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