General product information


Burgundian "dalles"

Burgundian “dalles”
Antique Burgundian limestone/sandstone “dalles”, or sandstone “dalles” create a rustic atmosphere in your house. Originally, they were laid in free-length widths. However, Burgundian “dalles” may also be presorted in equal widths and laid in strips. Burgundian “dalles” or sandstone “dalles” are available in different sandstone tints, depending on the region they come from.

Origin of Burgundian “dalles”
Antique and new Burgundian “dalles” come from France, more precisely from the Burgundy region. The region has various stone quarries. The Burgundian “dalles” may be white, yellow, cream or light brown. Some are softer or harder than others. Burgundian “dalles” should be distinguished from antique bluestone “dalles”. The latter are made of Belgian bluestone, a harder type of stone, also known as freestone. Bluestone “dalles” are grey, whereas Burgundian “dalles” are slightly cream-coloured or sandy-coloured.

Recovery of Burgundian “dalles”
Antique and new Burgundian French stone or Belgian bluestone “dalles” are on sale at the building materials antique dealer ‘t Achterhuis in Udenhout. ‘t Achterhuis has either recovered or bought them from French and Belgian knackers. The old “dalles” are becoming scarcer and are more expensive than the new ones because they need to be detached and re-sorted. Since there are still stone quarries in France, new models are also available. In many cases, the Burgundian “dalles” are distressed to give them an old, antique or rustic appearance. Sometimes it is hard to detect the differences, but ‘t Achterhuis may provide expert advice if desired. 

Antique staircases

If you would like to build a house and incorporate old elements, it is advisable to start off early. An antique staircase, for instance, needs to be fully measured and sketched in. Imagine finding the antique staircase of your dreams and realising afterwards that it does not fit and that it cannot be used. An antique staircase can be built in in the same way as your current staircase.


Restoration of antique staircases
An antique staircase can be restored quite easily. Generally, the antique staircase is fully disassembled, broken pieces are replaced and all components are cleaned separately. Afterwards all components are glued together again. The restoration process gives the antique staircase a new look.


Are antique staircases more expensive?
Antique staircases are not necessarily more expensive than new ones. If you compare the price of an antique staircase with the price of a new similar model, you will be surprised at the difference. Few people know that the difference in price is that striking. An antique staircase is not only less expensive, but also gives your entrance hall a unique touch.  

Background of cast-iron clawfoot bathtubs

Cast-iron clawfoot bathtubs have been around for a long time. Bathing used to be a hygienic necessity, but this changed towards the end of the nineteenth century due to a number of technical inventions such as sewerage, gas and the water supply system.
The first bathtubs were made of brass, afterwards of zinc. Later, cast-iron clawfoot bathtubs were created.


New cast-iron clawfoot bathtubs
We have various new cast-iron clawfoot bathtubs in stock. They are equipped with an enamelled coat on the inside. Contrary to traditional beliefs, the water remains warm for a long time when the cast iron has warmed up. The exterior may be painted in any colour. This applies to all cast-iron clawfoot bathtubs, including the “Marseilles”, “Nice”, “Bordeaux” and “Paris” models. We also have cast-iron bathtubs without feet: the beautiful, taut “Monaco” bathtub. We kindly invite you to visit our show room.


Cast-iron clawfoot bathtubs in a modern bathroom
Cast-iron clawfoot bathtubs also fit in with a modern bathroom. They add a special feature to your bathroom, whether they are put on a taut Belgian bluestone tile or on an antique patterned tile. Visit our show room and discover the five different models in stock.   

Antique mirrors

A mirror, in this case an antique mirror, enlarges and embellishes your living area. A beautiful antique mirror is an eye-catcher on the wall. Increasingly, people appreciate the know-how and artistic skill with which they were made. You will find approximately 150 splendid and extraordinary antique mirrors on our website. Direct import enables us to keep the price low.

Antique mirrors in various styles
You will find a large collection of antique mirrors in different styles at ’t Achterhuis, from rococo to Biedermeier. Our assortment includes fireplace mirrors, standing mirrors, swing mirrors, etc. We also have Dutch antique mahogany mirrors and French gilded antique mirrors with crest and leaf patterns. The mirrors are available in different measures.

In case of small damage we can restore the antique mirrors or add missing ornaments if necessary. Afterwards, we can regild or repaint the frame. Most antique mirrors still contain the old, sometimes weather-stained mercurous mirror glass.

Restoration of antique mirrors  

Oak wooden floors

If you are looking for parquet floors, or for long, wide rustic oak boarded floors or oak wooden floors, you should definitely visit ‘t Achterhuis. We have planed, brushed or distressed French oak. Our exclusive distressed oak floorboards are distressed and coloured using a special method in our workshop, so as to give them the appearance of an 18th or 19th century floor.

Old oak boarded floors

Our assortment also includes old oak boarded floors made of French railway carriages. These boards are available in different widths and are tongued and grooved. Also ask for our once-only lots of barrack parquet. In addition, we have the herringbone parquet, Hungarian “pointed” parquet and the exclusive Versailles parquet made of old oak boarded floors.

Laying of oak wooden floors

Obviously, the laying of these parquets and oak wooden floors requires professional skill. If desired, we can arrange for this. Our craftsmen will produce an excellent result, both when laying wide oak wooden floors and when finishing the parquet floors with frames or standing or lying friezes with a Wenge piping. 

Belgian bluestone

‘t Achterhuis has a large collection of Belgian bluestone, also known as freestone. The stones are available in different measures and finishes, from tautly incised to coarsely distressed, sanded or sweetened. They each give your house a unique appearance. Many Belgian bluestone finishes are available off the shelf. Also check our offers for low-priced items.

Moreover, we can arrange for the laying of Belgian bluestone floors if desired. In particular the laying of old church “dalles”, Noire de Mazy, Namur stone and Belgian bluestone requires professional skill. These Belgian bluestone tiles may vary in thickness. Check whether these old floors may be laid in your house. As an alternative, we recommend the old “second layer” Belgian bluestone or the “coarsely distressed” Belgian bluestone.

Belgian bluestone ornaments or tables

‘t Achterhuis has a large choice of old building materials. We have many antique Belgian bluestone porches or pillars and old Belgian bluestone staircases in stock. An old Belgian bluestone ornament can easily be adjusted to serve as a table base with, for instance, a new Belgian bluestone tabletop. To this end, you can also visit our depot in the Houtsestraat. We have displayed old Belgian bluestone troughs, fountains, porches and pillars in our show garden.

Laying of Belgian bluestone 

Marble and sandstone fireplaces

Approximately 350 marble and sandstone fireplaces (or mantelpieces or hearths) are displayed in our show rooms. We have a large collection of antique 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century fireplaces. Our assortment includes French, Belgian and Dutch antique marble fireplaces, and antique and replica French sandstone fireplaces. These new fireplaces are manually hewed from genuine French sandstone. We have a large choice of fireplaces in different styles and measures.

The building-in of marble and sandstone fireplaces

The building-in of fireplaces should be carried out by a professional. We can arrange for the building-in of both marble and sandstone fireplaces if desired. We can introduce you to one of our fireplace builders. We see to it that your marble or sandstone fireplaces are safely delivered at your house and the fireplace builder takes care of the rest. Antique marble and sandstone fireplaces require a custom-made funnel. In addition, the back wall and, if necessary, the gas block need to be installed competently.

Check our supply of marble and sandstone fireplaces

You can find our continually varying stock of marble and sandstone fireplaces on our website in the “stock” section (menu). If you click on an image, it will be enlarged. This also allows you to check the fireplace’s measures. If you are looking for specific marble or sandstone fireplaces and you cannot find them on our website, do not hesitate to give us a call or to visit our show rooms. Our sales advisors will help you find the appropriate fireplace. However, if you cannot find the antique fireplace you are looking for, you might find it in our enormous warehouse with hundreds of non-displayed fireplaces.

Old oak parquet floors

’t Achterhuis has various types of parquet floors in stock, including old oak herringbone parquet, Hungarian “pointed” parquet, strip flooring, old barrack parquet and the magnificent Versailles parquet. The old oak herringbone parquet is made of old French oak railway carriages. The skirting-boards of this special parquet floor can be finished with standing or lying friezes.

The laying of old oak parquet floors

Characteristics of old oak parquet floors

Oak is a durable and luxurious type of wood with a neutral appearance. Old oak herringbone parquet is warm brown and extremely solid. Old oak herringbone parquet has its own graining and has remained popular throughout the centuries because it fits in with every interior. Oak floors are suitable for various types of finishes such as oiling, waxing or varnishing, which leads to many different colours.

The laying of old oak herringbone parquet requires professional skill. ‘t Achterhuis has been working together with expert craftsmen for many years and can arrange for the laying of this special old oak herringbone parquet. 

Antique flagstones and terracotta tiles

Antique and old French, Belgian or Dutch flagstones are also referred to as old terracotta tiles or old farm flagstones. They are available in different measures and hues, for instance quadrangular, hexagonal, rectangular in blue/grey, red, shaded, “blanche et jaune” (white and yellow). All flagstones have been sorted out and cleaned with great care. Our warehouse manager will help you select the lots in our enormous warehouse which covers several thousands of square meters. The flagstones are available in various sizes, ranging from 11 x 11 cm to 25 x 25 cm.All our fired, handmade antique and old flagstones or terracotta tiles may be laid in any room (from scullery to living room) and may be used with underfloor heating, both in modern newly-built houses and in old farms.

Antique flagstones or terracotta tiles are laid using a thread because they vary in thickness. We recommend to call in a professional to lay antique flagstones or terracotta tiles, preferably a craftsman “of the old school” who considers it a challenge to obtain a magnificent final result. Naturally, we can also arrange for this and we can introduce you to one of our professionals.

Maintenance of terracotta tiles and antique flagstones

In order to adjust the antique and old flagstones to present-day usage and to make them maintenance-friendly, we recommend to use “Superfix”. This impregnating and protective agent prevents dirt and grease spots from affecting your antique flagstones or terracotta tiles. For instructions, you can consult the “maintenance” section on our website and click on the “Superfix” image.

The laying of antique flagstones or terracotta tiles

Rustic building

Rustic building is becoming increasingly popular. The term is employed when a new house is built using old, antique and rustic building materials. This creates the effect of building an old house: a rustic appearance combined with present-day comfort. Rustic building fans can go a long way in using old, antique and rustic building materials.

Rustic building: both inside and outside

Rustic building can be applied both inside and outside. You can build the outside with facing bricks such as Ijssel stones, brick baked in open ovens, Waal brick, etc. and use an old porch with an antique front door. You can also use recovered wall clamps and/or old thresholds and windowsills. Inside old oak beams, old boarded or tiled floors, antique fireplaces, old sinks, old inner doors, antique white tiles, etc. can be employed. Rustic building does not imply that you should solely incorporate old and recovered materials. Rustic or old materials can also be integrated perfectly.

Rustic building: high-quality materials?

We can reassure those who doubt whether the old materials employed for rustic building are strong enough to be reused. These (recovered) materials are given a second life through rustic building. They have already proved their quality and solidity in an earlier life. “These bricks look porous,” some people say. Actually, they are very solid. They have already been used in another building, have survived demolition, have been chipped with a chopping-knife or hatchet and are still intact. This also applies to antique tiled and boarded floors. Therefore, we can guarantee you that the old and antique materials offered for sale for rustic building are as solid as new ones. Obviously, they look different, aged. But that is what rustic building fans are looking for. 


Laying and Maintenance Advice


Laying and maintenance advice tile floors

How to install your Achterhuis tile floor

Tiles can be fixed onto most floors. The surface must be properly prepared, suitably level, sound, clean, dry, and free of dust, grease or any loose material.

Old, and antique tiles are usually put "under the wire", in cement.

So the top the tiles against the bottom of a wire to keep the differences in thickness underneath and the surface straight.

Some could possibly be put in special glue/thick-bed adhesive when the differences are small. One example of such product is Strasser Egalfix Plus.

All tiles should be well mixed before instalment. Installing means all parties are satisfied with the colour and quality.

 

Usually a smaller tile will be a little bit less thick than a bigger one. With under floor heating one should take the height of the tubes into consideration.

Before you put in the grout/joints make sure the tiles are wet as otherwise the joint will dry too quickly making it possible they crack. Especially antique terracotta tiles and other porous tiles will drain the water out of the grout/joint if not wet.

To keep the tiles clean it's recommended to do small areas at a time and carefully sponge them with clean water to prevent the cement of attaching to the tile too much.

 

Work height = total thickness of tile + cement, for smaller tiles ± 4cm and for bigger ones ± 5cm.

Grout joint about 10 to 15mm for 'rougher' tiles and about 5mm for straight, neat ones.

The size of the tiles, when calculating the amount per m², is measured including the grout joint.

If the desire is to install the tiles with smaller grout joints we recommend to install them "in a running bond" (also known as brick- or offset pattern). With some extra sorting it's possible to even put terracotta tiles with smaller grout joints but remember that you'll need more tiles thus more m².