Frequently Asked Questions

We often get all kinds of questions about our tiles and murals that are worth sharing! Hopefully one of the answered questions below will help you out as well in your search for the right information. As we expect to get more relevant questions in the future, this 'Frequently Asked Questions" page will always be a work in progress. If you have any questions left unanswered, feel free to get in touch with us via our contact page.

General information

  1. Dimensions per tile
  2. Joints & Mortar
  3. Shipping & Packaging
  4. Returns
  5. Lead Time
  6. Payment
  7. International taxes and Import duties

Background information

  1. Are these the so called 'Delft tiles'?
  2. Where do you still find all those antique tiles?
  3. Have these tiles been tiled to a wall before?
  4. Is it safe to reuse antique Delft wall tiles?
  5. What is the best way of tiling these antique tiles to a wall?
  6. How can you date a tile?
  7. How can you determine the place of fabrication of a tile?
  8. Why is it important to see the rear side of an antique Dutch Delft tile?

Frequently asked questions

General Information

1. Dimensions per tile

The Dutch Delft tiles are known for their size, which is always around 13 by 13 centimeters or 5,1 by 5,1 inches (60 tiles per square meter / 5.6 tiles per square foot). As the tiles are handmade, minimal variations in sizes are to be expected. This is part of the charm of antique Dutch Delft tiles.

2. Grout lines & Mortar

We advise to use a lime based mortar to tile antique Dutch Delft tiles to a wall. A mortar based on lime is by far sufficient enough to hold the tiles, but also allows future home owners to remove the tiles without damaging them. In this way we can save the tiles for future generations. An advisable type or mortar to use is 'Unilit 15P2'. Grout lines should be no wider than 1 - 2 millimeters or 0,04 - 0,08 inches, preferably in in a white or greyish tone, similar to the main color of the tiles. We often recommend to work with 'Coba - Silvergrey'.

3. Shipping & Packaging

We offer free world wide shipping on collectibles. Orders with wall tiles and tile murals will receive a custom quote for the shipment after we know your location and the contents of the final order. Of course you are free to arrange your own shipping, but in general we provide full service on this. All our tiles are extremely well packed with top, bottom and side protection foam in triple layered heavy duty boxes or wooden export crates. To quote one of our recent customers: "So well wrapped, it would survive an earthquake".
Shipping arranged by Regts - Delft Tiles will include the following:
✓ Insured
✓ Top packaging
✓ Track & Trace
✓ Door to door delivery
✓ Premium partners: DHL Express, FedEx and PostNL

Watch the video below to see how we pack our collectibles!


4. Returns

Returns (collectibles and tile murals) are accepted if we have been informed within 14 days after delivery and the return shipment is arranged within 21 days after delivery. The buyer is responsible for any shipment costs involved for returning the tiles. We will refund your money including the original delivery costs within 14 days after receiving the returned goods. The goods will only be accepted if they are in the same condition as delivered.

Custom made reproduction tiles and antique wall tiles can be returned under the same conditions as long as this possibility has been discussed before order confirmation.

5. Lead time

Collectibles, books and small orders can often be delivered within 5 working days as we ship them with DHL Express. The same goes for murals that are ready to ship. Larger custom orders in general need between 2 to 4 weeks to be prepared and delivered. Reproduction tiles have a lead time of approximately 4 to 6 weeks. When working with us, we will always provide you with an estimated lead time.

6. Payment

We accept payment by creditcard (Maestro, VISA, MasterCard and American Express) PayPal, iDeal, Apple Pay, SOFORT Banking, Bancontact, EPS, Giropay and bank transfer. We are also always able to process your order manually. If you prefer this, please contact us through our contact page.

7. International Taxes & Import Duties

All our antique products (older than 100 years) have no tax added value. In general this is also the case when ordering from outside the European Union. We will provide the shipping company with all the legal documents that state the age of the items in the shipment. Reproduction tiles, books and other non-antique or secondhand products are in general charged with taxes when ordering from inside the European Union. When making a purchase of these type of goods from outside the European Union, import duties will in general be charged. When in doubt, please verify the rules and regulations at your local tax and/or customs office.

 

 

Background Information

1. Are these the so called 'Delft tiles'?

Yes, they are. All of our tiles and murals are internationally known as 'Delft tiles'. It is good to know though that 'Delft tiles' is a collective noun for the Dutch tin-glazed tile measuring approximately 13 by 13 cm or 5,1 by 5,1". The tiles are known as 'Delft tiles', as the potteries in Delft were the first ones in the Netherlands to create blue and white glazed earthenware. They got their inspiration from the Chinese, as they tried to imitate the blue and white porcelain that was brought in from China. Although the Delft potteries had some success with the blue and white earthenware, they and potteries accross the Netherlands were looking for a product that would be interesting for a much larger audience. Inspired by the floor tiles made in Antwerp, the Dutch potteries created a wall tile that could be used on the inside of fireplaces. Easy to clean and eventually a great way to reduce the effects of moisture in basements and so on. As the wealth of the Dutch florished, more and more tiles were used to decorate entire walls and rooms with the rarest creatures and flowers. During 300 years more than 800 million tiles were made in hundreds of potteries accross the country.

2. Where do you still find all those antique tiles?

We are well-known in the Netherlands when it comes to buying antique Delft tiles. Many Dutch citizens still have small, or large collections of Delft tiles stored in their attic or garage. Next to that they still ocassionally get removed from a wall when renovations take place. We also buy at auction houses and from antique dealers who come across many objects that are not part of their core-business.

3. Have these tiles been tiled to a wall before?

Basically all of the original antique tiles and murals on our website have been tiled to a wall before. Some of them even twice or three times! Removing them is a delicate procedure, which also explains why many of them didn't survive the past 350 years completely unharmed.

4. Is it safe to reuse antique Delft tiles?

Yes, it is, as long as you buy them from trusted dealers and use some common sense in regards to where you are installing them. What many people tend to forget is that antique tiles need to be cleaned properly before being tiled to a wall again. As they are often a couple of centuries old, they have been exposed to soot, salt and many other things that can ruin a tile and a wall. A tile that looks clean on the outside, might actually be filled with soot. Once temperature rises or the tile becomes exposed to moisture (in a bathroom for example), the soot can leave the tile and cause brown joints and stains. Therefore we recommend to only buy antique tiles from trustworthy dealers who clean all their tiles before selling them again.

Our tiles go through several cleaning processes, including water baths for weeks to rinse them, multiple drying processes to remove all the moisture and several other proceedings to remove lime, cement and so on.

6. How can you date a tile?

There are several indicators that give away the age of a tile, but the most important one is its thickness. During the time that Dutch potteries started to produce wall tiles, they studied the technique of Italian craftsmen who made floor tiles in Antwerp (Belgium). Therefore it will be no surprise to you that the first Dutch wall tiles, were basically as thick as the floor tiles made by the Italian craftsmen. As the production process became more advanced and efficient, the tiles became thinner and thinner. Thanks to that, we can use the thickness of the tile as a good indication of its age. A very thick tile is often late 16th century or early 17th century, whether a thinner can be dated around 1650 or 1700.

At one point (around 1750) the thickness of the tiles becomes more stable which makes it harder to tell whether a tile was made around 1750 or 1850. Luckily there are other indicators that can be used, such as the style of corner motifs, the colors that were used and the dents in the corner of the tiles that were the result of the production process before 1860. All of the motifs, patterns and type of tiles have been documented in the holy grail of tile books: The Dutch Tile by Jan Pluis.

7. How can you determine the place of fabrication of a tile?

Although it is very hard to determine whether a tile has been made in Delft or Harlingen, we know of some cities or factories that they had certain 'signatures' captured in the way they decorated their tiles. These signatures can sometimes lead to the place of fabrication, sometimes even to the specific painter. Many of these 'signatures' have been documented and are therefore a reliable source to determine the place of fabrication. Another way to find the roots of certain tiles is simply by knowing where most of those type of tiles were found. Although tiles did travel across the Netherlands in the 17th century and later on, most fabricated tiles were tiled to walls in the same area as where they were made.

8. Why is it important to see the rear side of an antique Dutch Delft tile (collectible)?

The rear side of the tile often tells a lot about its history and possible restorations. When a tile has been broken but restored profesionally, the rear side often reveals the original condition of the tile. Therefore we always include a photo of the rear side of the collectibles and murals on our website.

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