Everything you need to know about brick flooring, how to install, clean and protect.
When we moved into our home just a little over 2 years ago, I felt it needed more character. It felt like dated builder’s grade construction with little to no detail.
My Great Aunt’s farmhouse had brick floors in the side entryway, which captured the dirt as you entered her home. I had seen brick floor pavers in The Great American House, Steve and Brooke Giannetti’s Patina Style an array of mudrooms and entryways and decided to take the plunge and add a little function and character to our home.
What is Brick Flooring?
Brick flooring is a brick veneer. Thin “sheets” of brick, that often come in sheets to make them easy to lay.
Brick is made of clay or shale that is pressed, dried and fired in a kiln into a durable ceramic. It comes in a variety of colors which never fade due to the firing process.
It has a slight texture which adds interest to design.
Let’s start with a little Q&A about Brick Flooring!
Q: Another blogger asked “Help! I’m about to order the same brick veneers you used in your mudroom for my bathroom floor but on Lowe’s it says they’re for walls only and not suitable for floors. How have yours held up?”
A: I had our flooring guy who we know and trust to evaluate it first. He approved the product, so we moved forward with installation. Nearly 4 years later and we still love them without issue!
Brick is an extremely durable product and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It’s also tolerant of being damp from wet boots.
In addition, it’s heat resistant, so can be used by a fireplace, oven or furnace without fear.
Are brick floors cold?
Brick floors are slightly warmer than tile, but we used it in a space where we’re rarely barefoot. If you’re concerned about it feeling rough, you can choose a sealer accordingly.
Do you grout brick floors?
Brick flooring is as easy to install as tile!
First, lay a cement backer board.
Use mortar in lieu of grout to make it look and feel as authentic as it is. Type-S mortar will give your brick floor a traditional look. If you prefer, you can use tile grout which comes in a wide array of colors.
It cuts easily with a tile saw or angle grinder.
I selected a grout in a medium color (not too light, not too dark) that looked a little dirty.
The cost of installation is comparable to tile installation. In fact, they install similar to tile in sheets. Our brick installation cost about $1,000.
Is brick flooring easy to clean or how do you clean brick floors?
Before I respond, please don’t judge, okay? We don’t, really. That’s the beauty of it. The brick flooring gets vacuumed weekly and the occasional mop. If something really gunky happens, I break out a scrub brush (only happened once).
They wear beautifully and only look more charming with time. It’s nice to have a fuss-free space, especially the one that attracts the most dirt. I personally love how the mortar between catches rocks, dirt, etc so that they aren’t brought into the rest of our home.
You can of course give them a good scrub it you want to, but their is so much beauty in the patina that occurs over time.
The hard surface makes it easy to vacuum.
How do you seal brick flooring?
Sealing brick is easy! A penetrating sealer that works for tile also works well for brick. Spray or mop it on for an easily cleanable finish.
Penetrating sealer soaks into the brick. A penetrating sealer doesn’t alter the surface or color. Instead, it seeps into the brick and mortar, protecting it.
Alternatively, you can use a polyurethane which adheres over the brick and results in a shiny surface.
A sealant will protect against mold and cracking. Applying a sealer will prevent moisture from buildup up and seeping below the surface.
For optimal results, it should be reapplied once a year to continue protecting the floor.
How to Apply Sealer
Clean the floor with warm water and a mild soap, using a deck brush. Rinse with water. Allow the brick to dry completely.
Using a paint roller or mop, cover the floor “painting” it onto the brick starting on one side and working toward your exit.
Allow the sealer to dry completely (4+ hours) before use or a second coat.
The brick we selected is a very close match to our brick exterior and fireplace, making it feel like it was always there. You can find the brick here.
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you have.