About halfway through the One Room Challenge last October Brett and I knew we wanted to lay down brick tile for the entryway. We also knew it wasn’t going to happen in time for the challenge, but that it was going to be the next project to tackle.
If you’ve been hanging out with us on Instagram, you’ve already seen the finished project.
To say it turned out better than expected is an understatement. The brick floor really compliments the white built-ins and dark barn wood plank wall.
It’s been just over two months and I am happy to report that the tile is still in place and we still love it. So what better way to celebrate than share a complete tutorial on how to install interior brick tile?
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1. Tear out the carpet.
2. Scrape off the glue remnants left over from the carpet – we used a heat gun which helped speed the process a bit.
3. Walk around the area, looking for loose subfloor boards and squeaky floors.
4. If you do find any, screw down the subfloor to the joist. Side note: it may be a good idea to do that anyways, even if the floor isn’t squeaky or loose.
5. Lay out a dry run of the backer board to make sure everything fits and cut the pieces to size.
6. Pull it all back up, move it to the side. Sweep and clear the floors thoroughly. This is important – everything needs to be CLEAN.
7. Lay down the backer board and screw it to subfloor.
8. Mud and tape the joints and let dry. We put three coats of mud between the joints
9. Using a putty knife, scrape the excess mud to smooth the surface.
10. Clean floors thoroughly (again) and make sure nail heads are flush with floor.
11. Measure and lay out the brick for a dry run to avoid goofy sizing.
12. Mix the mortar and lay down the brick, using 3/8 inch spacers.
13. Let dry for 24+ hours’
14. Mix together the the grout per the product’s directions. Working in sections, lay down the grout and wipe it off with wet sponge
15. Let dry and enjoy!
A Few Side Notes
- Buy the correct backer board screws appropriate for the type of backer board you purchase. We purchased the Allura brand and used the screws with the large heads. The store clerk recommended we get this type of screw, but only associated it with the Durock and WonderBoard brand. We assumed it would work fine for Allura, but eight broken drill bits will say otherwise.
- Follow the backer board installation instructions because each brand is slightly different.
- When laying down the bricks on the mortar, work in small sections so the mortar doesn’t dry up. We got a little ambitious and spread out a huge layer of mortar; some of it ended up being a little too dry and the brick didn’t stick.
- For a more white-wash effect, don’t wipe away all of the grout. We went over it three times and then decided to leave it as-is because we liked the aged/whitewash effect.
Overall, the process wasn’t THAT bad. Yes, it took all weekend and yes, it was time consuming. But compared to other projects we’ve done (popcorn ceilings, anyone?) this wasn’t too bad. It’s definitely something a first-timer could knock out.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org!
All our best,