17.5m2 - Early 20th century Perrusson floor with a rich patina

Totalling c.17.5m2 / 188 sq ft. an antique French ceramic floor manufactured by Perrusson Fils Desfontaines Ecuissesin the early twentieth century.

If you are looking for an ornate floor with a rich patina that immediately says ‘120 years old’ this is a candidate floor. Owing to the handmade production of each tile there is tonal variation apparent in the palette, evident in the high-resolution photos of a random section of the floor. Additionally, tile thickness is variable and in the case of a dozen or so tiles there has been an incident during their firing over a hundred year ago of the red hot coke exploding in the kiln and burning into the tile. We have shown examples of these in the photo gallery. 

The floor comprises of three separate 17cm sq field tiles with the central blue tile being the anchor. We have also shown that the floor can be laid in another way, excluding this blue field tile and using just two field tiles. There are a small number of same size border tiles available, some 34, insufficient to frame the floor but they could be used to top and tail the floor. Three photos of the floor, pre lifting from its original Burgundian home, close to Chalon-Sur-Saone, are also included in the gallery.

This is potentially a complex design and we would be happy, working from a sketch with key dimensions that you provide, to look without obligation at the best fit aesthetically in the room of your choice. We can also potentially take that to the next stage of producing a computerised floor plan.

Tile quantities:-

Blue floral field tiles – 102 tiles – 2.9m2 / 31 sq ft.
Field tile ‘A’ – 252 tiles – 7.3m2 / 78.5 sq ft.
Field tile ‘B’ – 215 tiles – 6.2m2 / 66.7 sq ft.
Large Borders
– 34 tiles plus 3 corner tiles – 1.1m2 / 11.8 sq ft or 6.3 linear metres / 20.6 linear feet.


Ceramiques Perrusson, Ecluses - A brief history...

Jean-Marie Perrusson was not only known for ceramic tile production but also for the production of bricks and roof tiles. Many of the lozenge themed terracotta mechanical tiles in Burgundy bear the Perrusson hallmark. He built his first brick making factory in 1860 and started mechanical tile production in 1863, to which he added a workshop for manufacturing ceramic tiles in 1875. Further expansion of the ceramic tile production in the Saône-et-Loire was initiated (in Saint-Julien-sur-Dheune in 1866, St. Pantaleon 1870), and even beyond the department (in Sancoins Cher in 1870 and Fontafié in Charente in 1878).

The company was renamed ‘Perrusson Fils et Desfontaines’ in 1890 and the factory also manufactured architectural ceramics and statues. In April 1960 the factory finally closed its doors. The vast majority of the original buildings constructed in 1890/1900 are destroyed with the offices, changing rooms of the factory, the concierge and the electrical workshop the only significant remnants of the site that can still be seen. We have included some photographs below of the factory both recently and from the period  of its peak.

The Perrusson factory employed 40 workers in 1860, 80 by 1874, 130 in 1890, 300 at its peak in 1900, 280 in 1930 and 130 during 1945 to 1950.


Tile size, thickness and tones
Antique tiles were most commonly made in single or two tile moulds. Before current computer automation methods their moulds were made my hand and the colour slips mixed by eye. Kiln temperatures could also be variable, as could the firing time. The result is that often tiles display subtle size and thickness variations and there can be tonal variations in colours, owing to the slip mixing and/or firing time. All of this makes these handmade tiles unique and adds to their charm. Some floors display their subtle variations in size and tones, some not, but when photographing we always take a random section of the floor so that it is representative of the whole. A tiler should always dry lay a section of the tiles to familiarise himself with them before starting to fix lay.

All of our floors go through rigorous quality control during the restoration process. We include tiles which have groutable small chips and edge nibbles, expected of tiles more than 100 years old , but include for free any rejects, which the tiler can then use for offcuts. The photographs in the gallery are of a c.1.5m2 / 16 sq ft.randomly taken sample of the larger floor and therefore representative of the whole floors condition and patina.

Can we help?
If you can provide a technical drawing, or a simple sketch with key dimensions, we are happy to assist in evaluating and recommending the best layout of the floor in your area of choice..

Ref Code:

CE265 CE270

Floor Size:

10m² - 20m²

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