Old tiles

tilesI am cleaning old tiles, tomette, terracotta, cement tiles, glazed tiles, different seizes, tiles we found inbuilt in walls, on the floors we have to renew or simply on walls. All together, I already cleaned about 50 sqm.
It’s not an intellectual challenge, it’s physical. I feel every muscle in my arms, from my hands to my shoulders, it’s even hard to write on a keyboard after hours of cleaning.
My work place is an old wooden chest we found in the house, it’s perfect because it is even, I can perfectly lay down a tile with one side on the wooden frame and hammer away the 5-7 cm thick layers of plaster and/or gypsum with my chisel.
cleaned tilesSome people told me that I need to lay the tiles only in water for some hours and all the plaster and gypsum will be removed, but that’s not true. I tried it, put some tiles in a tub with water for a week. The water was a bit limy and the layer on the tiles got muddy which to remove was a big smearing.
While removing the layers of plastic, paper and cartons from the floors, we found some journals from 1964! I guess this is the younger part of the house, some terracotta tiles must be much older as they are handmade and look very old.
The only challenge I face is to stay motivated, to not throw all away, to bear the dust and smells of the last 70 years. Well, that’s a mental challenge 😉 However, I always remind myself how beautiful they will look when cleaned and laid on the new floors.
There is another effect: I can think about my intellectual work, e.g. about the methods and content for the e-commerce workshop I have to provide for the family business project end of March, or about this blog entry.

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Christine Graf


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