Brick & Stone Floors
Brick Is A Great Green Product
Brick and stone, particularly if locally produced or salvaged, is a new and positive alternative to extremely long-lasting, low-maintenance, and visually interesting floors with low environmental costs. Keith Clay Floors has professional installers with over 30 years of experience that can add this new and exciting look to your home or commercial location.
Clay brick flooring has gained a fine reputation for its combination of durability and character. These brick floor tiles are available in a variety of thickness. Brick flooring tiles are just as easy to install as any other types of flooring applications. These beautiful clay brick floor tiles have true colors that run throughout the brick so there is never any signs of fading for the life of the product.
Why install Brick floors? First and foremost, they are very practical because of their durability, and the have a strength and maintenance-free surface. Being practical is just one of the many reasons for making a decision to install interior brick flooring.
Today, there are so many colors and textures of brick flooring to consider. Designers agree that brick can fit into most interior decorator’s plans, brick can provide the strength of a dominant decorative theme, or bring out a rich but neutral background palate for other materials. This versatility lends itself to expression.
In addition to the broad spectrum of brick colors and textures available, your decorator may make recommendations from two different brick flooring systems. If you are unfamiliar with these types, please take a few minutes to read about what options you may select.
We will be discussing several types of brick floors. These are all available brick floor options for you to consider. Each is unique, may be purpose specific, but all require a professional installation process for maximum beauty and ease of maintenance.
Mortarless Paver Flooring Systems
“Mortarless” flooring will provide a very uniform and continuous expression, which can be matched with room furnishings and emphasize other architectural features and qualities of the location for consideration. Completing your expression of design will have a variety of options.
Just as the name implies, no mortar is used in this system and joints which are normally found between brick are simply reduced to fine thin lines. There can be variations in what is available in the color and texture of brick, and many patterns may be developed by varying the bonding of flooring units. This is the part that will lend itself to more expression from a design perspective.
The Mortarless brick flooring technique, is suitable for a concrete slab or on a wood flooring system, but will need to meet physical requirements for the installation type. Careful consideration is part of the decision making process and Keith Clay Floors can answer any questions you may have about this process for the location you have chosen.
What size of brick is available for use? The usual determining factor for what size of brick to used will depend upon the particular bonding pattern to be used. Patterns such as basket weave, herringbone and variations of these bonds will require brick with length dimensions exactly twice that of the width (LTW), such as 4″ x 8″. For running and stack bonds the brick length-to-width proportion is not critical. Cost is a factor. The bidding process at Keith Clay Floors may help in making your decision.
The thickness of brick used on concrete slab base may vary from 1 1/2″ to 2 1/4″, but in general a maximum thickness of 1 1/2″ to 1 5/8″ is recommended if wood flooring systems are going to be used. This is in order to keep weight to a minimum. Each installation site needs to be reviewed by your flooring professional to determine if there are other considerations than weight that could play a major factor in the type and size of brick you may want to use.
When considering the weight, best accepted standards usually dictate that you will need to compensate for the additional weight of brick (approximately 15 pounds per sq. ft.). It is generally recommended that the spacing of the floor joists be reduced 25% or 16″ on center to 12″ on center. For more accurate calculations in your selected space, please contact Keith Clay Floors to come out for a more precise determination.
What can be used in the lines instead of mortar? Clean, dry sand is the preferred look between the bricks, and can be placed on the brick and swept into all joints. Fine silica sand is one of the best to use. Surplus sand is swept off and sealer may be applied when floor is completely dry. Joint sand may be eliminated if the floor is to be sealed. However, more sealer will be required to fill the joints and achieve a gloss appearance.
Do we need to use a Sealer for a Mortarless Paver Flooring Systems?
Best accepted standards say yes. Sealing of Mortarless Brick Flooring accomplishes two purposes. First, the sealing material keeps or seals all the sand in the joints. Secondly, sealers provide an impervious finish to the entire floor.
Keith Clay Floors classifies these sealers into two types: Solvent Based Sealers and Water Based Sealers.
Solvent Based Sealers will be less sensitive to moisture. Brick floors must be completely dry before applying sealers of this type. Allowing time to dry completely will avoid white, cloudy discoloration and/or peeling. It will be necessary to provide adequate ventilation to apply these flammable materials. Keith Clay Floors highly recommends professional installers as the preferred, due to the concerns of ventilation and flammability.
Water Based Sealers are not as sensitive to presence of moisture as solvent based sealers, but brick flooring should must dry before applying any sealer as we discussed above. It is not recommended for use in any area subject to prolonged or constant wetting.
Mortar Bed Paver Flooring Systems
Mortared Brick Flooring, or Mortar bed flooring, is placed with conventional mortar joints which can separate individual flooring units on a concrete slab. These mortar joints may be designed to blend with the units in color and texture, or they may a contrast. In both cases, the individual brick becomes a part of a broad pattern with rhythm and direction. Designers may select patterns that blend easily with the decor of your home. These patterns that are created with the careful use of brick and mortar, brick color, texture and size, jointing and surface applied finishes, add to the beauty of the room.
Mortared Brick Flooring is recommended for rigid concrete slabs. Most brick will need to meet physical property requirements. Brick size works well if it is modular (3 5/8″ x 7 5/8″) having the thickness of brick varying from 1 3/8″ up to 2″ depending on threshold for the doors or wall coverings and baseboards. Keith Clay Floors professional installers are skilled bricklayers or tile setters and are recommended for installation of mortared or grouted brick flooring as well.
What size mortar bed needs to be used? Keith Clay Floors recommends a 3/8″ to 3/4″ mortar bed or setting bed which will be placed directly on the concrete slab with brick being set in the bed with the desired pattern. This variant mortar bed serves as a leveling course to bring the pavement to finished grade. While slab height can be adjusted in the initial pour to allow for a thin set application, a Paver placement is often aided by string lines and a pattern grid in order to keep consistent joints. Most joints will be filled by the bricklayer as the brick are set. It is also possible to be filled at a later time using a grout bag. The size of the job may determine this. Joints can be tooled when the mortar becomes thumb-print hard according to the desired style with concave being the most common.
Keith Clay Floors does recommend keeping the brick clean as the work progresses. Staining may take place depending on the types of products used for a particular installation if great care is not taken. This eliminates problems later. However if they happen, mortar stains are normally removed with special cleaners (acid based) and generous amounts of water. there is some risk in staining if misapplied; and efflorescence in the brickwork could delay any sealing operation. Therefore, great care should taken during the jointing operation.
What about using Sealers on a Mortar Bed Paver Flooring System?
The most important thing to insure is to understand that all Mortar bed paver flooring systems, is they must be completely dry before applying any coating. Since water has been used in the setting bed and mortar and in cleaning the brickwork, there is a great possibility that the floor could still contain moisture for several months after completion of work. Coatings applied too soon will inevitably turn white and /or separate from brick. Proper evaluation is critical to avoid additional costs in repairs discoloration.
Several coating manufacturers suggest that concrete and mortared masonry floors be first cleaned with a mild “acid wash” to remove laitance and to neutralize the normal alkalinity of cement mortars. This is a decision Keith Clay Floors may want to discuss with you.
The drying process may take up to 8 weeks in heated or air conditioned space to completely dry. We do not recommend a sealer to be applied generously over the entire area without adhering to the manufacturer’s instruction. The same types of sealers described above may also be used on mortared flooring.
Will A Barrier Coating for Stain Control be necessary on Mortar Bed Paver Flooring?
Proprietary barriers or release coatings, are available for use as a pre-treatment in preventing cement grouts from bonding to the exposed face of brick flooring units.The products for removal of release coatings and grout have specific methods of applications and must be followed to the letter the label instructions specify. Keith Clay Floors will be happy to review these types of coatings and discuss what will be the best option to use with your flooring needs.
Ordinary paraffin wax could also be used as a bond breaker. We recommended use of wax when the wax is allowed to harden before setting the brick into the mortar or bed. Do not attempt to delay coating of brick until after unit has been set in mortar bed. The wax will run down sides of units, preventing the bonding of grout to edges of brick.
After grout or mortar has been placed, tooled, and cured, wax may be removed from face of brick with jet of hot water, steam, or products mentioned above. We do not recommend that acids be required for cleaning when the wax system is used.
The decision making process of selecting a brick floor is part of the fun of considering a new or used brick floor for your home or commercial application. With Keith Clay Floors as your professional installer; things get a lot easier. Our professional installers can save you time and money; and put you on the path towards enjoying that new floor. Contact us today.
Keith Clay has been in business for over 30 years serving Dallas, Frisco, Plano, Richardson, and all Dallas Metroplex suburbs. We know wood floors, specialty floors, stone floors and tile; we can answer any questions you may have. If you want the best possible result from a company of professionals, call us today. 972-463-6604. World Class Craftsmanship. Reasonable Prices.