You know what I love? I love things with patina. Old hand rubbed wood. Chippy paint. Mottled mirrors and crazed antique dishes.
Well worn finishes and dinged up drawer fronts don’t say ‘too old and worn’ to me. They say ‘well worn and loved.’ Do you feel the same? Oh good. Then I think you will like this post and the newest amount of patina that we have added.
I LOVE brick. LOVE it. It makes me think of old cottage garden walkways, antique houses with sunrooms and old European elegance. I have thought about putting brick in our house several times- and you know- I won’t rule it out some day. But since we have old hardwoods – I have leaned towards keeping that original going. BUT Brick…. oh my goodness. The patina talks Loudly to me and I love it too.
Did you guess we were bricking a floor in the cottage?
I honestly wasn’t 100% on what flooring we were going to do when we started the project. We were going to do marble subway tile like in the house- but the guest cottage always leans more ‘vintage masculine’ to me and I kept coming back to a simple glossy white subway tile. Which of course, worked for my husband since the cost is so much less than marble. But I made up the cost with the floor haha. So we are even. 🙂
I was staring at the subway tile while grouting one wall and getting ready to grout another- I thought about the sink we were putting in and the tile walls and what flooring to go with and brick just popped into my head and I knew it would be perfect for the cottage.
I always love that bit of rustic mixed in with elegance. Though the cottage bathroom is far from elegant- it is more vintage modern in some ways- the brick felt like the perfect compliment to the other patina we were adding. The brass elements and that ‘new’ antique sink and the crisp subway tile.
What I love about brick is that it is such a down to earth (for lack of a better saying) kind of element. It isn’t fussy. It doesn’t demand perfection. It adds a beautiful layer of patina and is not hard to maintain.
Between you and me- the marble flooring in our bathrooms in the house are somewhat of a high maintenance. We have had breaks in the small mosaic pieces and water that has gotten through to the underlayment and caused damage. We are actually considering a replacement for those floors at the moment.
So, if you have been reading the Weekend View posts- you know the grouting was giving me all kinds of challenges. I wanted to see more of the brick- less of the grout haze. As of right now- I have settled for in between. We scrubbed the haze off as much as we could -but still have some. We have not used the haze cleaner yet- it has to be 10 days for the grout to cure before using.
Was this an easy project? In a lot of ways- Yes. This brick comes in sheets attached to a mesh that makes it easy to adhere to the underlayment while also keeping the pattern in place. Here is the one we used (affiliate)
After getting your subfloor ready – you spread a layer of mortar and place the brick sheets in place. You will need to cut some bricks for areas- but it is fairly easy to cut. I even was able to use a chisel and just break the bricks in half where I needed them. Though-know that I am not a perfectionist on the exact look, size and shape- I appreciate the chips and dings and natural imperfections of the brick so winging it with a chisel didn’t bother me.
After the mortar dries- you need to grout. That was a bit more involved being that the grout lines for these brick sheets are fairly chunky.
Heavy lifting wise- I will say that the brick sheets are on the heavier side compared to regular tile. And if you are trying to keep the mortar Off the bricks as much and are using a mortar bag (like a pastry bag) – Prepare for an arm and hand workout.
Of course, anytime you are tiling a floor- that ‘wax on- wax off’ motion can definitely strain your shoulders and back- so just things to know before you jump in. Overall- it was a doable DIY project that was far less involved than some tiling jobs we have done. It took us a couple of hours each of 2 days to finish- one to mortar in place- and the next day to grout.
Use a premixed mortar to make installation easier- and don’t go light on it. There is a recommended type to use with brick- so make sure you read the fine print.
If you aren’t worried about a hazy brick look- skip the ‘grout pastry bag’ and grout as usual.
The grout dries fairly quickly and it makes it hard to squeeze out the end of the bag the longer you are working.
Brick mesh flooring is not necessarily considered inexpensive– but you can go with individual bricks and lay each out to save on costs- or just decide it is worth it to splurge on it a bit and maybe save somewhere else.
It is hard to believe the guest cottage bathroom is ALMOST finished. ALMOST because even though we are in business with plumbing and everything working, tiling wrapped up, flooring wrapped up and our new sink installed- I am waiting for the finishing touches to arrive.
BUT- I can say that I am BEYOND in love with how it is coming together. Classic, vintage, beautiful- and full of so much charm. And… we just might go for it and add this flooring in more areas. Did I mention I was obsessed with how it looks and is coming together? 🙂 Stay tuned for the finished bathroom and Reveal.
What do you think of the brick floor? Would you ever install one in your home?