I’ve been looking forward to finishing 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. Although after tiling our upstairs bathroom with those tiny little hexagon tiles (AKA the tile from Hell) I was dreading starting another tiling job.
Tiling was absolutely the last thing I wanted to be doing when I started this project, but much to my surprise these thin bricks were super easy to install. The best thing about them is it’s pretty impossible to mess them up. Due to the fact that I was going for a vintage look, I didn’t have to worry about them being perfectly spaced. What a vacation for my inner perfectionist! So now I’m pretty much obsessed with them and trying to find excuses to put them everywhere.
Area: 58 sq.ft.
1. Pick Out Your Bricks
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.
I have been receiving questions about the color of my floors. The Rushmore bricks look really gray on the Home Depot website because they used gray grout. My final pictures of my floors at the end of this post are very accurate to what they really look like. The difference is that I used white grout and it really made the colors pop.
2.Dry Fit The Bricks
I started out by dry fitting the bricks to find a pattern that I liked. I originally wanted to do a herringbone pattern but I ended up going with the typical horizontal brick pattern. Considering this space is so tiny I wanted to keep things simple.
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!
3. Adhere The Bricks To Cement Board With Thinset
Now it was time to get them cemented down before I broke any more bricks. I used Versabond 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 by hand first and then switching to a corded drill with a mixing paddle attachment.
4. Test The Consistency Of The Thinset
To test the consistency of the Thinset I held my trowel upside down over the bucket. The Thinset shouldn’t drip off but stick to the trowel. 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 stirred it a couple more times and it was ready to go.
5. Apply Thinset To Cement Board
I began by stacking the first row of bricks onto the second. After that, I spread the Thinset along the exposed cement board using a triangle trowel, I then removed the excess Thinset using a 1/4″trowel. Finally, I laid the bricks back down using a little pressure to make sure they were secure.
6.Wipe Off Excess Thinset
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.
7.Grout The Bricks
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. To start with I bought one bag but ended up having to grab another one.
8.Use A Grout Bag To Apply The Grout
When grouting bricks a grout bag is definitely the way to go. It works just like a piping bag used for decorating a cake. With that in mind, the grout is easiest to work with when it is 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.
Here’s something to keep In mind, the spacing between my bricks was 1/4″ when I cemented them down. After I finished grouting the grout line was more like a 1/2″ wide. Although I was actually really happy about this because it gave them that old brick look.
9.Use A Chip Brush To Shape The Grout
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.
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. Seal The Bricks
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.
Now that our bricks are sealed they are holding up wonderfully well. Thankfully we haven’t had any more problems with staining and they are easy to keep clean.
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!
Are you ready to tackle Thin Brick floors? Trust me you will be so glad you did!
I would love to see your brick floors!
Update: I have been receiving a lot of questions about how I keep my brick floors clean so I wrote a short post with some tips for you. How to clean interior brick floors