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Period tile repair and restoration

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In the process of carrying out the conversion of a property in Bloomsbury Square London, and as a regular customer of Plastic Surgeon, a main damaged period tilecontractor decided it required the help of the company’s highly trained Finishers to restore three fireplaces which were to become centrepieces within the new apartments.

THE CHALLENGES

Damage to the fireplaces was extensive with numerous ceramic tiles missing from two of the century old surrounds, while the third – a piece of ornate marble masonry – was missing several large chunks of stone as well as numerous chips.

The main contractor, Quinn, was trying to keep the conversion work to schedule and did not want to incur the cost or disruption of installing replacements which, realistically, could only be found on the antiques market: making cosmetic repair the best option.

Given the extent of the restoration work required and the wide palette of heavy colours involved, Plastic Surgeon’s sales manager was initially unsure of success; plus the repairs had to be carried out in the context of a busy central London site with dozens of other tradespeople in close proximity.

HIGHLIGHTSperiod tile restoration

One of Plastic Surgeon’s most senior Finishers was allocated to the work along with a colleague from the London Region team to carry out the painstaking restoration. They employed Ultra-Premium filler to gradually rebuild the original profile of the three fireplaces, shaping the rapid hardening two-pack material with blades and other tools, then sanding it back again.

For the two tiled fireplaces, a cutter and steel rule were used to rout the grout lines before the Senor Finisher began painting and spraying in the colours; mainly using small quantities of System 200 tints.  Colours mixed included a rich brown, burgundy red and bronzy yellow, all given the final protection of System 20 lacquer.

Plastic Surgeon’s London Regional Operations Manager, Simon Stock, filled the role of client liaison for this project making periodic visits to the Bloomsbury site to check on progress; and to ensure the contractor and project consultants were content with both the methodology employed and such issues as Health & Safety.

KEY OUTCOMES FOR CLIENT

  • The restoration of the period fireplaces was successfully completed taking just over five days between the two operatives, making the outcome very cost period tiles repairedeffective for the main contractor.
  • Not only would obtaining suitable replacements have been very expensive and time-consuming, but part of the building’s heritage would have been lost.
  • Disruption to other trades was avoided and the programme kept on schedule.
  • Cosmetic repair offered a sustainable solution in avoiding waste to landfill and subsequent consumption of new resources.

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