As I continue to work on my kitchen project, I spent the week researching floors. Our house is about 180 years old, and at some point in the early 1900’s, the ground floor was covered in a very ordinary tile. Or I should say tiles, because different tiles were used for the kitchen, the dining room, the entrance hall, while the sitting room was covered in ‘tomettes’.
French tomettes come in different shapes and sizes. Ours are octagonal, about 16cm in diameter.
Today we would like the same floor treatment throughout the ground floor, and we want to use old materials, in keeping with the age and style of the house. I’ll be looking for tomettes that are very pale, rather than the orange-red tones that you sometimes see. The colour comes from the regional clay used to make the tiles.
Luckily for us there are plenty of dealers here in Normandy who sell old materials. Tiles and wooden floors are often lifted carefully when a renovation takes place, and dealers sell them on by the square meter.
If you can’t find enough of one tomette or wooden flooring to cover your space, then it is often possible to find two or three matching lots and mix them up to create a harmonious effect. The dealers pile the tomettes into big wooden boxes, or stack them high, and it’s up to the client to decide how they’d look once in place.
The only problem about these places is that it is so easy to get distracted ….
by beautiful old stone paving …
or wonderful hand-carved fireplace surrounds ….
or old roof tiles ……
…surely I could find a way to use those too ! ….