Installation Maintenance Precautions
Sealing a Brick Floor
Brick in its natural state is quite porous and will need to be sealed in order to protect it from liquid staining and penetration. In some cases, brick will come prefinished with a powerful commercial sealer applied to the entire paver. If not, the floor will need to be coated with a sealing agent immediately after installation and before use.
Brick masonry sealer is sold in gallons, and can usually be found at your local hardware store. Before applying it, make sure that the floor is completely dry and free of any debris or dirt. You don’t want to seal a stain into the surface. You may also want to test the sealer on a small out of the way corner of the floor to see what it looks like and make sure that it doesn’t cause streaks.
The sealer is poured in a bucket or paint tray and applied with a foam brush. The entire surface of the floor should get a thin, even coat, making sure to include both paver faces and the grout lines between them. When finished allow the floor to dry completely. and applied with a foam brush. The entire surface of the floor should get a thin, even coat, making sure to include both paver faces and the grout lines between them. When finished allow the floor to dry completely.
You can then test the seal by dripping a small amount of water onto the surface of the brick.
If the water beads up, you have successfully sealed the material. However, if it soaks into the bricks then you will have to clean and dry the floor and apply another coat of sealer to it.
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After installing a brick floor many companies will use muriatic acid to clean the surface. This needs to be thoroughly rinsed away, or it will continue to eat away at the limestone in the grout, causing a whitish dust to rise from between the bricks over time.
Polishing And Waxing Brick Floors
Solvent Based Brick Flooring Wax: This versatile wax can be applied to brick flooring to create a shining protective coat over its surface. Solvent based polish can be applied to floors that have been treated with water-based polished, provided the polish has been properly stripped first. A solvent based polish will also require a brick sealer to work with it to completely protect the floor from moisture.
Water Based Brick Floor Polish: This heavy duty agent is applied over the surface of a brick floor to create a durable layer of invisible protection. This needs to be applied to a clean brick floor which has been stripped of previous waxes. If a solvent based wax has ever been applied to the floor, then a water based wax cannot be used. However, water-based waxes do not require the help of a sealing agent.
Wax build up is a common problem when using a water based polish on a brick floor.
Because of this, floors treated with water based wax will need to be stripped and refinished on a periodic basis.
Application of Brick Flooring Wax
The actual process of applying the wax will be based on the manufacturer's instructions that come on the container. The initial process will require the stripping of any previous wax applications, using a solution of ¼ ammonia and 8 cups of water. This is applied to a clean floor, with a dry mop.
Caution: Ammonia is quite toxic, and should only be used in well-ventilated areas with all proper precautions taken.
Once the floor is clean, clear, and dry, a new wax can be used on it. Some waxes can be applied by hand and buffed with a cloth until smooth and even. Others will require the use of professional buffing machines, which can be rented from your local hardware store.
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Unless a water based self-sealing wax is used to polish the floors, they will need to be sealed annually. This can be done by pouring a commercial grade brick sealant into a bucket and applying it in a thin even coat to the entire floor using a foam brush.
Low Maintenance Advantages Of Brick
Regular Cleaning: Weekly maintenance is a snap with brick. Just sweep or vacuum on a regular basis to keep the surface free of any harmful debris.
Fireproof: Brick flooring does not burn. That means if a hot item is dropped on it, you don’t have to worry about singe marks marring the material. This is also important if a moderate to large fire breaks out in a space. The brick flooring will help prevent the spread of the flames while also holding up well against the extreme rigors of a fiery environment.
Fadeproof: With many flooring materials you have to worry about something as simple as sunlight streaming in through windows to fall upon and fade your floors. This is not an issue with brick. These durable, rugged, hard surface materials can be used indoors, and outdoors, and will resist any fading effects brought on by the sun.