Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cleaning our 80-year-old Tiles

The tiles in our main church, dedicated to the Holy Unmercenary Healers, date to the 1920s or 1930s, from what I can gather. They were produced by a local company here in Volos (since out of business), and are now considered quite "vintage," with even replicas costing an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, over time, as to be expected, they have become quite worn, especially since there was no electricity in the church until 1960, meaning they had at least 30 years of extra wear from lighting only by wax and oil candles. In the altar, it had become so bad that they had (unfortunately, in my opinion) made the decision to put down wall-to-wall carpeting to cover the tiles. Of course, this, too, quickly wore out. So I recently decided to take up the carpeting and see what we could do with the tiles there in the altar and the church as a whole. 

Above and below you can see tiles in the altar area. This was the worst section of the church, but the main body of the church wasn't in much better shape.

Through the help of our friends and tireless workers Babi and Popi, we learned of a local cleaning company in Volos that undertakes cleaning such floors. They cleaned similar tiles at a large chapel belonging to the other parish in Portaria and did a nice job. I managed to find a donor who liked all the work we have been doing and trusted me that this, too, would be worth doing.

And here are the results.

Of course, they still won't be mistaken for new, but they are much, much better.

Back in the altar area.

We're discussing now possibly applying a special luster coat, but I'll need to find more donors first. 

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