I have been a long time fan of the look of brick tile in a home. Whether it’s on the brick floor tile or a gorgeous brick wall, I think it adds interest, texture and charm to a home. Even better if it’s original exposed brick. But, not all of us are that lucky, so brick tile is a great compromise. It comes in all sorts of styles and colors, so it’s just a matter of finding the right brick tile for your home.
So, when it came to addressing a problem area in our home, I decided brick floor tile was the way to go. This is one of those projects that I did prior to my oldest son’s high school graduation (as part of the home improvement palooza we were on in preparing for it), but never shared. Our home has a fantastic walk out basement with lots of windows and natural light, which I love, and it was what sold us on this house. However, the home was also equipped with light beige carpet, which I question – especially in the basement. Including the area right off of the door to the walkout basement. It just doesn’t make sense. You’re coming into the house from outside. Why would you walk into light beige carpet?
You can see by looking at the photo, that it’s just not a good idea.
Side note – a walk out basement is great in theory, but just remember, people can walk out and walk in. When you have teenagers, this isn’t always a good thing. That said, when people walk in and walk out, the dirt collects right at the door, and it was just making me crazy.
Brick Tile Options
The brick floor tile we chose is this Crema Tile that I found at Home Depot. It’s a really great size and texture, and has a great brick look to it. They had several color choices, but this one was just right – not too red, but it still looks like brick. There are a lot of great options out there when it comes to brick tile, like this Old Mill Brick Tile – so authentic!
Measure Your Space
The first step was figuring out the area that we wanted to tile, and then cutting out the carpet. Make sure you leave some wiggle room here, and don’t cut out further than you want. You need to leave some excess carpet there, so that it can be tucked back in and finished off when you’re done tiling, so err on the side of cutting too little, not too much. I kind of mapped it out a little bit, experimenting with different patterns, and wishing I had the skills and patience to do a herringbone pattern.
Underlayment – A Must for Tiling over Concrete
One thing I didn’t get a picture of, but is absolutely necessary with a concrete floor, is a tile underlayment. This guards against your tile cracking, and some can act as a grid to guide you when you’re laying your tile, and also support your mortar creating the proper bond.
Once you get the underlayment in place, you can plan out your tile design. Since I had some wiggle room in my dimensions, I should have just started at the top near the door, and worked my way down. But instead, I started from the middle and worked out from there. In a room with walls, this is the best approach. But since it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I had an extra row at the bottom, or decided to extend the side out a bit more, I should have started at the top. So, I had some tricky cuts near the door as a result, and that could have been avoided.
It took some time, and with some of the more detailed cuts, I ended up taking them to Lowes to have them cut them, as
my husband we had some issues trying to use a manual tile cutter for them. But in the end, it was worth the trip, because I’m happy with how the intricate cuts look now.
Grout and Finish Up Loose Ends
Then I grouted the tile, and all that was left was tucking in the carpet. This is the step that hung me up (and dragged out the actual completion of this project for way too long). The more I read online about tucking in the carpet, the more certain I became that I would mess it up. Yet, I had a hard time finding someone willing to come out to do such a small job. So it sat like this for, um, a year and a half… Yes, it’s totally embarrassing.
I finally got a referral from a neighbor for someone to button it all up and make it look pretty (just in time for Christmas). It looks so nice now.
At some point we’ll replace the carpet, but every time we start to think about it … kids. I think we’ll wait at least until both boys are off to college. That will be a start. Besides, I still don’t know what kind of flooring I want down here yet. Carpet? Vinyl plank? A combination of both? We’ll see. But for now, this cuts down on the dirt problem if/when people come in and out of the basement.
Would you add something like brick floor tile to your home? Or maybe use brick tile on a wall instead?