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Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Posted by kswl (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 15:30

The brick floors have been grouted, the grout is dry and is just the oyster gray I hoped it would be. Contractor dropped by here today to take a look and agreed they were lovely but said he would never do another one inside again. (Lucky for him, I don't expect anyone will ever ask him to.)

I am very happy with how they turned out:

ID had another paint suggestion he wanted me to try and, wouldn't you know it--- I loved it.....Benjamin Moore Albescent, it is the second color block in along the bottom in the photo above.

In this photo below, Albescent is also the second block in, a very light, luminescent beige. You can see the color is different in each room, but it like the color it is in each room. So far, SW Ivory Lace is the trim choice.

The new single pane French door went in today, letting in a lot more light, and with a width similar to the window:

And I got out the wall sconces to hold up to the paint color and were again struck by the size of these things.....this is statement lighting, lol, and no mistake.

Those are three 8" bricks to the left, btw, in the above photo.
The round magnifying glass is about 10" in diameter and very heavy. It hangs from a hook that extends out from the iron plate:
We will have two of these over the mantel flanking the T v screen and two above, and slightly away from, a rattan console.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Good grief, that floor is so beautiful!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

WOW. I think your contractor might be doing more brick floors once more people see yours. Really fantastic. Congrats on your vision....not sure I would have ever thought of using brick, but it is stunning as well as practical. :)


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

What I love about your basement is that it looks very much like it evolved organically vs. being planned out meticulously. (Even when things are planned out to every last detail, it's better when it doesn't show, IMO!) Can't wait to see more!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Thank you three! This has been a long process. When I first started serious planning last May I called in a good local interior designer and an architect who has done other projects for us for help in opening up the rabbit warren of rooms. We started looking for a contractor in the summer and finally ended up with the one we have in December. They started work the middle of January--- the day after we had a flood from a burst water pipe affecting our kitchen, LR, and the only room downstairs we weren't planning to touch. Now it is getting an overhaul as well. They will start painting Monday. Now we are waiting on the cabinet guy, he is REALLY slow. On other fronts, three of our bathrooms are getting new countertops next week and the back decks will be washed and repainted. The furniture is ordered and everything should be complete by middle of May.

I am strongly considering these four watercolor prints to go over each sofa in sets of two. Framed size is about 26" x 20"

Not sure if I want the French Gray framing, I think a fruitwood might be better, but these would certainly work. Any opinions on the frames?

This post was edited by kswl on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 16:41


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Love the wall color, the sconces, and of course, the floor!

The watercolors are very nice. I'm a sucker for elaborate frames- maybe a birds eye maple?


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

I was thinking burled walnut, so your suggestion is pretty close, mtnrdredux, but regardless of the wood I def want a flat profile, two inch frame.

Thinking about birds native to our state in the front room, or possibly botanical drawings of plants on our property.

Have decided to use check carpet in DH's office downstairs for sake of continuity (using it as area rug in front room and on stair landing). In a few weeks not much of it will be visible so I am not too worried about the pattern being too strong!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Kswl.....Everything is looking great! I may have missed your earlier threads and am just curious....how did you decide on a brick floor? It's fabulous and I know I would have never thought of it in a million years.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Joanie, it was my 80 year old mother who first suggested it! I was talking with her about the project and said I wanted a completely care free floor, and she said what about brick? I googled images of brick floors and trolled around on GW for pictures and real life experiences living with brick floors (not all positive, btw). I knew I did not want wood floors, but was considering that tile that is a takeoff on wood--- I love that stuff-- but tile seemed very cold for a basement. Had I known at the time what a colossal pain and expense these floors would be I am not sure I would have gone ahead with it. Pretty sure everyone involved with the.project loathes me at this point since I insisted the scrubbed brick be dug up and replaced. I won't be singing the popular song around here for awhile, lol.

In January I realized I needed to go back to the Interior designer I have worked with before and that took a lot of weight off my shoulders in terms of coming up with a plan for the room. In several weeks he had sketches for a radical seating arrangement I would not have thought of, ever, although now it seems so obvious ;-) We worked a bit on the colors and fabrics and I am completely satisfied with the final choices. We're over budget on the project but this isn't my first rodeo, as they say, so I expected it.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

It is very lovely. You and your worker bees have done an outstanding job. Yes, it looks as though it evolved rather than so planned out but nowadays it takes a lot of planning to get that look. Your prints are very nice. Why don't you take the paintings to the framer with a piece of drywall painted out and try seeing how it looks.

I recall an art and frame shop in Charleston which I loved placing similar period paintings to yours in small elaborate frames, juxtaposition being very charming and unexpected.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

wow! looks great!! you might bring brick floors back into style again! they're so neutral that you could match up lots of shades of paint--- the beige you chose looks nice!

did/will you seal the grout??? i think that along with unevenness are the big complaints with brick... i've known 2 people with brick floors-- my parents had brick in one of their houses and cleaning it was my mom's and also a good friend of mine's biggest complaint...

love the sconces- have never seen electric versions of those!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

That's an interesting idea, Patricia. I haven't yet purchased the prints. I sent the pictures and links to ID and am waiting to hear his thoughts on the prints and framing. He will undoubtedly have an opinion ;-) When I take them to the framers I will try out fancier frames to see how that looks with the spare esthetic of the water colors.

We are also sourcing a large mirror for the wall opposite the fireplace wall, and will probably go shopping for that when he comes down from NYC for the installation in May.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

No sealant on the bricks or grout, and no "enhancer" on them, either. Both changed the color far too much. As far as cleaning, I am planning on having them vacuumed weekly, and that's it. No mopping! There will be a Turkish rug in the large room and a bound carpet rug in the front room and a runner going up the stairs that will, I hope, get most of the brick stuff off one's shoes or feet before stepping on the wood floors upstairs. If we have to we will seal them, but I really, REALLY don't want to do it.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Gorgeous. I can't even tell you how much I love those floors.

What was the big problem with the brick? I must have missed that thread. Here, we have a guy that will do brick for a comparable price to site finished hardwood floors. He'll slice them to 1/4" or use whole. He's doing ours, so knowing what problems could pop up would be great!

I'm glad you're looking to be through by May- we'll be July and I'd have hated to have to be jealous of a new space right AFTER I move into my new house :)


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Everything is looking gorgeous. I just LOVE your brick floor. The BM Albescent is so pretty. I agree that it looks luminous. I am so looking forward to seeing everything completed!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Jackson, you're kidding, right? The same price as wood? First quote $20 per square foot and went up a bit. Our bricks were chosen for the white sand and paint baked into them during the firing process. That's why I decided not to seal them, I didn't want to lose that character. So after they were set I found the masons scrubbing the sand and paint off them to get them "clean." I couldn't believe it, as I had very specifically told the floor guy I did not want a DROP of water on those floors. Work stopped for several weeks while I decided what to do about it. I had them order more bricks and marked the ones I wanted dug up and replaced. It wasn't the workers' fault, but the floor sub, who told them to do it. We had a tense interview, but the work I requested be replaced was replaced, with a certain amount of gnashing of teeth. I told everyone working there at the outset that I knew what I wanted and they were not to make esthetic decisions on my behalf, ever. They didn't take it seriously, more's the pity.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Thank you, Holly!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

The floors are gorgeous! Where did you have them dug up?

I didn't know brick could be sliced into 1/4". I saw some thin pavers at a home show and have been looking for them ever since to do my front porch.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Beautiful floor, and I also love the prints! Why ask for the ID's opinion on them? Remember, "Buy what you like." Don't put art in there to please someone else because you'll be the one who has to live with it. And those prints would be easy to live with. I say buy them! :)


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

I'm so jealous! You are going to feel so justified that you stuck to your guns when you are living in it. WOW!

I also just love that paint color with the brick, and I'm not a beige person! I can't imagine a more perfect color, though.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

The grout makes a big difference, and they are even more gorgeous! Great decision on the paint color too.

I agree with you on the frame size and would go with a distressed walnut or maybe something a little on the rustic side. But not overly rustic, kwim?


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

So cool! Never saw that before. How do you clean them though?


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Oh wow, those floors are really stunning and agree that the paint and everything else you have selected are winners. So sorry you ran into the unexpected headache with the floor. That "surprise" must have been traumatic.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Marti, I graciously did not make them dig up the entire back room. Instead, I marked the most egregious of the "clean" bricks with a replacement brick with lots of white on top of the bad one. Then the sub came in with a sharpie and marked a number on the floor brick and a corresponding number on the underside of the new one. There were 168 replaced bricks.

Oak, I am not asking the ID's permission to buy anything. I am paying him for his artistic vision and expertise, and he already has some things in mind for the room. I don't buy what I don't like, no worries about that--- but a well planned room has a certain stamp of consistency and fitness, if you will, and that is my goal in every room of my house. I'd be foolish to pay him a king's ransom for his advice, and then not ask it. He is coming down for the installation and wants to go shopping for art and accessories. If he wants to wait on these until we go on our shopping expedition, that's ok with me because I can always get them if we don't find anything I like better. They are art prints, not originals.

Alex and outside, thanks for that vote of confidence on the color. I had colors selected already that were fine--- but that's all they were, fine. ID told me to try Albescent and it was perfect, at least in my eyes. And outside, I know exactly what you mean.... A hint of rusticity, lol!

Close kitty, we will vacuum them that is ALL. I hope! Thank you Texasgal, I am pleased at how things are coming together.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

I can hardly wait to see everything once you have it in place. You have very refined taste and this is a joy to follow along. Thank you for sharing this with us. It is a labor of love, I know.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Each time you post new pics, I can't wait to see them! Did not disappoint!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Beautiful floor. And I like the paint color, too. Looking forward to seeing more!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Kswl, thanks for sharing that. Sounds like you had a rough time, but the result was sure worth it. I'm seriously drooling.

I'll have to experiment with sealers and enhancers before our sub gets to work, and determine what I want to do. We're using the same brick we used on the exterior, sliced to 1/4". It has a lot of chippy paint on it too.

He charges $10/ft material and installation, and slightly higher if you want to use only the top and bottom slices. He's about 85 and has been doing it for YEARS. Everybody here uses him, and the price makes it a good alternative for high traffic areas where you wouldn't want wood.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Your floor is truly gorgeous!!! Soooo charming .... can't WAIT to see more pics of finished room (and the opening night party ...... LOL!) :)

Laughed so hard over your Contractor's remark that this would be his last brick floor!!! I guess you have simply spoiled him for any other floors ..... LOL! :)


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

kswl..I am late coming to this party- but what a treat was in store...eye-candy!! Love the floor - it does look like it evolved over time.....and has patina oozing from each brick! Good for you for sticking to your plan and not compromising at the end! Can hardly wait to see your "lower level suite" in May after the shopping trip to put the icing on the cake. (After many years of writing real estate ads...lightning would strike my hand if I wrote the word "basement" when describing such an attractive living space! :))


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Beautiful floor and hooray for progress!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Jackson I am astounded at the sheer reasonableness of your brick floor guy. Needless to say I wish there had been someone around here who was an old hand with brick floors. I sometimes suspect that our guys made it up as they went along.

Patricia, thank you for a very kind comment that may not be so deserved! I grew up in a home that was classic and beautiful, so I really have my mother to thank for that---as well as for a great deal of my current furniture ;-)

Catmom and Sas, sometimes when I post updates of this drawn out project I imagine it's boring everyone to tears.....as in hasn't she finished that basement yet? ...what, still going on about those floors?? So I am relieved that isn't so, at least not universally!

Tea cats I am going to party like its 1999, or like the basement is finished, when it is. Excuse me--- when the terrace level is finished! Beachpea, I say to myself, remember, this IS a basement, and then I go all nutty over lighting or something else. I am enjoying it, though.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

it's so pretty, worth the wait !!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Simply beautiful, kswl. You must be so pleased with the grout color-it came out perfectly. Can't wait to see finished room pictures! :)


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Lovely brick floor, Kswl! I really like the brick you've chosen. I think you and I are the only ones one this forum with brick floors, but perhaps we can spread the word as to how beautiful, practical, forgiving, and low-maintenance they are. We've had ours since we had this place built for us 21 years ago and I still love them. I also have the brick on our front portal and both back portals. We had ours sealed with Ring Brick Sealant , though, and use only a water & vinegar when washing them. Afterwards, we dry mop on Ring Brick Floor Care spray, which makes them glow softly.
Lynn


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Lynne, I will file that name away for future reference, thanks! I would like to avoid sealing but if the dust is really uncontrollable I will consider it. Your floors are wonderful--- and if we were building, that type of close set installation is something we would love--- but doing that we'd lose a good three inches of hard earned ceiling height in that back room.

Now that we have installed this floor several people have mentioned they have brick in a mud room, hallway, laundry, or an inside tack room (in the house, not the barn, for show saddles). Around here they are considered more utilitarian than anything else, and I certainly hope that's what they prove to be here. I am thrilled with the grout color, it dried just light enough. As I recall, there was near unanimous agreement on this oyster gray color when I posted my top choices, which is unusual to say the least!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

I am reading your brick floor updates as if it were the latest installment
on a new John Grisham book! The whole space is wonderful.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

KSWL,
We saw a ton of brick floors on our SE vacation, and I couldn't see them without thinking of you. I liked them all, but none of them had your aged brick white lime patina. That's what really makes this so special, and so it was worth all you did to achieve it.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Thanks mtn and Irish! Sometimes I think we should write a collective novel or crowd source the screenplay of a movie about remodeling, sort of like The Money Pit but with different stories woven in ;-) I know a great target audience for such a film.....

Mtn, brick floors are def more common in Charleston and Savannah, in both old and new buildings. (I would hope they'd be easier to arrange in those areas.) One building material you must have seen a lot of is tabby, the stucco with shells and lime, used in historic coastal architecture. I just love the organic look and feel of tabby! You must have enjoyed all the beautiful squares in Savannah, and the Low Country building styles. I don't remember if you were visiting Beafort SC, but they have some of the nicest new development on the coast, with houses that live modern and yet reflect the history of the area.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

That is one gorgeous floor!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

I want to add my compliments too, what a great job. Brick floors would be fabulous for my fantasy garden cottage.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Thanks, Judd and school--- And yes, they WOULD look great in a cottage!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Those floors are gorgeous! Can't wait to see your finished space.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Oh, I see. I thought the original bricks were in the ground somewhere and you had them dug up before putting them in your basement. Wherever they came from, they are gorgeous bricks.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

The watercolors are perfect. I hope you bought them.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Thanks, kitschykitch, I do like them and ID and I are of like mind on the framing---which, weirdly, he can have done in NYC for less than he can in Atlanta. However, he wants to leave room for some unplanned kismet that we might experience when he comes down in May, so I am not ordering them right away. We are going to hit Scotts Antique Show and all his favorite places in Atlanta and all my favorite places, and see what we can come up with in the way of art and accessories that may give an impulsive edge to the carefully planned rooms.

That's the idea, anyway. If we don't come up with something great, I'll be ordering those sans frames.

This is the pillow type in both rooms, a kind of flattish box:

This post was edited by kswl on Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 20:51


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

KSWL, just beautiful! I apologize if I've missed it, but where did your brick come from? It is very similar to what we are looking to do on our front porch. TIA!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Cherokee Brick in Macon, GA. We picked put the brick pavers we wanted and they sliced off a half inch for the flooring. I have since found out that other installers do the brick slicing themselves on site. Ours was done at the factory and delivered in boxes. We had about 1000 square feet and the brick was around $8000. The installation cost was $17,500. I think we were grossly overcharged for the floor due to the fact that --- despite what he told me--- the flooring sub had never before put in an indoor brick floor. There is a poster on this board from Mississippi who says in her area brick and hardwood floors are about the same cost all in (incl materials) so definitely shop around before you decide on a contractor.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

I'm swooning; that floor is beyond perfection.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Thank you, Caroline, I am pretty happy with them, thank heavens! After a year of planning and some execution problems along the way, the end result is really good :)


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Kswl,

I am seeing your brick floors for the first time and I adore them!! Congratulations.

Would it be crazy to do brick floors in a bathroom?

We have an office painted in Albescent and it is a wonderfully glowy colour - definitely a winner.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Feisty I have beat you to it, the bathroom downstairs is also brick and I think it is fabulous! Will post pictures, we have a new khaki countertop and Handy Guy is painting the vanity a barn red next week. Having a soft yellow/ gold shower curtain made to hang behind the (new) arched opening over the shower/tub and cabinet person is making enough paneling for the fireplace wall to front the side of the tub. And we are ordering antique finish brass faucets and tapes for sink and shower, yay, the existing satin nickel ones look incongruous with the brick. We may install siding on one long wall of bathroom also but I only want Handy Guy to do this, not the GC's guys. ( I am anxious to get them out of my house, no one seems to own a pencil and paper, they come back endlessly, to do small jobs they could have done in one call, this is true of the electricians, carpenters and drywallers.)

Lol, I have even ***pretentiously*** coined a new descriptive phrase for our basement style to encompass the brick floors, siding on interior walls, black wrought iron rails and sconces, etc.... renovated carriage house.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

I think the brick looks pretty but I cannot see it as a practical choice for flooring. If you have brick floor for a patio, you simply hose it off. How in the world would you clean it if you spilled something nasty on it? In the kitchen, if you spilled some oil or tomato sauce (this happens all the time) how would it ever come up?


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

kswl, it looks wonderful! arkansas girl may have a point though. It made me curious as to how you will clean it. Maybe it doesn't need anything beyond sweeping? I still think it's absolutely beautiful though!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Arkansas, we won't be eating anything beyond popcorn down there. And, this is a finished basement; although the sofas came out a bit more than I expected at close to 5k each this is still mid-level upholstery on mid level furniture, not fine fabrics on expensive frames. So if people eat down there I guess they will and I won't worry about it. If it looks as though we will have to seal the bricks we will do so, although that would be a last resort as I don't like the "wet" look the sealant imparts.

We are going to sweep or vacuum, period. No mopping---- It is brick, after all. I guess I am lazy or dirty but our patio now gets washed very infrequently and it doesn't bother me a bit.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

love the floors!!! we are considering this ourselves along with a brick backsplash. My only concern is cleaning the brick. Is it easy to keep clean? would you recommend? thanks for your help!


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

We don't know yet, melkel, how easy or otherwise the floor maintenance will be. Half of the larger back room will be covered by a Turkish rug, and much of the front room floor will be a wool rug bound from carpet. The front room rug is green and cream colored, and I am more concerned about the brick dust on it than anything else. (And now Arkansas has me worried someone will be eating illicit spaghetti dinners down there lol.)

We have a new housekeeper and when I hired her I emphasized that the downstairs cleaning would be challenging as it is still an unknown quantity. She says she has never been bested by any floor yet and I believe it :-) Will let you know how to comes along. Most furniture is being delivered in mid June.


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RE: Brick Floor Grouted and FINISHED! ..and a few other pix

Hey, you are pulling it off so you are allowed your "pretentious" renovated carriage house name :) . I have my own pretentious name for my kitchen reno...cause it's a heck of a lot of work so I'm allowed to humour myself!

Your bathroom sounds amazing - I look forward to photos when you are ready (hint, hint ;) ).

I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on maintenance as you live with this flooring. I guess it could be thought of as similar to carpeting, without the icky dust-collecting layers. The cool thing about brick is that - if you *had* to remove a stain - you could scrape off a layer because the body of the brick is the same colour.

The effect is just so stunning that I will be dreaming about it...


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