Faience & Terra Cotta Stone

Acting as   Main Contractors on this £540,000 faience restoration contract at Ilford High Road London


Many of our cities faience buildings were constructed during the early part of the 20th Century. Owing to the necessity to fire the clay blocks with hollow cores (see fig 2), it evolved that the blocks were laid on site in this form and then filled with concrete or sometimes with ‘clinker concrete.’ The open sides to the hollow pots enabled infilling concrete to flow out and lock into the adjacent stones. This process  together with hard cement mortar joints, unfortunately ensured that many of the faience and terra cotta facades so constructed, were rigid and were intolerant to any movement between the blocks.

When stresses within the facade built up, the faience could not accommodate this movement and the blocks would crack. This allowed moisture to penetrate into the substrate. The faience having an impervious fired glaze surface and often a similarly hard mortar joint, did not allow any accumulated moisture within the substrate to pass back out. The retained moisture would accelerate the rate of corrosion to the steel.

Fig 1 & 2 shows where an L shaped faience tile is required. This has to be manufactured as a block in order to prevent it from twisting when fired. Once on site the tile is carefully cut from the clay body and fixed accordingly.

The faience block to the lower left photograph have been pre filled with concrete prior to fixing. Having cramped and tied the blocks the assembly is back filled with C40 concrete.

This faience project was carried out for Wallis Interiors

San Remo Towers Boscombe (Spanish Mission style) - built in 1930’s by American Architect Hector O’Hamilton specialist decorative faience replaced by London  Restoration
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