Installing a brick tile floor in your home is a great way to give your home that old-world, rustic charm. Brick is a timeless material that never goes out of style. In this tutorial you will learn how to install thin brick tile veneer onto a floor such a bathroom or kitchen. Installing a brick tile floor is easier than you might think and the application is very similar to regular tile.
The brick tile used in this tutorial was supplied by Real Thin Brick at a discount in exchange for promotion on this blog.
How to Install a Brick Tile Floor
Today I am going to show you how I installed a brick tile floor in my bathroom. I have been working on my bathroom renovation for months and I am almost ready for the full reveal. This brick floor is one of the biggest home improvement projects I have done to date. I am so happy with the way it turned out. I have always loved the look of brick and this is the second project I have done using brick tile.
Check out the full before and after photos of the bathroom renovation here and watch the video tour below:
That accent wall project turned out so beautifully I decided to contact my friend, Imad over at Real Thin Brick to see if he was interested in collaborating with me again. He agreed to create some more custom brick for me at a discount for my flooring project.
Not sure if a brick floor is for you? Here are some pros and cons of decorating with brick:
- Gives the room a rustic look with lots of character
- Easy to install
- Durable material
- Hides dirt and footprints
- Not as comfortable as carpet
- Messier installation than laminate or wood because of the grout
- Not as comfortable to walk on as carpet
But, will brick tile hurt my feet?
One of the main concerns that I had before installing the brick floor was if it would be uncomfortable to walk on. My husband was especially concerned about this because he has tender tootsies and prefers the feel of carpet to hard floors. We obviously wouldn’t put carpet in the bathroom and knew no matter what type of floor we chose it would end up being some kind of tile or laminate floor.
Rob says that the brick is more comfortable than he was expecting and it doesn’t bother him at all which is good because I was not about to rip it up and replace it if it hurt his delicate feet.
Materials needed to install a brick tile floor
- Thin brick veneer tiles I used the Antique Snoqualimie blend from Real Thin Brick
- Thinset mortar
- Grout float
- Cement backer board
- Cement board screws
- Tile saw
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Before you begin you will need to remove the old floor. Our floor consisted of old tile that wasn’t installed very well by the old owner. It was cracked and lifting in many areas, especially around the shower.
I used a crowbar and hammer to smash and rip it up. It came up quite easily.
After all the old tile was removed I had to chip away at the dried mortar that was left on the sub floor. I chipped away at it with a scraper. The floor should be as flat and smooth as possible before you install the new floor.
Once the floor is clean and even, you need to put down cement backer board.
Backer board is a thin layer of concrete that has fiberglass mesh on its sides and is used under the tile to provide a firm and even surface. Due to its composition, it performs well in areas prone to humidity, such as behind shower walls and under bathroom floors. It resists damage from moisture and mold and provides excellent tile adhesion.
Tile should never be applied directly to the subfloor in high moisture areas like bathrooms or kitchens. The tile in our bathroom was cracked and loose in many places because the people who lived in the house before us applied ceramic tile directly to the subfloor.
I thought about making a video of the backer board installation but the one below is so good I decided to share it instead.
To apply the cement board, mix thinset with water and apply it to the subfloor with a trowel. Lay the cement board on the floor and screw it down with cement board screws.
At the seams between two or more of the boards you will need to apply fiber glass tape. Smush down some thinset into the cracks and then apply the fiberglass tape on top, followed by another layer of thinset on top.
Let the entire application dry for at least 24 hours.
I left mine for the weekend.
Next, its time to lay down the brick.
Decide on a pattern for the brick tile floor
I did a 90 degree herringbone pattern. If I had done a traditional herringbone pattern I would have had to cut a million triangles out of the brick pieces at the edge of the pattern. I didn’t want to do that so I rotated the pattern by 90 degrees so that I only had to cut straight edges. It gives the same herringbone look but it’s much easier to install.
Apply a layer of thinset onto the backerboard and then start laying down the brick in your selected pattern.
Cut the bricks as you go and move from left to right, front to back.
Once all the tiles are down let it dry for another 24 hours.
Before you start grouting I recommend sealing the brick. This will help prevent the grout from sticking to the surface of the brick and make it easier to clean up later.
Then, it’s time to grout.
Mix the grout according to the directions on the packaging.
Apply it by floating the grouting. Use your trowel to apply the grout on top of the bricks and then use the grout float to smooth the grout over the bricks and into all the joints.
Remove excess grout with the float and then wait 10 minutes for the grout to set before you remove the rest with a wet sponge. Be careful not to remove too much too soon or the grout lines could be compromised.
I prefer to work in small sections at a time. I usually will grout a space that is two feet by two feet before moving on the next area.
Wait 24-48 hours for it to dry.
It should be safe to walk on after about 24 hours but you need to seal the brick and you should wait at least 72 hours for the grout to cure before you seal it again.
Sealing the brick and grout will help prevent stains keeps water and other liquids from seeping underneath the brick through the grouting
The brick will have to be resealed once every 3-5 years.
Once the brick sealant is dry you can install baseboards and reinstall the toilet and vanity if necessary.
What do you think of my brick floor? Doesn’t it look great? Let me know what you think in the comments!