Tesselated Tile TLC: Caring for These Sydney Character Home Gems

classic tessallated tiles in Sydney

Owning a home in Sydney often comes with the charm of historical features. One such feature is the iconic tesselated tile. These small, patterned tiles were popular in Sydney homes from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, gracing hallways, bathrooms, and even laundries. But their beauty requires proper care.

If you’re considering buying a home with tesselated tiles in Sydney, a building inspection Sydney is crucial. This ensures the overall structural integrity of the property. However, even with a clean building inspection report, understanding how to maintain these tiles is essential.

This guide from your trusted pre-purchase building inspection Sydney experts will equip you with the knowledge to keep your tesselated tiles looking their best for years to come.

Building Inspection Sydney: Understanding Tesselated Tiles

There are several types of tesselated tiles, but the most common in Sydney homes are:

  • Cement encaustic: Made from coloured cement poured into moulds, these tiles are highly durable.
  • Clay ceramic: Fired in a kiln, these tiles come in a wider variety of colours and patterns.
  • Terracotta: Similar to clay ceramic, terracotta tiles are unglazed and have a more rustic appearance.

The beauty of tesselated tiles lies in their intricate patterns. These patterns were often geometric, floral, or even featured animals or motifs. Building inspectors Sydney will not typically assess the aesthetics of these tiles, but understanding their composition can help you determine the best care methods.

Assessing Tesselated Tile Condition

While a building inspection Sydney focuses on the structural integrity of the building, you can get a general idea of the condition of the tesselated tiles during your inspection. Look for:

  • Cracked or chipped tiles: These can be repaired, but extensive damage may require replacement.
  • Missing tiles: Missing tiles can detract from the overall aesthetic and may indicate underlying moisture issues.
  • Loose tiles: These pose a tripping hazard and need to be re-secured.
  • Discolouration or efflorescence: This could be caused by mineral deposits or improper cleaning products.

Building a Shine: Cleaning Tesselated Tiles

The key to maintaining the beauty of your tesselated tiles is proper cleaning. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Microfiber mop
  • Warm water
  • Mild dish soap (avoid harsh chemicals!)


  1. Sweep away any loose dirt or debris.
  2. Mix a small amount of dish soap in warm water.
  3. Dip your brush or mop into the solution and wring it out thoroughly. The mop or brush should be damp, not soaking.
  4. Gently scrub the tiles in a circular motion. Avoid using excessive force, especially on cracked or loose tiles.
  5. Rinse the mop or brush frequently and change the cleaning solution if it becomes too dirty.
  6. Allow the tiles to dry completely.

Building Expertise: Beyond Cleaning

For more extensive maintenance, consider these tips:

  • Sealing: Unsealed tiles are more susceptible to staining and water damage. A professional can apply a sealant specifically designed for tesselated tiles.
  • Grout Repair: Over time, grout between the tiles can crack or crumble. A qualified professional can repair damaged grout.
  • Professional Restoration: For severely damaged or missing tiles, consider professional restoration services.

Building on Value: The Benefits of Maintaining Tesselated Tiles

Maintaining your tesselated tiles offers several benefits:

  • Preserves Character: These tiles are a unique part of Sydney’s architectural heritage. Maintaining them adds value and charm to your home.
  • Increases Lifespan: Proper care extends the lifespan of your tiles, saving you money on replacements in the long run.
  • Enhances Value: Well-maintained tesselated tiles can be a selling point when it comes time to sell your home.

Building Trust: Partnering with a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Sydney Company

When buying a home with tesselated tiles, a thorough building inspection Sydney is crucial. Pre-purchase building inspection Sydney companies like ours can identify any underlying structural issues that could be affecting the tiles.

We can also provide general guidance on the condition of the tiles and recommend qualified professionals for cleaning, sealing, or restoration services.

By understanding how to care for your tesselated tiles, you can ensure these Sydney character home gems continue to add beauty and value to your property for years to come.

damaged tessellated tiles