Norfolk Pamments: The Definitive Guide

What are Norfolk Pamments? 

Norfolk Pamments are a handmade, traditional terracotta floor tile that originate from Norfolk, UK. Norfolk Pamments are made from regional clays and are produced in small batches by skilled craftsmen. Although traditionally only found in Norfolk, these rustic Pamments can be used in any location. The rustic, irregularity in terms of their colour and surface is what gives Norfolk Pamments their characteristic charm. Norfolk Pamments are a great choice of flooring in building restorations, homes, garden, holiday cottage or church. 

Laying terrace with Norfolk Pamments at Thorpe Lodge

How are they Made? 

Norfolk Pamments have never been mass produced, and still aren’t- which makes them really special! Norfolk Pamments are made by individual craftsmen, and unlike the mass produced imports, Norfolk Pamments are never identical- which is what is so charming about them. Each slab of Norfolk Pamment varies in colour, and texture, and it is this that makes Norfolk Pamments so desirable. Just like traditional Norfolk Pamments, the slabs made today are very durable, and are guaranteed to last generations- ideal if you are wanting a floor that can withstand lots of foot traffic, for example in your kitchen, or living room. 

Norfolk Pamments are made from local Norfolk clays, with different clays chosen depending on the colour of the desired slab. All the clays used are natural, and contain no artificial colorings. Norfolk clay is used for terracotta Pamments, King’s Lynn clay is used for parti (mixed) colour Pamments, and Ely clay is used for dark red Pamments. Depending on what colour flooring you would like, you can choose a different Norfolk Pamment tile- without the need for paint, or artificial dyes- a great natural flooring choice! 

What are They used for?

Thorpe Lodge restoration Norfolk Pamment terrace

 As mentioned, traditionally Norfolk Pamments were only used in Norfolk, however now, Pamments are found all over the UK, and can even be shipped internationally. As Norfolk Pamments are extremely durable they can be used for pavements, paths and greenhouses. 

Norfolk Pamments also make for a great floor choice in homes and cottages due to their interesting colour and texture, and also because of their excellent thermal retention properties which make them perfect for pairing with under floor heating.

Traditionally, Norfolk Pamments were used in churches, and can still be found in Norwich Cathedral and Magdalene College in Cambridge. 

Large stock pile of Norfolk Pamments

Why are they Protected? 

Norfolk Pamments are a traditional flooring choice, and are still handcrafted in the traditional way. As a result, Norfolk Pamments a number of different national bodies have chosen to protect them in order to preserve England’s heritage. These bodies include County Councils and the National trust. As a result, if you are wanting to restore an old building in the UK, then using Norfolk Pamments could be the way to go as you could be adding to the heritage of the country! 

laying Norfolk Pamments

Laying Norfolk Pamments is a relatively easy task and so it is possible to lay Norfolk Pamments yourself, however there are trained installers who will happily lay the Pamments for you. If you opt for laying your own Pamments then it is important that you follow a few simple guidelines. 

Preparation

Before laying your Norfolk Pamments: 

  • Keep the slabs as clean as possible. 
  • Keep the slabs dry, 
  • Remove sharp edges on the slabs 

Adhesive

When laying your slabs you will need to use a good adhesive in order to ensure the slabs stay safely in place in your home, or garden. Depending on what type of flooring you have, the type of adhesive you opt for will vary. 

For floors without a damp proof membrane: 

  • Use a micro-porous (breathable) adhesive
  • You can choose between a hydraulic lime mortar (NHL & sharp/grit sand, ratio 4 sand to 1 lime) and a pre-made product. 
  • For floors with a damp proof membrane:
  • Use cement and sand, or a store bought tile adhesive 

For floors with under floor heating: 

  • Use a flexible adhesive which you can buy pre-made
  • This will allow for movement that can occur as a result of expansion and contraction of the adhesive due to heating. 

Grouting

When grouting between your Pamments you need to ensure that the slabs have been cleaned and sealed properly. Then, the grout you choose should be carefully considered because its flexibility can affect the floor. Norfolk Pamment producers often suggest that if you have under floor heating, or no damp proof membrane, that you should opt for a flexible grout. 

Additionally, as the grout colour can affect what the finished floor will look like it is a good idea to opt for grouts that complement the colour and texture of the Pamments- sandstone options are often a good choice. Once you have finished grouting, ensure that any excess grout is removed in order to ensure the Norfolk Pamment slabs look their absolute best. 

Sealing

How you seal your floor depends on the type of material that is under the Norfolk Pamment.  

For floors without a damp proof membrane: 

Norfolk Pamments that were laid without a damp proof membrane, or on a permeable base, should be sealed with a breathable finish. If you need your floor to also be hardwearing, for example if it has been laid in a public area such as a church, or a school, then you should look out for anti-slip, and waterproof, breathable finishes. 

For floors with a damp proof membrane:

Norfolk Pamments that were laid with a damp proof membrane, or those that were laid on wood, can be sealed with pretty much any sealant product that is available, even varnish would work. Often a basic matte floor varnish works well as it provides a waterproof finish that has a faint sheen. A great finished look for a kitchen or cottage! 

Traditional option

Traditionally, breathable seals were made from boiled linseed. These seals give a lovely darkened colour to the Norfolk Pamments, and can even enhance their natural colours. If you are want to go down the traditional route then this would be a great option, however if can require a lot of skill and patience, so it may be best left to the professionals! 

Norfolk Pamments are such a great flooring option as they are charming, traditional and hand-made. The history behind the flooring option gives them a really interesting element, and the different colour possibilities means that you can play around with style and such like. 

5 Amazing Uses for a Garden Studio

Garden studios are very trendy, and really versatile. Over recent years, their popularity has increased massively, and they are now becoming common place additions to back gardens up and down the country. As garden studios can be custom built to the needs of the individual, their uses are varied, and flexible. What is more, as garden studios are affordable, they offer excellent expansion opportunities for home owners looking to increase their living space. Garden studios, when well built, provide unrivalled places to play, work, or even entertain. Here are 5 of the top uses for a garden studio: 

Home office

With more and more people than ever before wanting to work from home in order to enable them to cut time spent commuting, and increase the time they have for leisure activities, and family, garden studios are becoming a very popular home office solution. Of course, home offices have been around for many years, but now garden studios have arrived, no longer does one of the rooms in the house need to be sacrificed, instead a dedicated space can be built. What is more, using a garden studio as a home office enables people to have separate work and home locations which can help boost productivity and reduce stress. 

Entertaining area

Garden studios can be built for almost any purpose. If you enjoy having friends over and you entertain on a regular basis then a garden studio with a bar area could be the answer for you. Just imagine the possibilities of having a garden studio with a bar! On warm summer evenings you could open up your garden studio and serve drinks from the bar; whilst in the winter you could close the doors, and put on a movie for you and your friends to enjoy with cocktails. Garden studios offer the ultimate option for entertainment flexibility and glamour. 

Home gym

Many people want to get on the health and fitness bandwagon, but struggle to find the time to get to the gym, or do any exercise in general. By getting a purpose built garden studio for a home gym it could be the answer to your health and fitness woes. Using a garden studio for a gym overcomes the issues of usual home gyms such as headroom and noise because the studio is located away from the house, and they can be built to accommodate your fitness equipment. You won’t be able to come up with any excuses about not exercising when you have your own home gym at the bottom of the garden! 

Relaxation room

It is always nice to have a place to go to when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A garden studio could offer you with a cosy option to relax, enabling you to retreat to your own purpose built area. Garden studios are not only likely quieter than any room in your current home due to their location, and level of insulation, but they can also be designed in almost any way you like, so can suit any taste, and garden size. 

Playroom

Like many home offices typically tend to do, children’s playrooms can take over a room, or two in a family home. This is particularly restrictive if your home is small, or if you have a number of children! In order to control children’s toys, of course there are a number of storage solutions out there, but why not consider building a dedicated garden studio that you could use as a purpose built children’s play room. By getting a purpose built garden studio, you could create a completely safe, child friendly building, that would give you back space in your house. In the summer, it would also be great to open up the garden studio to enable your children to play both inside and outside. 

5 Benefits of a Garden Office

Blog image title graphic for 5 Benefits of a Garden Office

Working from home is on the increase. In fact, in the UK, the number of people who work from home has risen by almost 30% in the last 10 years. As a result of this, a lot of people want to create their own professional working environments.

Many have been forced to sacrifice a space within their home for their working area, but that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, the best way to maintain a healthy work-life balance is by keeping your professional and personal lives separate, and therefore working from inside your home is unlikely to help.

As a result, you should consider getting a garden office! Garden offices, such as those that are custom built and designed by Trew Turner, offer a cost effective way to create a bespoke, peaceful working space that retains all the comforts of your home without actually being inside it.

Garden offices provide a distinction between home and work life, and therefore allow you to get a better balance.
 
If you aren’t yet convinced that you should get a garden office, here are 5 more great benefits of adding a garden office to your home: 

1. No planning permission needed

In most areas of London you do not need to apply for planning permission when you build a garden office. This makes it an ideal way to increase your living space affordably, whilst also giving you the distinction between home and work life.  

2. Custom designed & Built

Garden offices can be built exactly how you want them to be. If you are looking to have running water, heated flooring or special light fittings, then they are all achievable with Trew Turner's custom built service. Click here to view the full case study below.

In fact, the Trew Turner team will work with you to create a garden office that meets your exacting requirements. Trew Turner garden offices are not wooden sheds, but rather they are custom designed, garden buildings complete with insulation, electrical sockets and lights- making them the ideal work area. 

3. Financial gain

Garden offices are not only a great place to work, but they can also be a great investment. Research shows that garden offices can increase a property’s value by up to 7%. What is more, many people who work from home have to convert one of their rooms to an office, but by building a garden office in the garden, you can give that space back to your house!

Finally, having a garden office as opposed to a rented office away from home is that you have no rent to pay, but you are still able to leave the house to go to work. 

4. Peaceful environment

Working in the garden is undoubtedly a much better setting than working in a grey office cubicle. Just imagine being able to look out onto your colourful garden whilst you sit at your desk! With improved scenery, and a sense of peace you will fell calmer, and there is even research to suggest that this can increase productivity.

Not only that, the environment in which you work is a huge factor that affects your health, so by working in a place that is stress-free and relaxing, you can work happily knowing that you aren’t making yourself ill. 

5. Professionalism

When working at the dining room table or on the sofa, it can be hard to stay motivated or on task. Working in a garden office, can really help you to feel much more professional, and this can in turn increase motivation and productivity. What is more, by working in a garden office you are far more likely to refrain from temptation, or get distracted. In your own office, you are geared to work, and not play. By separating your home and work environments, you will be once more able to go home to your safe haven where you can relax and unwind. 

To conclude, if you want to work harder, become more productive, feel healthier and increase the value of your home then you should consider adding a Trew Turner custom designed and built garden office to your home.