Clay Brick Pavers in an array of colors

Old Chicago Brick

Installation Instructions

Step 1

  • Make sure the sub-floor is clean, dry and sound. Layout the floor. Begin by marking the center points of the four walls. Snap chalk lines between the center points of opposite walls. Check the convergence of these lines to make sure they are square.

Step 2

  • Divide the floor up into 17 1/4 inch squares by snapping chalk lines. Eight tiles fit in each 17-1/4 inch square.

Step 3

  • Spread thin-set using a 1/4 inch notch trowel. Follow the instructions on the package of thin-set. Mix only enough for a half-hour of work at a time. Spread the thin-set onto the surface using the flat side of the trowel. Then comb it into the ridges holding the trowel at a 45-degree angle. Try not to cover up your guidelines.

Step 4

  • Start your pattern in the bottom right hand corner of the 17-1/4 inch squares. Space the bricks between 1/2" and 5/8" apart. Don’t worry if the bricks aren’t exactly perfectly spaced, part of the beauty of a brick floor is the character that comes from the slight imperfections.

Step 5

  • Cut the bricks around walls and cabinets. Use a wet tile saw with a diamond blade. If you don’t have one you can use a diamond blade on your table or hand saw, but you should soak the brick first to cut down on the dust.

Step 6

  • The bricks must be in place for a least a day before you grout them. I have heard much debate on what is the best looking grout. Some installers prefer using a standard sanded tile grout, others like the look of actual brick mortar. If you want to use a mortar use type S mortar and sand with 3 shovels of Sand to one shovel of mortar with water, or use a pre-mixed mortar such as Quick-Crete. Only mix enough for 30 minutes of grouting. Always wear gloveswhen grouting with mortar. Use the backside of the notch trowel to spread the grout into the joints. Let the grout harden slightly, then scrape the excess mortar from the bricks. Use a damp sponge to clean off the top of the bricks and make the joint smooth. Rinse the sponge and change the water frequently.

Step 7

  • Although some installers will simply wipe off the tiles with a sponge and proceed to sealing, we recommend cleaning with muriatic acid. If youchoose to do this be sure to follow all warnings and instructions.

Step 8

  • You may choose to coat with a water-based sealer for a natural finish, or use a non-yellowing polyeurethane for an easy care wet look finish. If you are going to coat it with polyurethane, you have to wait 30 days for the brick to dry. Keep furniture, trashcans, etc. off the floor during this time; foot traffic is O.K. Note these products are highly flammable, turn off any pilot lights, etc. Ifat all possible you will want to avoid the area while the polyeurethane is drying. A water-based sealer may be used immediately. There are many products on the market that will work, such as Aquamix seal and finish, or Mexiglaze Mexican tile sealer. Any sealer listed as a clay, brick or terra-cotta sealer should work, just be sure to test it on a brick tile to be sure the results are satisfactory. Some sealants may darken the color of the brick Clean the floor with a vacuum cleaner before applying the finish. First paint the borders around the room with a 3-inch brush. Then roll the floor with a 3/4 inch nap roller. Apply 3 or 4 coats of finish, usually 2 the first day, then 1 or 2 the next. Enjoy your beautiful brick floor!

Copyright 2002 Brick Floor Tile