Transforming a tired garden path

Transforming a tired garden path

If there was one thing the Victorians knew how to do well, it was their tiled paths. There is something so hypnotising about the geometric patterns that always lure me into taking a sneaky snap of my feet on top of them, I wonder what the Victorians would have thought of this madness?

Being an Edwardian House it would have been more in keeping for us to create a typical black and white chequered tile effect but we fell in love with the more vibrant style of tile.

We deliberated over tiling our path for months, it seemed such a massive expense for something that ultimately was not a necessity and was purely for our (and anyone who walked by) aesthetic pleasure. We had found the tile we loved but had worked out it was going to cost around £600 and for ages we couldn’t justify it.

After posting a photograph of the tiles we loved on Instagram, some kind followers commented they had seen these tiles elsewhere for cheaper. We checked it out and indeed found a much cheaper price for the same tile over at Best Tile. After ordering samples though we found colour variation among the border tiles and the main tiles. Best Tiles explained that this was common between batches and would possibly be that way wherever we purchased from. They said we could return the tiles if we were not happy but as they were based in Belfast; this would be at a large cost. It just wasn’t worth the risk for us.

A few weeks later we saw an advert that Topps Tiles had a half price sale on and as this was originally where we saw our dream tiles we checked their site assuming they would NEVER be in the sale…. they bloody well were!! HALF PRICE. We already had worked out how many tiles we needed and purchased on the spot.

The process…

Choose a couple of days to do this when the weather forecast is good (we did it over a dry weekend in October).

If you opt for a patterned tile which requires a main tile, corner tile and border tile then you need to do a bit of plotting. We used squared graph paper and from the sizes of the tiles worked out how many we would need and which of them we would need to cut. Always allow for ‘bodge-ups’ too and order a little more than you need. We also selected a tile that would fit relatively well without having to cut too much. Definitely work with tiles that measure up closely to your specific space.

You need a good base initially and luckily for us our old path was sturdy concrete, albeit a little shabby. We had a large crack across the bottom (no pun intended), which we levelled out with concrete and left overnight to go off. We also needed to even up the sides of the path so used an angle grinder to ensure it was straight all the way down.

Once we had the tiles we began in the storm porch, laying the tiles down first to get an idea of how they would look and then cutting any that required it.

Storm Porch

Happy that they would fit we then applied a tile adhesive to the ground and lay the tiles, applying plastic spacers in between. We repeated this for the whole path and left overnight for it to set. Pop a sign on your gate with a ‘No walking’ warning as there’s always one annoying person who steps on it.

Victorian Path

The next day we applied a white grout all over and again left this to dry overnight. The tiles required quite a bit of washing down to remove the grout smears afterwards.

As our path ends at an angle we decided to finish off the end of the path with smoothed off concrete.

Total cost was £250 for Grosvenor Black/Blue tiles (half price at the time) and around £80 for grout and adhesive, which we got for half price as Topps Tiles accidently sent half our tiles to the wrong store and took two weeks to get them back.

Topps Tiles

We absolutely adore our tiles and it has made such a huge difference to the front of our house. It certainly attracts a lot of attention on our street. The tiles have a slightly granular texture so they aren’t slippy and even in the recent 2 foot of snow and ice; they were still safe to walk on. We keep them nice and clean by a quick mop every couple of weeks; the neighbours think we’re mad.

Happy Tiling!

 

 

 

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. Bridget
    March 17, 2018 / 6:48 pm

    These look lovely and I desperately want to do my front path, but my hubby, who is a fully paid up member of the Health and Safety Police!, is arguing that they will be slippery when wet, how do you find them in the rain and how resistant to cracking in extreme freezing conditions are they?, any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Stacey
      Author
      March 17, 2018 / 6:55 pm

      We were worried too at first but these ones have a slightly grainy texture so they aren’t like a smooth slippy surface. We’ve had a week of -4 degrees and 2 ft of snow and they were totally fine and not damaged at all. Maybe order some samples so he can feel them?

  2. March 22, 2018 / 11:34 am

    Absolutely love the look of these! Makes such a difference in making your house look elegant and grand! I wanted to do my front porch in a similar style but the shape was too awkward for border tiles so had to scrap them! At least we’re still using the main tile though. 🙂 Love your blog! x

    • Stacey
      Author
      March 22, 2018 / 12:43 pm

      Oh that’s a shame that you couldn’t fit them in but it’s so difficult too try and cut them down, you definitely have to work with what you have. Good luck with it and thanks for reading x

  3. Jimmy
    March 23, 2018 / 11:55 am

    Hi there,

    How are these tiles holding up as if you read the comments on them on Topps Tiles people comment on them chipping etc, and not being hard wearing. They look great but don’t want to go to all the effort of laying them if they don’t last.

    • Stacey
      Author
      March 23, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      They are like any ceramic tile. So if you were to drop something on them they would chip. A mosaic tile would be longer lasting but a lot more expensive. I don’t mind them looking a little aged as they look more authentic x

    • Stacey
      Author
      March 23, 2018 / 12:48 pm

      Yeah I saw this too but I think these are all people who have them indoors and have dropped pans/knives etc on them. Outside the only thing that gets dropped on them is bird poo so we’re fine but I guess they’re just tiles and not indestructible

  4. March 23, 2018 / 12:26 pm

    Mamma mia! This is just insanely beautiful! I found you on instagram and followed to this website, cause I wanted to find out more about you- I’m really impressed by all the work you’ve done. It’s so good to know that there are people willing to spend time and effort, to make things and places beautiful. And as a big tile lover, I must say this story made my day. How awsome that looks, big congratulations. I want someting like this too! 😉
    Best regards, keep on doing it, it’s really worth it!

    • Stacey
      Author
      March 23, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Thank you for taking the time out to read our blog, so pleased that you like it and it has inspired you, it means a lot to us x

    • Stacey
      Author
      March 23, 2018 / 12:51 pm

      Ah thanks so much, that’s very kind of you to take the time to comment. Glad you enjoy the pics and blog. Have a great weekend

    • Stacey
      Author
      March 23, 2018 / 12:51 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write and glad you enjoy the pics. Have a great weekend

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