H & E SMITH – Traditional British Ceramic Tile

Family business, H&E Smith, founded by William Henry Smith have manufactured fine quality traditional ceramic wall tiles in Stoke-on-Trent, home of the British pottery industry, since 1926.

Initially the ceramic tiles were produced for glazed, tiled fireplaces resulting in the growth of their famous Van Delft range. This saw the start of rapid expansion for the company, in their faience lines and glazed features, selling tiles to many more fireplace manufacturers.

In 1960, Frederick succeeded his father William, and the company became more involved in the production of wall tiles developing many wall tile ranges including hand decorated, glazed and embossed wall tiles. Latterly, H&E Smith decided to compliment their range of ceramic wall tiles with carefully selected porcelain floor tiles which can be seen in their Westminster range of top quality Victorian Style porcelain tiles for geometric floor patterns and polished large format tiles.

Traditional, twice fired methods have been used since the beginning of the last century. Coupled with an inherently skilled workforce, H&E Smith have a remarkable ability to create bespoke ranges of varying size, shape, glaze and finish. Their glazes are unique to the company and are made at their Stoke-on- Trent site. In fact, for the London Underground refurbishment project, H&E Smith were requested to develop special colour glazes and tiles to match the existing designs of over 100 years ago. Tiles were matched to the traditional heritage specifications, many of which were overseen by English Heritage, the organisation in the UK concerned with the preservation and conservation of the original aspects of such prestigious projects.

H&E Smith are regularly commissioned to undertake restoration work with far reaching accolades including its most famous and long-standing involvement with the London Underground. As well as developing the bespoke colour glazes, for many of the underground stations H&E Smith have recreated floral panelled Victorian embossed tiles, moulded tiles for dados, corners and coving, and lithographed lettering. A range of famous special embossments, as originally designed by the highly acclaimed English ceramic and metalwork designer Harold Stabler, were also recreated depicting famous London landmarks like St Pauls Cathedral.

Today, with the introduction of computer aided technology, tiles can be created to include original designs offering endless possibilities for architects and interior designers, including reproductions of painting by famous artist such as Reubens, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Van Gogh and Monet.

Recent examples include a bespoke mural to take pride of place in the historic Ship Inn, Chester.

The image of the ship and logo were supplied by the client and the ceramic artwork was digitally created from a simple pdf file.

Small intermittent electric kilns were used to produce special tiles in ‘Snowdrop’ and ‘Victoria Black’. This revolutionary method of tile decoration can be adapted for external projects when tiles are given a frost resistant treatment.

H&E Smith are particularly proud of their British heritage and the fact that they supply an exclusive British product, still manufactured in the time honoured way, for customers all around the world.

Clients include International Hotel Chains, Private Hotels and Public Houses, Shopping Malls and Train Stations.

There are currently no comments for this article.

Login to comment. slider