Classic tiles are thick-walled ceramic tiles of a special shape: their back side is equipped with a contoured rim — rumpa. The box-shaped form allows you to securely attach the tile to the brickwork with pieces of wire passed through the holes in the side.
Tiled stoves: historical background
Tiled stoves were widespread in EU already in the 17th century. Alas, most of them have survived to this day in a destroyed or repeatedly rebuilt form, so it is extremely difficult to restore the original appearance; one can only assume that all such stoves were heated in white.
The few surviving examples (in the house of the merchant Shumilova in Gorokhovets, in the house of the merchant Sharapov in Toropets, in the Novodevichy Convent, the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, etc.) are rectangular structures with a smoke circulation, but without benches, ovens and burners. That is, they served exclusively for heating. Such stoves were installed in the corner of the room or in a specially equipped opening (to heat two adjacent rooms). Sometimes the structure was equipped with a fuel channel, which made it possible to heat from the vestibule.
But the tiles themselves have been preserved in abundance. In the XVI century. they were decorated with a relief pattern without painting and glaze coating and had the color of baked clay. In the next century, relief painted and green glazed (“tseninny” and “antled”) tiles dominated, and under Peter I, smooth white tiles with a blue pattern (“Delft tiles”) became widespread.
Tiled stoves today
Today, tiled stoves are built according to individual projects by several European companies — Guild of Masters, Vesta-Keramika, Ceramics Decor, European Majolica, etc. In addition, you can order facing kits for steel and cast iron furnaces, as well as prefabricated (modular) fireclay stoves. And finally, tiled cladding is present on some models of finished metal stoves-fireplaces.
Contemporary artists and craftsmen are successfully recreating old tiles and reconstructing stoves that used to be in royal chambers and monasteries.
Benefits of tiled stoves and fireplaces
First, let’s talk about the practical advantages of a “casing” made of glazed ceramics.
The main function of tiles is decorative, but other qualities of ceramic cladding have always been valued, in particular, durability and ease of maintenance. With a smooth glazed surface, it is very easy to remove dust and other contaminants, thanks to which the oven always looks neat and never smells of burning from it.
Facing from warehouse scrap tiles will be made in 2–3 weeks. An individual project is implemented up to 3 months.
In addition, due to its microporous structure, thick-walled ceramics tend to simultaneously insulate and accumulate heat, that is, the walls of the device do not heat up to a dangerous temperature, and after the end of the furnace they slowly cool down during the night, which greatly increases the comfort of furnace heating. In this case, the inertia of the furnace depends on the width (height) of the tiller and the lining technology.
Details of a prefabricated fireplace with ceramic cladding
How tiles are made
Artistic tiles for the implementation of individual projects today, as in the old days, are made by hand. The cladding set, in addition to ordinary (wall) tiles, usually includes basement, waist, cornice, corner and shelf elements, and sometimes also rosettes, balusters, semi-columns with capitals and arches.
There is no size standard in tiling — it all depends on the size and shape of the stove, as well as the artistic design of the cladding; the wall thickness of tiles is usually 7–10 mm.
The process of working on a set of tiles (stove set) begins with the creation of sketches and models, usually plasticine. Casts are made from the models and a set of plaster molds is obtained. They are dried, then filled with clay, often with the addition of ceramic chips, fine gravel or sand. In this form, the blanks are kept in an oven for at least a week so that the clay does not crack during firing. Next, the tiles are subjected to the first (“scrap”) firing in a special kiln at a precisely set temperature, then they are painted, coated with a protective glaze and fired a second time; up to five firings may be required, depending on the number of layers of enamel and glaze.
Each company has a catalog of works and typical ornaments, but nothing prevents the customer from offering their own sketches or simply expressing ideas regarding the style or plot of future drawings. Here you can give complete freedom of imagination — for example, try to combine the classic “Delft” technique with modern themes, copy the style of the Impressionists or rethink the plots of European fairy tales.
|Increased safety: ceramic lining never heats up to temperatures above 60 ° C, it is impossible to burn yourself on the furnace wall.
|High cost (compared to simple brick, and even more so budgetary steel furnaces).
|heat storage properties. When using a metal firebox, the lining serves as a barrier to “hard” infrared radiation, accumulates heat and slowly releases it.
|A significant mass, often preventing the installation of a furnace without a foundation or floor reinforcement.
|Ease of maintenance. Any contamination is easily removed from the surface of ceramic products. They are resistant to acids and solvents.
|Relatively low resistance to mechanical damage and the complexity of repairing the cladding.
|Unusual possibilities for interior design in a variety of styles.
The peculiarity of the construction of a classic tiled stove is that brickwork and cladding are carried out simultaneously. At the same time, the rows of tiles are connected to each other with pins (crutches) and staples and fixed on the walls of the furnace with twisted pieces of steel wire, which are walled up in the seams of the brickwork. The tile is laid empty, however, the cavity of the ramp and the space between the ramps of neighboring tiles are filled with clay mortar with the addition of brick chips or grus (special fine gravel).
There are technologies that allow you to decorate with tiles and an already built stove. You can, for example, use masonry or road mesh for this purpose, which is attached to the stove with steel anchors, and tiles are already knitted to it. Or, having cut the tiller, simply glue the cladding elements with a heat-resistant adhesive, such as Universal HKM (Wolfshöher Tonwerke) or Scanmix Fire (Scanmix). The glue method is cheaper than the classical one and allows you to reduce the number of shaped elements, but it does not achieve a good heat storage effect.
If the stove or fireplace is based on a cast-iron or steel firebox, then there are several ways of lining it. Most often, the firebox is lined with bricks or blocks of lightweight concrete, and then tiles are glued.
Another option involves the manufacture of a contour metal frame (for example, from a corner) — independent or welded to the walls of the furnace. To attach the tiles to the frame, wire knitting, plates and staples are used.
Finally, the cladding can be self-supporting: tiles with a high ramp are laid, like bricks, at a distance from the walls of the firebox, not connected to it in any way, but reinforcing the masonry with wire, rods, and in some places with steel profiles.
Today, perhaps the most popular wood-burning heating device is a fireplace stove. Compact factory products made of boiler steel or cast iron are easy to transport and install and are quite durable: their actual service life is 20–40 years.
It is possible to tile with tiles any type of firebox — wall, corner and even tunnel. It is important to choose the right way to fix the tiles.
Foreign companies ABX, La Nordica, Enbra and others produce ceramic-lined fireplace stoves. Of course, these are not exactly tiles, but rather an imitation, but outwardly they accurately reproduce traditional products, and in terms of properties they differ little from them. At the same time, most ceramic fireplace stoves not only look elegant, but also have an impressive range of functions, including flue gas afterburning, self-cleaning door glass, and even a built-in heat exchanger for connecting a water circuit.