Our exterior porch tiles were over 30 years old and badly damaged so we knew we would replace them eventually. We decided to use Old Mill Brick for our porch remodel to DIY a herringbone brick porch. This was my first time installing thin brick from Old Mill Brick and it was easier than I thought! In this post, I share how to install a herringbone brick patio and links to all the tools needed to complete Old Mill Brick installation. Keep reading and watch the video to see our Porch Remodel with Old Mill Brick Herringbone Brickwebb!
Clean and clear the surface where you plan to install the brick. We had to do demolition of the damaged slate tiles before we could install the Old Mill Bricks. We started the demo by removing the old tiles. Then rented a jackhammer from Home Depot to scrap the old mortar and level the concrete pad. You can also use leveling concrete if you don't want to do the manual labor to scrap the old adhesive off. Using a machine like that requires a lot of effort and manual labor FYI. Keep in mind that using leveling concrete will increase the height of the area so in our case, the porch wouldn't have been level with the sidewalk.
If desired, lay the brick on the surface to determine the pattern you wish to create. We decided to have the herringbone pointing toward the front door and added a border to the front and step using a straight pattern.
Next, things might get messy...Use an Angled Grinder fitted with a Diamond Blade or Table Tile Saw to cut the first piece of the herringbone brickwebb sheet. We cut 3.25 inches from the top to start with a straight cut. You can see in the below picture that dust comes off the bricks. We wore masks and cut in a ventilated area (right in the front yard) so we didn't breathe in the dust. We had to hose off the area afterward too.
Angled Grinder or Tile Saw, Diamond Blade (if using an angled grinder)
Measure and draw the line where to cut on the back of the brickwebb to cut for the first row.
Use a mixing paddle attached to a drill to mix until you reach a consistency of a thick pancake mix. If it's too liquidy, add more adhesive powder.
Use a trowel to apply a .25 inch thick layer of mortar to the surface. Use the notched side of the trowel to create ridges in the mortar layer. This gives it air to help it dry.
Lay the first brickwebb sheet on the mortar. I started on the right side because the mesh on the brickwebb sheets would've overlapped and I would've fidgeted with it to get it under the bricks if I started in the middle and worked left to right. Luckily, I had laid the bricks out beforehand so I knew where I could start my bricks. **You typically want to start tiling in the center**
Finish the row then start with the next row under that. Finish off with that little piece of the herringbone brickwebb that you cut off the top of the first row.
NOT SHOWN: We had to cut the last row so that it was even. We used the same angled grinder and cut the bricks on the end in the last row before adding the single brick border.
We cut the bricks on the border to fit the space... it was a little under 1/2 brick for each.
For the step, we used singles and created a corner brick. Old Mill Brick has corners that you can purchase but the Kokkini Beach at the time of install was not available in corner bricks. We cut single bricks to fit the step and used mortar on the sides where the bricks met.
After the bricks have been attached using the adhesive, you should let the adhesive dry and do not step on it so the bricks don't shift. We let ours dry for 24 hrs.
Now you can seal the brick before grouting or you can skip that step like we did if you are careful grouting and don't mind a little grout getting in your bricks.
When you are ready to grout, mix the grout the same way you mixed the mortar. We made our grout a little runnier/thinner since we were piping it in. If the grout is too thick, it's going to be hard to squeeze through the piping bag!
Grout (color used: Snow White)
Pour or scoop the grout into the piping bag by stepping on the tip of the bag so nothing comes through the hole.
To pipe into place, angle the piping bag while grasping the top to keep it closed and pipe into the grooves like you are icing a cake :) You want the groove to be filled with a ridge.
I let the grout dry for about 15 minutes and then I used my finger (with latex gloves on) to scrape the excess grout from each groove. You can purchase a tool to scrape the top of the grout away from the brick but I just used my finger.