How to Install a Thin Brick Floor

August 5 2019

Brick flooring can be a beautiful and durable option for your home. Common places for a brick floor include mud rooms, sunrooms, laundry rooms, and bathrooms. When considering a brick floor project, be sure to use real fire-kiln clay bricks in order to ensure long term durability and avoid cracking and chipping that comes with cement cast fake brick tiles. Old Mill Brick carries a number of beautiful colors and styles of real thin bricks that are perfect for a flooring project. You can purchase the bricks as loose thin bricks or on Brickwebb for easy and fast installation. 

Once you have your location and bricks chosen, installation is easy and DIY-able. Follow these steps to install your thin brick floor: 

Cleaning the floors to get ready for bricks.
Photo credit: Domestic Imperfection

Step 1

You can install a thin brick floor over a cement base or over an installed cement board. Do not install your thin bricks over the top of vinyl, tiles, or any other finished floor surfaces. Existing tile or other flooring will need to be removed first. 

Thoroughly clean your floor surface. Remove any dust and dirt and make sure that the floor is level. 

Optional: Apply a bonding primer to your surface if you are working on sealed cement or an otherwise non-porous surface. 

Installing the bricks.
Photo credit: Domestic Imperfection

Step 2

Use a modified thin set adhesive, such as Old Mill Brick Adhesive, for your flooring project. Mix your adhesive if needed according to the instructions on the packaging. Using a notched trowel, smear on the adhesive with the flat side first and then score and level it with the notched side. Do a small section in the far side of the room to start with so that you can work your way backward out of the room without having to step on the bricks before they dry. 

Bricks installed and ready for grout.
Photo credit: Domestic Imperfection

Step 3 

Place your thin bricks on the adhesive and press them down gently. If using loose bricks, use ⅜” tile spacers between your bricks to achieve even spacing. Alternatively, you can use Brickwebb by Old Mill Brick to place 12 pre-spaced bricks at a time. 

Repeat the process of smearing on the adhesive, scoring it with your notched trowel, and placing your bricks until you have covered the entire floor. 

Pro tip: If you need to pause and take a break, use your trowel to scrape off any access adhesive before it dries. If the access adhesive dries on the floor, it can be very difficult to remove.

Cutting thin bricks for the edges.

Step 4

Use a wet tile saw or angle grinder with a diamond blade attachment to cut your bricks as needed throughout your project. Click here for more details on how to cut thin bricks. Place your cut bricks as you go so that you don’t have to go back and step on the brick floor before it has dried. 

Grouting in progress.
Photo credit: Domestic Imperfection

Step 5

Allow your brick floor at least 24 hours to dry before grouting. Use a Type S mortar or sanded grout in your color of choice for your project. Use a trowel to apply the grout on top of the bricks and then use a large tile float to smooth the grout over the bricks and into all the joints.

Remove excess grout with the float and then wait about 10 minutes for the grout to set before you remove the rest with a wet sponge. Use a sponge and a bucket of water to remove the grout from the brick faces while leaving the grout lines. Remove as much of the grout from the brick faces while it is wet as you can. Once the grout is dry, it is very difficult to remove.

The finished floor.
Photo credit: Domestic Imperfection

Pro Tip: You can use a brick sealer over your bricks before you grout to prevent the grout from sticking to the brick faces too much. Know that most sealers will slightly darken the bricks and give a glossier look to the bricks that is irreversible. We recommend the 511 Impregnator by the brand Miracle for a good non-gloss sealant. It preserves the look of the bricks without darkening them or giving a noticeable shine.

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1 Comment

  1. Billy
    Wow, this is a great guide! Thank you for sharing. Definitely super helpful for those looking to install brick.

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