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Minton Condition Course

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'Minton Condition' - The Care & COnservation of Historic Tiled Floors

By Ian Simpson, Heritage Officer, Diocese of Liverpool

Published in: Services
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Minton Condition Course

  1. 1. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy “MINTON CONDITION” The Care and Conservation of Historic Tiled Floors 30th April, 2019 1
  2. 2. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Welcome to Christ Church Housekeeping Considerations: toilet, fire alarm, etc. This event is part of a series connected with the 2018-9 Repair & Conservation project generously supported by the National Lottery. Brief history of the Church. 2
  3. 3. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Historic Tiled Floors Not just for walking on – an important part of the overall significance of a historic building.
  4. 4. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Medieval Tiles 4 Designs painted or glazed on. Colour matching inaccuracies due to lack of temperature control when fired.
  5. 5. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Medieval Tiles 5 Well-preserved Medieval tiled floors are a rarity. This one is at Tong, St. Bartholomew, in Shropshire.
  6. 6. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Plain Geometric Tiles 6 Can be combined in an infinite variety of patterns, e.g. at Wavertree, St. Bridget with St. Thomas.
  7. 7. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Plain Geometric Tiles Colour is often a function of the firing temperature: Black Highest Red Buff Yellow Lowest This means buff and yellow tiles are softer than reds and blacks – so they wear out at different rates. 7
  8. 8. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Encaustic Tiles Pattern is made by filling channels in the clay with clay of another colour (approx. 2mm deep). “Encaustic” is a misnomer – the patterns are not “burned in”. 8
  9. 9. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Combinations of Plain and Encaustic Tiles 9 Toxteth Park, Christ Church.
  10. 10. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Perhaps the Most Famous Tiled Floor…. St. George’s Hall Ballroom, Liverpool – the Minton Floor is usually hidden under a wooden floor to protect it.
  11. 11. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Mosaic Floors 11 Waterloo, St. Mary the Virgin (Merseyside) – this lovely floor faces an uncertain future since the church closed in 2017.
  12. 12. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Inlaid Marble Floor 12 Toxteth Park, St. Agnes & St. Pancras – Marble Chancel Floor.
  13. 13. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Inlaid Marble Floor 13 Bergamo Cathedral
  14. 14. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Floor Defects: 1) Rising / Broken Tiles 14 For years this was believed to be the result of subsidence and heave, but in 2017 the real cause was discovered…
  15. 15. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Floor Defects: 1) Rising / Broken Tiles 15 The wood block floor had expanded over time due to saturation from rising groundwater.
  16. 16. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy 16 Floor Defects: 2) Sinking Tiles Caused by substrate failure.
  17. 17. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Floor Defects: 3) Tile Edge Breakdown 17 Sometimes due to flaws in the manufacturing process tile edges are softer than the centre. Can also be due to compression.
  18. 18. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Floor Defects: 4) Efflorescence 18 Whitish salt deposits left behind as water evaporates.
  19. 19. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Floor Defects: 5) Tile Fade 19 Glaze worn off over the years through wear-and-tear. Can affect plain tiles and patterned encaustics.
  20. 20. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Floor Defects: 6) Organic Agents 20 Tile surfaces degraded by years of exposure to highly- acidic bat droppings.
  21. 21. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Repairs to Historic Tiled Floors 21 To replace or not to replace? That is the question!
  22. 22. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Historic Tiled Floor Care – Golden Rules 22 1. Use the MINIMUM NECESSARY amount of water when cleaning. 2. Use DEIONISED WATER if possible. 3. If you have to use detergent, use a pH NEUTRAL one (and as little as possible!) 4. NEVER varnish the tiles. 5. If in doubt about a chemical or treatment: If it didn’t exist when the floor was made DON’T USE IT!
  23. 23. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Lunch Break 23 Please join us for a bowl of wholesome vegetarian soup and a roll or two. There will be a short (optional) tour of Christ Church after lunch.
  24. 24. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Practical Session 24 1) A walk-round discussion of the tiled floors (quarry tiled, decorative and marble) at Christ Church. 2) Cleaning a section of tiled floor in the north-east porch. Gloves are provided, as are (optional) kneelers. Remember: Use the MINIMUM amount of water necessary! Ingrained dirt, etc., means there is a limit to what we can achieve. This is about achieving a reasonably clean finish, not restoring the floor to its sparkling new condition!
  25. 25. IAN SIMPSON Heritage & Conservation Consultancy Contact Details Telephone: 0791 643 5395 Email: ian@iansimpson.eu Website: http://www.iansimpson.eu Twitter: @TigerSimmo (personal views only) Please do not forget to fill in the Evaluation Forms – the HLF needs this information! 25

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