I’ve been looking forward to completing our laundry room and half bath renovation for quite awhile. After spending several months walking around on subfloors I was beyond ready to get these brick floors installed. But after installing the tiny little hexagon tiles in our upstairs bathroom AKA the tile from Hell. I was also dreading starting another tiling job at the same time. Tiling had worked its way up to #2 on my least favorite things to do list. #1 spot will always be sheetrock mudding. But much to my surprise, these thin bricks were so easy to install. Hallelujah! I am in love with them, now I’m trying to find excuses to put them everywhere.
I ended up ordering my bricks online from Home Depot. I went with the Old Mill Brick in the color Rushmore because I liked that they had gray tones. You may want to check around and see what your local options are. We just have to order everything online so that’s why I went with Home Depot. I really love the bricks they sell, though. The color was exactly what I was looking for.
- Thin Bricks
- 1/4″ Trowel
- Triangle trowel
- Grout Bag
- Sanded Grout
- 5-gallon bucket
- Mixing paddle
- 1/2″ Corded Drill
- Tile Saw
- Chip Brush
- Aldon Same Day Sealer
Dry Fitting The Bricks
1) I started out by dry fitting the bricks to find a pattern I liked. I originally wanted to do a herringbone pattern but I ended up going with the usual horizontal brick pattern. Since these rooms are so tiny I wanted to keep things simple and less busy. When I was finished dry fitting the bricks they hit out exactly where I wanted them to be. So I just left them laid out on the floor because I didn’t dare mess it up. I did break a few bricks walking back and forth on them, though. oops!
2) The best thing about these Thin bricks is it’s pretty hard to mess it up. Since I was going for a vintage look I didn’t have to worry about the spacing in between the bricks because it wasn’t supposed to be perfect. What a vacation for my inner perfectionist! These bricks were made for me.
Installing the Bricks
3) Now it was time to get them installed before I broke any more bricks. I used white Thinset because I was planning to use a light colored grout. The Thinset becomes hard to work with after about 30 minutes so I mixed up roughly two gallons at a time. I followed the directions on the bag mixing first by hand and then switching to a corded drill with a mixing paddle.
4) I scooped some Thinset up on the end of my trowel to test the consistency. I then held the trowel upside down over the bucket, it should stick to the trowel and not drip off. I’d say it was about the consistency of peanut butter. At this point, your supposed to let it sit for ten minutes without adding any more powder or water. After that, I gave it a couple more stirs and it was ready to go.
5) I stacked the first row of bricks onto the second. Then I spread the Thinset along the exposed cement board using a triangle trowel. Using a 1/4″ trowel I removed the excess Thinset. I laid the bricks back down using a little pressure to make sure they were secure.
6) I tried to keep the grout grooves clean as I went because chipping out Thinset is not fun! I was pretty good at doing this, but I wish I would have washed off the top of the bricks and edges, as I went along. It’s not hard to wipe up with water after it drys but it took me at least an hour to clean it up the next day.
Grouting the brick
7) Now it was time for the grout. I used Polyblend Sanded Grout in Antique White. I went with the sanded grout because Non-Sanded grout would just smear and make a huge mess also sanded grout is stronger and made for large joints. I laid about 58 sq ft. of brick and I used 1 1/2 bags (25lb). Hopefully, that will help give you a better idea of how much you will need. The suggestions on the back of the bag aren’t very helpful since they are for tile. I bought one bag to start with but ended up having to grab another one.
Using a grout bag
8) A grout bag is definitely the way to go when grouting bricks. It works just like a piping bag used for decorating a cake. With that in mind, the grout worked best when it was the consistency of frosting. Using a grout bag is a major arm workout but I’m kinda weak sauce so maybe that was my problem. The spacing between the bricks was 1/4″ when I laid them. When I finished grouting it became more like a 1/2″ grout line. Which I was really happy about because I wanted that old brick look.
Using a chip brush to shape the grout
9) The grout is ready to be shaped when it still feels wet but is firm to the touch. Using the handle of a chip brush I pressed the grout down into the joint. The depth of the groove is up to you. I personally tried to keep the grout flush with the bricks for ease of everyday cleaning. After that, I used the brush end to smooth the grout and brush away the excess.
Sealing the Brick
10) This is the most important part! I recommend buying this Aldon Same Day Sealer and have it right ready when you finish grouting. Don’t wait to do this crucial step like I did. When I was ready to paint my laundry room I moved everything into the adjoining bathroom. The next day when I was cleaning up I lifted up the laundry soap and much to my horror it had leaked all over my beautiful floor. I scrubbed and scrubbed but it just wouldn’t come out. Thank goodness it is at least in a place where I can hide it with a rug or something. These bricks will stain very easily without being sealed. Moral of the story, seal your floors people and pronto!
11) The Aldon Same Day Sealer was really easy to use. It looks just like water, basically you just dump it on and spread it around. It didn’t change the look of the bricks at all which I was extremely happy about because I loved how they looked. We bought a quart of the sealer but it was barely enough, I will probably buy more and do them again.
I am in love with how this floor turned out it makes me happy every time I see it. It added some much-needed character to our house. Now I’m getting even more excited for these two rooms to be completely finished they are going to be super cute! So are you ready to tackle Thin Brick floors? Trust me you will be so glad you did!