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Thin Brick Installation Guide

This installation guide is provided to give some general, basic information concerning the installation of our products.  It is NOT intended to serve as a complete, detailed reference for every application that may occur.  For proper installation of any Patriot Pavers by PortStone product we recommend you consult the Tile Council of America, Inc. Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation and the ANSI ceramic tile installation specifications.  These manuals should be available at your local tile dealer, or contact the Tile Council of America, Inc.  P.O. Box 326, Princeton, NJ 08542-09326.

Prior to installation, all substrates must be properly prepared and inspected according to the setting material manufacturer’s recommendations.

All pre-existing cracks in the floor or wall surface must be repaired.  The floor surface must be thoroughly cleaned of all material such as varnish, dust, saw dust, spackling, plaster and paint.   Wood substrates are not the optimum substrate for any tile installation.  Special care must be taken when installing tile over this type of substrate due to the nature of wood which expands and contracts and must be installed architecturally sound in order to reduce the up and down movement caused by walking or vibration generated by household appliances.  Concrete tiles are inherently rigid and bond so well with the setting material that any movement of the substate will telegraph to the surface of the tile which may appear as a crack.  


When installing Patriot Pavers over a wooden substrate, we highly recommend that an isolation membrane such as Ditra or ProvaFlex be used.  These should be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.  See Ditra installation guide here -

See ProvaFlex installation guide here -

Establish reference lines across the subfloor with a chalk line to keep your bricks running straight and square with the room.  A multi-purpose polymer-modified thin-set should be used along grout that will withstand grout joints 1/2" wide.  A ½ inch square notched trowel should be used to spread the thin-set to provide an adequate mortar bed.  Back-buttering may be necessary to achieve maximum bond to the surface.  Please follow the setting material manufacturer’s recommendations on the proper method to mix, apply and the amount of curing time before grouting.


Please follow the grout manufacturer’s recommendations on the proper method to mix, apply and clean the grout.  As per the manufacturer’s recommendations, never use a grout joint larger than ½ inch.  


When used as a flooring application, Patriot Pavers should be sealed prior to grouting to facilitate clean up.  Patriot Pavers can be purchased pre-sealed.  Never grout an area larger than can be cleaned before grout begins to harden.  This material CANNOT be acid washed!!

NOTE: There may be some special situations where you want a German Smeared or white-washed look on your floor.  To achieve that look you have to use particular care and skill to remove the excess grout but leave the desired amount for the look you are wanting to achieve. This much be done properly to acheive consistency across the entire floor area.  There are too many variables in an application such as this to cover them all here.  We would advise that you use a competent installation contractor experienced in this type of installation and discuss in as much detail as possible regarding the final appearance you want to achieve.  Again, this material CANNOT be acid washed.

To clean use clean water and sponge.


Do not use penetrating sealer if other sealers are to be applied at a later date.  This will close the pores of the tile and it will not be able to accept any other sealer.

After the grouting process has been completed, and after allowing sufficient time for the grout to cure, an additional 1 to 2 coats of sealer should be applied using a 3/4" nap paint roller followed by 2 coats of a suitable floor finish applied with a rayon mop, lambswool applicator or microfiber paint pad.  The sealer should dry within 2 - 3 hours and the floor finish will dry within about 30 minutes.  The sealer and floor finish can both be applied the same day. The floor finish will keep the floor looking fresh and new much longer than the sealer alone.  You can purchase both the sealer and floor finish from us.


For regular cleaning an maintaining of your Patriot Paver floors, mop with clean water or a pH neutral floor cleaner.  We recommend that a fresh coat of floor finish be applied every couple of years or so to keep a good sacrificial wearing layer in place.


The first step for a good looking wall brick installation is to use a chalk line or laser to establish straight, level lines across the wall area. Patriot Pavers can be installed over sound substrates such as drywall, cement backerboard, concrete blocks and brick surfaces.  The material that you will be installing over can determine which setting material would be most appropriate.  For drywall, ceramic tile mastic adhesive works very well.  It typically holds the brick in place as they are installed.  Polymer-modified thin-set can also be used over drywall. 

It's best to start at the top of the wall and work your way downward.  The exception to this would be for backsplashes where you would not want a narrow strip of bricks along the cabinet top.  With backsplashes it's best to have the cut piece along the top under the wall cabinets where it won't be as objectional.  If you are doing a kitchen wall where the backsplash will run in line with the wall bricks, it's best to start at the top and let the backsplash bricks flow into the wall brick however it falls.

If you want a natural, absolute flat, no gloss look you'd probably prefer to not seal the bricks with a film forming sealer.  You can leave them unsealed, but like any unsealed brick surface, it will be subject to staining.   We offer a penetrating sealer that can be used before grouting that will seal the bricks, but it will not change the way the bricks look.  This is the perfect sealer for walls and backsplashes. 


If you choose not to seal the bricks, be sure to use a grout bag when grouting the wall and avoid getting excess grout on the bricks as is difficult to clean residual grout off unsealed bricks.   



Patriot Pavers by PortStone
PortStone Manufacturing Corporation, 114 Riley Drive, Jackson, MS 39209


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