I'm performing maintenance on an old structure (70+ years old).
This structure has a type of tile I've never seen before. The idea
I have for sealing the outside is to apply something like plaster
or stucco to the outside to seal places where wasps enter the tile,
etc. The tile has mortar between the tile. I'm not looking for
something that adds structural strength (reinforcement) to the tile,
but it's a nice bonus. I'm guessing to trowel the mixture on to the
exterior walls (14' high?), wait for the mixture to cure, then use
something like a Wagner sprayer to paint it all white.
What I don't know is:
- what material to use
- is this a good idea
- is there some other approach I should consider
Are you talking about ceramic tile? If so, how thick is it, what is it on
and where are the wasps going? Also if so, it would seem more logical to
fix any deteriorated grout (which would be about the only place wasps could
enter). You wouldn't be able to just slather some cementatious material
over ceramic tile without first attaching lath.
Without further info, I would say it is a terrible idea.
Brick veneer? if so, I suppose - suppose, don't know - that you could
stucco over that assuming it is well bonded to whatever it is on. It would
still make more sense to fix the grout joints IMO, YMMV.
Step #1, ask a mason.
Any chance that you could post a photo or two using a site like
http://tinypic.com-- maybe a wide angle shot and a close up shot?
It is hard to tell what you have there now from what you have written so
far. And, without really knowing what is there now, it would be hard to
suggest what will or will not work for what you want to achieve.
This sounds like the standard construction method we saw in Germany.
They called it tile, but it was sort of a huge red brick, like half of a cinder block, basically cube shaped. Rather than a couple of big holes in the center, these had smaller flat channels.
They were laid up like you would with concrete block, then commonly plastered on the interior walls and stuccoed on the exterior. That gave perfect control of infiltration, there is no better way to seal a wall than plaster.
To run electrical you'd rout a channel and then plaster over.
I own a property that I think has the same as what you are describing , or
is something similar. It is in the U.S.A., in New Jersey. I call it
terracotta, but I don't know what the correct name is. It is a side-by-side
twin home -- I own the house on one side and someone else owns the house on
the other side.
All of the exterior walls and the party wall are made of these "terracotta"
blocks that are stacked on top of each other with mortar in between. The
exterior of the house is stucco right over the "terracotta" blocks. And the
interior walls are plaster -- a rough coat and then a finish coat -- applied
directly to the "terracotta" blocks.
Here is a photo from the inside of the party wall that divides the two
The photo is of a chimney in the center, and then on either side of the
chimney is the "terracotta" party wall. In this one area, there are some
wood studs to frame out that area around the chimney, but in the rest of the
house there is no wood framing. And, in this photo, the blue paint and the
old flowery wallpaper are on top of the plaster wall that is plastered
directly onto the "terracotta".
Thanks. I was curious if what I have is similar to what you have seen in
In my house, the exterior walls and the party wall between the two homes do
not allow any infiltration. But, I am not sure how energy efficient they
are since they seem to conduct heat rather than prevent heat flow the way
that ordinary insulation does. I don't know much about any of that, so it's
just a guess on my part. And, as you mentioned, the solid
brick/"terracotta"(?) walls make running wires and plumbing difficult.
I am getting ready to do a complete rehab and a new floor plan layout in my
house. At this point, the house has been completely gutted, all of the
interior walls have been removed, and all of the plumbing and electric has
been removed except for the plumbing drain stack. There is a new electric
service panel. My plan is to frame out all of the exterior walls and the
party wall with 2x4's adjacent to the original brick/"terracotta" walls. I
will be insulating the framed out walls and also using the framed walls to
run plumbing and electric within the new walls. I will also be doing all
new "frame out" windows by removing the original windows, window frames, and
interior window trim. The original heating system was hot water cast iron
radiator heat which included a lot of large cooper pipes in the basement.
Criminals kindly broke in while the house was vacant and stole all of the
copper plumbing which now means I have an option of either keeping the
original cast iron heating (by replacing pipes etc) or going with an all new
natural gas central HVAC system. I'll probably do the central HVAC at this
On Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:29:00 AM UTC-4, TomR wrote:
Plumbing is difficult, electrical not so much.
They just rout a channel in the plaster, slap in the wires, and plaster ove
r. Sort of like invisible surface mount.
The nice thing is they had an absolute convention on where to run wires. W
ires ALWAYS ran vertically from an outlet, and were never anywhere else, so
if you needed to drill a wall you could be 100% sure not to hit one. (or
horizontally - but always straight)
Of course, we knew people who ignored that and put a nail through a wire, b
ut there's always that 5% who didn't get the memo.
This is the first time I've used tinypic and somehow have the images
upside down. Sorry about that. Here are the links of the tile:
I don't know if the tile is ceramic. I'm calling it "tile", but I
don't know if that's what it is. It's not a "normal" Acme brick.
Thanks for the photos. That really helps. They basically look like the
same type of "terracotta"-type brick that I have in a house that I own in
New Jersey. And, I think that they probably look like what "TimR" (no
relation) wrote about that he has seen in Germany. I call them "terracotta"
but I don't know what the real name is.
One note about your photos: When I click on each photo, I see a link in the
lower left corner that says, "View Raw Image". When I click on the "View
Raw Image" link, the photo appears right side up. I don't know why, but it
works for me.
I am almost certain that you can just apply stucco directly to the surface
of these "terracotta" bricks. I don't think you would need to add any kind
of wire mesh etc. first to do the stucco. But, I don't know for sure and
you should ask a stucco or masonry person in your area to be sure. I am
pretty sure that the stucco on the exterior of my house is applied directly
to the bricks on the exterior -- but I haven't checked. On the interior of
my house, I do know that rough coat plaster is applied directly to the
"terracotta" bricks with no wire mesh, and then a finish coat of plaster is
applied over that.
Now that I am curious, I'll have to do some Google searching to see if I can
find out more.
P.S. I would say that what you have is definitely not ceramic tile and I
wouldn't use the term "tile" at all to describe them. To me, they are some
type of hollow brick or block, but I don't know what they are called.
Interesting, I just noticed on the website above that it says,
"Structural Terra Cotta" by Bill Kibbel
"Also known as hollow structural tile, hollow tile block, hollow building
tile, structural clay tile and structural clay load-bearing wall tile."
So, I guess that people do call it "tile" in one form or another. That's a
new one for me.
And, I just noticed that the website also says,
"The grooves, or ribbing, is on four sides of the "shell" to help mortar,
plaster and stucco adhere to the surface. When used above grade, the
interior has plaster directly applied and the exterior is often coated with
stucco. These are not vitrified or glazed. If exposed to the weather, they
Portland cement & sand. Easiest if you just buy bags of pre-mixed
If you just want a thin coat (stucco usually winds up around 5/8 thick) you
might consider thinset mortar. I wanted to plaster over a block garden wall
a few years ago and used it because I find it much easier to apply than
regular stucco mortar.
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