I have a firplace dating from around 1880 which has a nice wooden mantel and
surround, but the inner part needs replacing as its tiles (it is fully tiled
inside the surround) are in a poor state. Is there anywhere I can buy a
readymade insert to replace it? Or anywhere that does them made to measure?
I could get it retiled I suppose - do you have to get special heat resistant
I am not certain whether the existing tiles are original or not.
Any architectural salvage yard will have a selection of tiles, odd
tiles that might repair a set you already have, and cast iron
If you want something more unusual, a smith who fabricates
architectural steelwork can build you a fireplace however you might
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
This dosnt sound much like a Victorian fire place to me - fully tiled
fireplaces as you describe started to appear in the Arts & Crafts movement
1920 and remained popular through till the 70s. Most Victorian fireplaces
were made of cast iron. Some had tiles down each side (around 5 per side)
some did not. Have you got a pic ?
The tiles in a Victorian cast iron fire place can be easily changed and
original tiles are readily availiable from antique shops and reclamation
yards. Modern repros are also availiable but will cost just as much so may
as well go for proper ones IMO.
With the cast iron insert removed youll see that the tiles are held in place
usually by a sort of cast iron frame which attaches to the insert and some
lime based mortar of some description. The frame bit may have rotted away
it seems to be one of the first things to go. The new tiles can be
"cemented" in place using bonding plaster.
Cast iron inserts are availiable in antique shops and reclamation yards -
expect to pay around 350GBP for a cast iron insert and around 70GBP for the
It is NOT fully tiled - the mantel and sides are very nice wood. As I said,
it is the insert I am talking about. there is no iron, it is just tiled. I
wonder if the insert tiling was done in the 20s or 30s or later???
I thought tiles in cast iron was an Edwardian thing not Victorian. My house
is about 1880.
Thanks for the help so far, guys. I'll try to get a photo.
Fully tiled inserts were a 20th century thing - im sure. Tiles in cast iron
were a Victorian thing but did continue into Edwardian era. Later ones
tended to have simpler desings on the tiles (or sometimes just a plain
colured tile). Have a look at this link, theres a few styles available
Just cos your house is 1880 dosnt mean that previous occupants didnt succome
to the latest craze and rip out the original fireplace. One of ours in our
1850's house was a 1960's/70's tiled fireplace.
Still like to see a piccie.
Thanks for that web site Andy - I've done a bit of research and I reckon
they kept the wooden surrounds and replaced the cast iron middles with
(twenties?) Arts & Crafts style tyling. I might try and sell the inserts and
restore them to Victorian cast iron varieties - I'll keep the surrounds
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