Brick flooring 101 Women24

Brick flooring 101 Women24

Brick flooring 101

Brick has a natural beauty that blends perfectly with almost any style of home.

Once sealed and protected. a brick floor is just as versatile as any other type of flooring — if not more so.

Used extensively for outdoors, brick is gaining popularity as a sustainable flooring material for indoors.

If you’re looking for an affordable flooring option for a home — one that you can easily install as a DIY option, why not consider natural brick floors.

Build up a pile of bricks close to the working surface, so that it is easy to lay them across the entire surface without disturbing the sand.

You will need:

Quality paving bricks

Fine sand

20kg bag of cement

Stone or brick sealer

Soft sweeping brush

Circular saw with masonry blade or hammer and chisel

2 spirit levels, long and small

2 long sections of square bar

Rubber mallet

Roller, large paintbrush and paint tray

2 boards to stand on*

TIP: You do not want to stand on the sand as your feet will make large dents. If you stand on a board, your weight is spread out and the smooth surface of the sand is not compromised

Preparation

Place a 2cm layer of fine sand over the area and then compact and level the sand. The easiest way to do this is to bury and level a piece of square tubing in the sand on either side of the room, so that the top of the metal is flush with the level you want the sand to be. You then bridge another piece of metal between the 2 pieces of square tubing, so that it sits on top of them, and drag it backwards and forwards over the area until it is smooth.

Choose your pattern before you start, and estimate the amount of bricks you will need. Running bond is often the easiest pattern but all are fairly simple once you get started.

Laying the brick

1. Place each brick — one by one — where you want it to go. With the long spiritlevel, check the placement with previous bricks as you move along. Use a short spirit level to make sure the brick itself is level in all directions.

2. Use the rubber mallet to tap the brick tight against its neighbours. And tap down on it to get the level correct. When you get to the opposite end of the wall from where you started, and you do not have a brick to fit in the space, leave it. You should do all the edge bricks at the end.

3. You can walk on the floor at this stage but do not tread near to unfinished edges.

4. For all the edges you will have to measure each space and cut or break bricks to fit. Alternatively, you can fill the gaps with a very fine concrete when you do the perimeter. Once you have all the bricks laid, you can fill the perimeter, in between the bricks and walls, with concrete. This does not use much concrete, and can be done in half an hour. Screen your sand and then trowel the concrete smooth and level with the tops of the bricks.

5. For filling in the gaps, mix a small amount of cement into the fine sand and use a soft sweeping brush to make sure that this fills up all the cracks. A little bit of manual ‘tamping’ will ensure that the sand settles into the cracks, so walk over the bricks — brush with sand — walk — brush, until the gaps can accept no more. Do this once again after a couple of days if you start to see the gaps.

*Click here for more on sealing brick floors — the final, crucial step.


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