12. This is absolutley one of my favourite castles and very much on my doorstep as i live only a few miles away. Despite this ive never been up close and would love to come visit if therevwould be an opportunity to do so

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    1. You can find me as MrBalintore on Facebook.

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  13. How could I get in touch with you to make arrangements for a visit?

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    1. You can find me as MrBalintore on Facebook.

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  14. You can find me as MrBalintore on Facebook.

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