How to Install Brick Flooring
Brick flooring can truly transform a room and make it a warmer and more inviting space with the rich color and texture that it adds.
Just as we mentioned in our Homeowner’s Guide to Brick Flooring, brick flooring works especially well when used in the laundry room, kitchen, and entryway because of its ability to stand up to heavy wear and water. Thin brick floor tiles are just as easy to install as regular floor tiles using thin-set mortar and finishing off the installation process with grout.
Keep reading for a step-by-step to choosing and installing your own brick paver flooring.
How to choose the right brick flooring
The brick tiles that work best for interior installation are significantly thinner than regular bricks. They are usually ⅜ or ½ inch thick, allowing you to get the look of bricks without all that additional height.
The color and overall appearance of the brick flooring are decisions you will have to make so choose a style of brick that works with your existing cabinetry and color scheme in the room in which you are installing. Before committing and buying all the bricks you’ll need for the project, schedule an appointment at a Batchelder & Collins location and speak with a sales associate.
We can help you to choose the right brick flooring for your home and even send you home with a few individual floor bricks to try out in your home and help you decide what looks best.
Decide on a design
Because of their rectangular shape, brick accommodates several different DIY installation options and designs. The most common brick flooring design is running bond which is when each row of bricks is offset by half a brick.
There is also the stack bond arrangement where the bricks in each row line up with no offset design. Or you can get a little more innovative with a herringbone, basketweave, or other decorative floor design. These will inevitably require more work to align the bricks properly but they can give your room a truly unique look. Turn to Pinterest to get a look at some great options and test out different patterns if you’re not sure what you want.
Once you’ve picked a design, lay the bricks out in the room to see how they’ll work. Keep in mind that you may have to cut some of the bricks to fit around cabinetry and other features in your room.
Preparing for installation
The most important thing when installing brick flooring is having a sturdy and level subfloor to support the brick tiles. If your current subfloor is uneven or unable to handle the heavy load, you’ll need to install a new one before proceeding.
Once you have a level foundation, thoroughly clean it to help the tiles stick as best they can. Mark the center of the floor to help with installation. Then snap chalk lines to serve as a guide for where to install the first row of bricks to ensure it is straight.
Install the brick flooring tiles
When you are making up your thin-set mortar following the manufacturer’s instructions, make only what you will need for the next 20 minutes so that it doesn’t dry out before you can get to it. You want to get the mortar to a consistency similar to toothpaste.
Start by spreading a small section of the floor using a trowel held at a 45-degree angle. The grooves that the trowel creates will help the bricks stick securely to the floor. Press the first row of bricks into the mortar following your chalk lines, gently pushing and twisting them into the mortar to allow them to set. Continue across the room, using tile spacers to ensure the gaps stay consistent. Use a wet saw to cut the brick tiles as needed.
Seal the brick tiles
Before you add grout, you’ll want to seal the bricks, otherwise they will absorb all of the water from the grout. The sealer will also help to minimize the amount of grout that gets stuck to the face of the brick so you should choose a sealer that is specifically designed for bricks.
Follow the sealer’s instructions for application then wait at least 24 hours after applying the sealer to grout.
Finally, add grout around the bricks
Grouting brick flooring is the same as grouting tile with one small difference: some of the grout may find its way into the grooves of the brick tiles even if you seal the bricks. This is where the grout color that you’ve chosen becomes especially important. Since some of it will likely stick to the bricks, choose a grout color that is similar to or coordinating with the brick tiles.
Hold the rubber grout float at a 45-degree angle to push the grout into the gaps between the bricks tiles. Make sure the grout is packed in tightly to fill the gaps completely then use the float to wipe excess grout off the bricks.
Give the grout about 20 minutes to set then go over the bricks with a damp sponge to remove the grout that’s gotten on the face of the bricks. Rinse the sponge regularly then continue wiping until the grout is removed. Be careful not to dig into the grout lines.