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Clay from old roof tiles

 
gardener
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I wouldvery much like to have a go at differnt cob structures - clay oven (just to see), duck house, wattle and daub ect. But we have no clay here. Our soil, loose term there, is basically decomposed granite with anything soluble washed out by heavy rain. What we do have are old broken red clay roof tiles. Tons of the stuff. It struck me that they could possible be recycled. Does anyone know a way of turning tile waste back into useable clay? I have researched but people talk about very small quantities and then its a bit vague. I would like to recycle loads and then store the clay if its possible.
Thanks in advance.
 
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It's likely they're fired clay, which means they can literally last centuries; they still find ones in Britain the Roman's made.

Ideas to reuse them:

1. Garden edging
2. Break them up and use as a garden mulch
3. If you have poultry, the tiles could be laid in the garden to attract snails, then feed the snails to the fowl as a treat
4. Used to line a fire pit

They won't add much value to the soil if they're broken up and dug in, if anything they would create more problems as a nuisance.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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F Agricola wrote:It's likely they're fired clay, which means they can literally last centuries; they still find ones in Britain the Roman's made.

Ideas to reuse them:

1. Garden edging
2. Break them up and use as a garden mulch
3. If you have poultry, the tiles could be laid in the garden to attract snails, then feed the snails to the fowl as a treat
4. Used to line a fire pit

They won't add much value to the soil if they're broken up and dug in, if anything they would create more problems as a nuisance.


Thank you for your reply but the question was reusing tile to make clay for cob.
 
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fired clay has been vitrified. it's not the same as simply dried clay, that can be rehydrated and reused as clay. Those tiles can be reutilized but not used as raw clay, that ship has sailed.

All those tiles mean that someone is making tiles, though-- they are getting the clay from somewhere, and that would be your source of raw clay.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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Tereza Okava wrote:fired clay has been vitrified. it's not the same as simply dried clay, that can be rehydrated and reused as clay. Those tiles can be reutilized but not used as raw clay, that ship has sailed.

All those tiles mean that someone is making tiles, though-- they are getting the clay from somewhere, and that would be your source of raw clay.



Thank you, Tereza! I will get them raken away or use as filler somewhere.
 
Tereza Okava
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I can get soooo many and use them as F Agricola has described- they are the edging for my garden beds, the broken up ones are filler or use for paths/stepping stones in the beds, and I use them as snail traps (no chickens, but as a way to make snail hunting easier).
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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Ours are the arabic style so we can't use them as stepping stones. The very few whole ones that I found  I did surround a bed with but the asymmetrical curve nade it ineffective. We did use the broken ones to make a courtyard but weeds loved them so we had to redo in weed suppressing mulch. I am guessing that we find them in every patch of soil because the Galicians knew of no way to use them. Nothing goes to waste here.
The clay idea was because I read about someone doing something similar but it may have just been a dream. What a shame!
 
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I guess you could like... take a sledge hammer to them to break them into bits and work them into substrate or medium as a filler. My mom uses broken terra cotta shards in the bottom of flower pots to keep the soil from running out the hole when she waters. But yeah as others mentioned when the clay is heated during firing, it basically melts and fuses together like glass. What makes clay clay is the tininess of the particles; so very tiny that they cling together. It can be composed of a variety of minerals, but largely silica (the same stuff glass is made of) since that's the bulk of the material that (continental) land is made of. Firing makes it not be clay anymore, and it will never be clay again unless erosion or some other force grinds it into teensy tiny bits much smaller than grains of sand. You can use them like you'd use any fragile rocks that aren't very pleasant to step on or look at.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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Thank you Sarah!
 
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Broken tiles can have very sharp edges.
If your drive needs gravel, throw then there and the traffic will break them up nicely
You may have to buy proper clay in.
 
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