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Hi All

I bought my BISF house in Bath in December and I’m slowly getting to grips with the renovations required to make it comfortable to live in – finally got my radiators and hot water in this week, woohoo!
I’m getting professionals to do all the crucial work, but really want to do some of the more decorative work myself. I’m particularly eager to revive the parquet tiles in the living/dining room that have been painted over at some point in the past. However, I’m struggling to source replacement tiles for the areas where they have been too damaged to save, and the area around the old fireplace which now has a big concrete space I’d like to fill in to match.
The tiles are 280mm x 56mm (seems to be a non-standard size – I’m starting to see a pattern with BISF houses: all the same but non-standard! 🙂 ).

Does anyone know of and reclamation yards or vendors who can provide me with the replacement tiles I’ll need to make good approx. 2 to 3 m2 of the parquet flooring?

Or does anyone who has done something similar with their flooring have any recommendations for me?

Thanks
Heather

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Hi Marc and Ed

Thanks for the responses and particularly the pictures, I’m more eager than ever to see what can be made of my floor. I’ve spoken to some people regarding removing the paint and sanding down the tiles, and it is seeming to be quite a huge undertaking, so i’m going to try a little at a time, to see if its worth doing. At the moment I have no real idea of what is under the paint! I’ll try and upload some pictures of the floor as it is now, and let you know how I go.

Ed, I’ve had the mantle and gas fire / baxi boiler removed already, although the concrete structure that holds the chimney flue up is still in situ as it’s too big a job to remove it at present – I’ll be looking to box it in soon. It does leave quite a hole in the floor, but your idea of filling in with something totally different is a good one, I may look at doing that instead of trying to match the parquet tiles, I’ll let you know what I decide, and whether I can find any replacement tiles anywhere.

Regards

Heather

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Just measured mine and they are 11 x 2.5 inches, though more variable than I would have expected! I’ve given the dimensions in old money rather than mm because given their age I’m sure that will be the true size.

Ed

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Hi Heather and Marc, I tried posting last night before your reply but it hasn’t saved it seems so I’ll repost what I wrote before and add a bit later.

I believe the parquet floors are unique to Bath, or at least some BISF houses in Bath as no-one has reported them from elsewhere. I have restored mine and am very pleased with it. It was not painted just very dirty and underneath carpet – didn’t know it was there till we moved in!

We scrubbed it down with white spirit (quite laborious and plenty of splinters) then put some floor oil from Toolstation on it. It’s by no means a perfect surface, but I don’t expect a floor of that age to be.

Our neighbours sanded theirs down and that came up well too. The colour is different – ours is quite a deep orange/red chestnut brown and theirs is much lighter from sanding (though you could stain it). That is probably what you’ll need to do if it is painted. You need the right type of sander (can’t remember which, but not the one for floorboards), that does not lift the blocks. Avon Tool Hire at Brassmill Lane could probably help.

I can’t really help you with the missing blocks at the moment as it is not something I have looked into yet. They are probably not unique to BISF houses, like the internal doors which were used in all types of council housing around that time. If you search for 1940s parquet or 1950s parquet you may find some. Ebay perhaps? The doors are always listed there so maybe the parquet might. I thought of maybe using something completely different to fill in the gap when I take out the fireplace rather than filling it with something that doesn’t quite match. If I find any I’ll let you know and I’d also be interested in some if you find some too!

Ed

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Here’s a few more that Ed posted during his renovation process. I can’t believe that its not far off three years since we were discussing his flooring. How time flies!Parquet flooring

Parquet flooring 2

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Here’s Ed’s original flooring image from the archives.Eds floor 2012

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Hi Heather
Great to hear that your house is coming along and that you plan to keep some of the original features including the flooring.
Ed, one of the senior members here has also retained his original parquet floor and I must say it looks fantastic in his home and is well worth keeping and nurturing back to its original beauty.

As for sourcing replacement tiles, that could prove a little tricky because the sizes did vary from house to house depending on which contractor was used to install the original floor.

It would be very interesting to find out if Eds tiles are the same or of a similar dimension to your tiles. I hope Ed may come along and add to your question because unlike me, he does have some experience here.

Generally though, when trying to match parquet tiles it can sometimes be easier to purchase oversize reclaimed tiles from a reclamation yard and have them cut down to size to match your own providing the wood is similar. You will also need to find out if yours are hardwood or softwood and identify the wood type too, i.e Oak, Teak, Maple etc and establish if it is hard or softwood.

Try uploading a photo if you can.

The hardest part though is trying to match the thickness as this can vary from 1/2″ up to 1 1/2″ in depth.

I think that once the wood is identified and a suitable over-sized matching species of tile is found of a similar thickness you should be good to go as getting them cut to size is probably the easiest part.

I recall Ed posting some images of his floor a good while back and I will see if I can find a link for you but as it was on a post from the early days of the website, it may take me a little while to locate it.

I hope this helps and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Regards

Marc

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