1881 - 1908 - Impressive, large 32m2 handmade Boch Freres ceramic

A large, rare and impressive handmade French ceramic totalling some 32m2 / 345 sq ft., now over 115 years old.

The floor consists of a principal fern themed field tile, opening in a four tile tessellation, an internal same size framing tile with its junction tile and a three series border lay, including a duplicate lay of a lattice themed half size border.

The floor was manufactured by Ceramiques Carrelages Boch Freres, Maubeuge (NORD) between 1881 and 1908 as it appears in both of those original Boch Freres catalogues in our possession. Scans of the presentation of the tiles from their period catalogues are included in the photo gallery.

The floor has restored beautifully; this is a quality, heavy ceramic from a heritage award winning tile producer.

Total surface area - 32m2 / 345 sq ft

Country of Origin - France

Manufacturer - Carrelages Céramiques Boch Freres, Maubeuge (NORD)

Dating - 1908

Tile size - 17cm / 6.7 inches with 17.2cm x 8.6cm half size borders

Tile thickness - +/- 16mm / 0.55 inch

Weight per tile - +/- 1,400g / 49 ounces

Border lay - Two same size borders framed by a duplicate lay of half size borders

Border corner tiles - See below

Underfloor heating systems - Yes

Indoor / Outdoor application - Both


Tile quantities:-

Field tiles - 341 - 9.85m2 / 106 sq ft. (plus 34 half tile triangles)

Internal frame junction tiles - 113 - 3.27m2 / 35.2 sq ft. (plus 15 half tile triangles)

Internal frame and large border tiles - 416* - 12m2 / 129 sq ft. (plus 12 half tile triangles).

*Corner tiles need to be mitre cut.

Large plain borders - 100 plus 4 corner tiles - 2.94m2 / 31.6 sq ft. or 17.7 linear metres / 58 linear ft.

Half size border tiles - 206 plus 8 corners 3m2 / 32.3 sq ft. or 35.4 linear metres / 116 linear ft.


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..

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