Brick Flooring 101: How To Lay It And Take Care Of It From Someone Who Has Done It Herself

Brick flooring have all the time been my jam. I used to work for a designer in Los Angeles who had a ton of shoppers with Spanish cottage-style properties in Montecito. We virtually drove up there twice per week for onsites, and after checking in on these tasks, we’d have lunch on the cutest little spots on the town on our approach again to Los Angeles. I liked these onsites most. Although these properties have been giant in measurement, I all the time liked how the architectural particulars made them really feel so quaint. A type of particulars being their brick flooring. To be trustworthy, again then, I used to be all the time given the duty of selecting the sample during which the brick can be laid and leaned extra into the aesthetics facet of the flooring. It wasn’t till my second design place at an architectural agency in Santa Monica, the place I would really be taught the significance of specifying supplies for his or her sturdiness and sustainability. I’d have by no means guessed it will take seven years till I’d absolutely perceive the set up facet of brick flooring and the upkeep that comes with it (experiencing and having the flooring in my own residence). 

We all know that brick is usually used to construct partitions, and for out of doors areas like gardens, driveways, roads, and walkways, however in recent times I’ve seen brick flooring reemerge within the interiors of properties. This has been made doable by firms creating brick supplies particularly to be put in within properties. These come within the type of brick sheets which might be designed to make the set up of inside brick flooring as simple as it might probably presumably be. They even come within the type of a herringbone sample, in order that the labor to put in them doesn’t need to be so intense/costly. 

All that to say, right here I’m, three months later, after having our kitchen transformed and I can lastly provide you with an replace on how our brick flooring have been holding up, however first, let’s discuss set up. 

INSTALLATION

Wanted Brick Flooring Supplies: Cement board (generally), Mortar, Grout, and Tile/Stone Sealer 

A shopper of mine was sort sufficient to present me the leftover brick from a mudroom I labored on some time in the past, and this was a giant motive as to why I made a decision on the brick flooring for my kitchen. I had a considerable amount of the brick tiles already and knew I’d be saving so much on flooring by buying the remaining quantity (on prime of making use of my commerce low cost). One other large motive I selected to go together with the brick was due to the entire water harm we discovered within the earlier flooring. There was water beneath the wooden laminate and it was a tad bit moldy. After eradicating the laminate, we realized there was tile beneath it and nonetheless had some small puddles of water sitting on prime of it (in between the laminate and tile). Then when pulling up the tiled flooring, we discovered concrete. 

HOT TIP: I’ve carried out my share of analysis on brick flooring and located that cement board is for waterproofing over wooden. Since concrete was already on the subfloor in my dwelling, waterproofing was not wanted right here – we have been capable of do with out the cement board. 

Let’s discuss grout! I believe the bottom line is to have a brick mason and a tile installer when putting in brick flooring. My contractors had each are available to do our kitchen ground. Each offered me with a couple of software choices as to how I’d just like the flooring grouted. The appliance I liked most was that of a German Schmear. A German Schmear is when a combination of moist mortar is troweled or painted onto the floor of the brick. Afterward, earlier than the mortar is totally dry, a few of it’s wiped off to show components of the brick. Consider it like spreading peanut butter onto a bit of toast, then realizing you’ve added a bit an excessive amount of, and wiping some off…simply sufficient till it’s to your liking. Possibly that’s a nasty analogy, nevertheless it is sensible at this second (as I’m consuming a bit of peanut butter toast). Transferring on, I selected this grout software for a couple of totally different causes; one being that in the course of the transport of the brick tiles, a couple of arrived with some cracks in them (due to my hubby haha). 

I didn’t wish to throw away the cracked items and figured filling them with grout would do the trick. Plus, I don’t thoughts the character the cracks convey. Secondly, I selected this software as a result of I didn’t need dust and meals to gather in between the grout. The third motive I selected this software, is as a result of I needed the flooring to really feel extra leveled and easy when individuals walked on them, and lastly, I needed the flooring to appear to be that they had been there for ages. I find it irresistible when architectural particulars have a little bit of rustic character. As for the precise grout, I made a decision to go together with this Ultracolor Plus FA #93 Heat Grey Grout. 

Congruent with the grout, I wanted to resolve how I needed the brick tiles to put. I performed round with so many combos however in the end determined I needed a border across the complete ground and the herringbone-patterned tile to fill it in. I used to be ready to make use of the OldMill Fort Gate Herringbone Skinny Brick Panels for the within ground design and the Fort Gate Skinny Brick Panels for the surface border design. The final choice I needed to make was concerning the tile sealer. I needed to verify this brick was sealed and ready for the entire spills I knew my one-year-old (and hubby) can be presenting it with. I ended up having it sealed with two coatings. It actually solely wanted one, however there might be a renter right here quickly, as we’re transferring again to Los Angeles this 12 months. I actually needed to verify I did my due diligence with sealing off these brick pores. That leads me to my subsequent subject, sturdiness. 

DURABILITY 

Enjoyable Truth: Fired clay bricks are some of the sturdy and strongest development supplies identified to man, with some examples courting all the way in which again to 5000 BC. How intriguing is that?! That is positively a ground that may stand the take a look at of time. Such a sturdy materials, together with the grout chosen, the applying, and the layers of sealer, all make for an amazing pairing.

We’ve already spilled wine and black paint on the ground and wiped it up like magic (solely utilizing cleaning soap and water). I must also point out the primary dishwasher we obtained was drug all through the kitchen when it arrived (wasn’t blissful about it) – let’s simply say the flooring received and the dishwasher misplaced. Fireplace clay bricks can even face up to excessive warmth and is extra resistant to break from hearth than different varieties of flooring. This was an enormous plus in our case, because the earlier flooring suffered from burn marks – not fairly certain what the earlier proprietor was as much as within the kitchen. 

SUSTAINABILITY 

I’m doing my finest transferring ahead to contemplate every materials’s sustainability. The extra I turn into educated about our surroundings, the extra I wish to ensure that I do my half. Prior to now, I’ve made loads of design selections that resulted in assembly my very own wants, but compromising the power of future generations to satisfy their wants. Once I was going to highschool for inside and architectural design, I discovered about LEED and the way I may responsibly design. I nonetheless wish to be LEED-certified in some unspecified time in the future, however within the meantime, I’m attempting to make higher selections relating to design tasks and deciding on supplies. I actually do need my child boy and the entire different individuals inheriting our world after me to inherit one thing good. That stated, clay and shale are naturally occurring supplies which might be obtainable abundantly. Although it takes a lot vitality to fireplace brick, their excessive sturdiness and longevity implies that no further vitality is required to switch them in the long term. Bricks are additionally recyclable. 

MAINTENANCE 

How I keep my brick ground has been the discuss of the city! Effectively, through my social media it has lol. I’ve been sharing tidbits of me doing so, however now I’ll get to the nitty-gritty with how I hold them up. To be trustworthy, after listening to a number of of us’ experiences with their brick flooring, I used to be slightly anxious of what was to return with mine, however after three months, I actually should not have any woes or regrets. It’s been a lot simpler than I believed it will be and I’d credit score this to the way it was put in and what supplies I selected throughout that course of. As well as, right here’s how I hold a clear brick ground: 

Vacuum Often 

I exploit a robotic vacuum each morning (you heard me proper). Each morning, I put up the child gate, and I let the vacuum do its factor. It’s simple to seize crumbs as a result of there are not any cracks for them to get into (this was largely as a result of software course of and the grout I selected). The grout is great as a result of it reduces floor absorption to assist repel water, dust, and dirt earlier than penetrating grout joints. To reiterate, the grout is principally the identical stage because the brick and the entire cracks within the brick have been stuffed with grout as nicely (German Schmear) due to this fact, crumbs and dust don’t accumulate. This makes for a smoother floor as nicely, whereas nonetheless holding a little bit of its texture.

Mop Weekly 

My husband and I ensure that to mop our kitchen ground each Sunday morning. This implies I mop it as soon as each two weeks and he mops it as soon as each two weeks. It doesn’t really feel like a whole lot of work to us. We simply placed on podcast, pull out a mop and a pure combine, then get to work. 

HOT TIP: Listed below are a couple of pure cleansing options I discovered through The Spruce: 1 half vinegar blended with 10 to fifteen components of water, or 2 tablespoons Borax blended with 1 gallon of water, or 1 to 2 tablespoons baking soda blended with 1 gallon of water. Cleaning soap and water are successful too!

I’ve experimented with all of the above and I like utilizing the cleaning soap and water combine probably the most… simply occurs to be my choice. My husband likes utilizing the vinegar combine. 

Clear Spills Instantly With A Fabric 

This one simply requires me shortly grabbing a material and utilizing cleaning soap and water to wash the spot that has been spilled on. Many of the each day spills are espresso, oat milk, and water. 

We Do Not Put on Sneakers In The Home (Until They Are Model New Or Home Slippers)

I’ve slightly one who likes to eat off of the flooring and principally simply lay his face on the ground every time he feels prefer it. I’ve additionally seen approach too many documentaries about the entire germs that stay on the underside of our footwear. That stated, in my dwelling, we don’t put on our exterior footwear inside. This additionally contributes to why our flooring don’t get very soiled.  

 Now let’s get to the factor everybody has been ready for – are the flooring even cozy? 

COMFORT

We actually acquired stage on our brick, and the grout being virtually as stage because the precise brick tile makes the ground really feel a lot smoother. We get simply sufficient texture that per my momma, “it seems like a little bit of a therapeutic massage when strolling on the ground.” It actually meant so much for my mother to have a constructive expertise with strolling on the ground, as she has ft and knee points. Belief, my mother is a straight-shooter, and would gladly let me know if she discovered the flooring uncomfortable. She talked about that she’d take her slippers off every time earlier than getting into the kitchen, trying ahead to strolling on it.

My father additionally loved strolling on the ground, and with a current hip surgical procedure. There’s additionally the opinions of these exterior of my household, all types of contractors (plumbers, wall-patchers, electricians, HVAC servicers, and so forth.) who don’t have any pores and skin within the recreation, but all delivered to my consideration how shocked they have been on the consolation of strolling on the ground (I don’t enable footwear in our home, so that they have been capable of really feel the flooring this manner). As well as, when it comes to consolation, brick is inherently hotter than different tiles with retaining warmth properties. My husband, one-year-old, and I additionally love strolling on the ground. I suppose you’ll be able to formally deem us “brick individuals”. 

On the finish of the day, it’s all about how devoted you’re to the fabric. Will you spend the time placing collectively the proper mixture of supplies and recipe for set up? Are you okay with vacuuming your kitchen ground day by day, deep cleansing as soon as per week, and refraining from carrying your exterior footwear inside? Would you wish to stroll on textured flooring day by day? How do you’re feeling about including texture and heat to make your house really feel extra quaint and comfy – which may additionally tackle a smooth fashionable look when mixed with the correct supplies. Ask your self these questions, and lots of extra earlier than you resolve on a brick ground. In my expertise, listening to from those that’ve opted for brick flooring of their dwelling, they both hate it or find it irresistible. I’m a lover of brick. It brings an fascinating, rustic facet to any style of design, it’s fairly distinctive and I particularly find it irresistible in a kitchen. I’ll greater than probably be utilizing it once more in our subsequent dwelling.

*Design and Photograph by Ajai Guyot

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