HOW TO INSTALL PORTSTONE

PortStone is very easy to install, especially when compared to ceramic tile or regular brick pavers.  A good installation job begins with the proper handling of the paver sheets.  Care should be taken to not put excessive force on the corners.  This material is very strong and durable once installed, but the bricks can be cracked fairly easily if not handled properly.  NOTE:  Cracked bricks do not effect the durability or longevity of a PortStone floor. Many times a cracked brick can still be laid so that the crack either doesn't show at all, or just adds more brick-like character to the floor. After all, many "real" bricks are cracked and have corners missing or chipped off.  Just be sure to keep any grit or foreign material out of any cracks and the cracks should close up nicely when the paver sheet is laid.  If there is any question whether or not a cracked brick should be laid, simply cut it out of the sheet, lay the paver sheet in place and then cut a single brick from another sheet to replace the cracked one. Then just use the paver sheet that you just remove a single brick from to use for cut pieces that you will need around the edges and such. 

PortStone is laid onto a bed of thin-set mortar just as you would do with ceramic tile. It is then grouted-in with any type of sanded grout that you would like to use. For a regular brick mortar look, we strongly suggest using a natural grey Saltillo grout. We carry one that works extremely well with PortStone.  The entire floor is then sealed. In most cases, PortStone can be sealed the day after it is grouted, unlike regular brick pavers that have to cure for 28 days or more to allow the moisture to escape before sealing. Just make sure that the grout has properly cured before sealing.

PortStone Pavers are very easy to install especially when compared to ceramic tile or regular brick pavers. For proper adhesion to the subfloor, any paint (as seen below along the base boards), dirt or other debris must be removed prior to installation.

We do not recommend the use of cement backerboard when installing PortStone over a wooden subfloor.  We recommend using an uncoupling membrane such as Ditra or ProVa-Flex. For more information on ProVa-Flex, please click here.

Portstone Brick paver installation photo 1

Shown above is a PORTSTONE PAVER SHEET in the Herringbone pattern. It is shown in a typical starting position beginning in a corner and against the wall. The floor will be cleaned and then a bed of thin-set mortar will be applied using a 1/4" X 1/4" notched trowel. The section above is shown without the thin-set mortar to show the shape of the sheet more clearly. Notice the cut-outs made into the sheet so that all sheets key into each other. This makes alignment of even complex patterns quick and easy.
 PortStone brick flooring installation photo 2 This is a bird's eye view of a doorway with PortStone laid up to it.
 Installing brick floor by PortStone photo 3 Thin-set mortar is spread using a 1/4" x 1 /4" notched trowel, making sure to have good coverage over the subfloor.
 PortStone Old Chicago install brick flooring Shown here, a full sheet of PortStone Pavers is held temporarily in place above the thin-set to get a measurement for the cut on the brick that is overhanging the threshold.

CUTTING PORTSTONE IS AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3!

 PortStone installation photo How to Cut brick pavers  

Step #1. Using a sharp utility knife, score the surface of the PortStone Paver exactly where you want the cut made. Even slightly rounded and wavy cuts can be made this way.

 How to Cut PortStone Brick Pavers photo 6  Step #2. Snap the brick along the line you just scored. Many times the break can be made using your hands as shown here. Or you can place the brick on a piece of board with the scored mark directly over the edge of the board and while holding the brick firmly against the board with one hand, apply downward pressure on the brick with the other hand. PortStone will snap along the scored line.
 cutting PortStone brick pavers photo 7  Step #3. Cut the mesh reinforcement backing and you've got your cut!

Cutting regular brick can be a time consuming task sometimes taking several minutes for each cut. However, PortStone Pavers can be cut right where you are in only a few short seconds.
 Installation photo 8 After the cut is made, the sheet is then placed onto the thin-set using the "keys" and cutouts as a guide to help automatically position the sheet. Proper sheet placement is achieved by observing the distance between the sheet being placed and those already in place. Simply slide the sheet to the left or right, forward or back to adjust the placement.
 Grouting Portstone photo

Using a smooth faced rubber grouting float or the proper type of squeegee, work the grout firmly into the joints by moving the float diagonally to the joints. This helps push the grout into the joints and under the edges of the bricks without pulling it right back out again.

Use any type of sanded grout. For a more realistic "brick mortar" appearance, we generally recommend using natural gray saltillo grout. 

 Grouting PortStone photo 2

Try to remove as much excess grout as you can with the float. The more grout removed with the float, the easier and faster the next cleaning steps will be.

After grouting an area of 60 - 80 square feet, using a damp sponge, work in circular motions to remove additional excess surface grout. Be careful not pull the grout out of the joints.  Don't expect to remove all of the excess grout at this point.

 Grouting PortStone photo 3 Next, allow the grout to stiffen in the joints and go back over the floor with a damp sponge, this time try to wipe the bricks without touching the joints. This step may need to be repeated. There will usually be some residual haze left when the brick dries, however, generally speaking if the floor looks good when it is wet, it will look good when sealed.   Take care not to remove too much grout out of the joints when cleaning.  Typically speaking, the surface of the grout should be no more than about 1/16th" below the surface of the brick.
 Grouting Portstone photo 4 This is floor has been grouted and cleaned, but not sealed. The dull color is actually grout haze on the dry bricks. If wiped with a damp sponge, the haze will temporarily go away, but it will come back once the brick is dry again. When cleaning the brick, keep in mind that if the floor looks good to you when it is wet, it is probably as clean as you reasonably need it to be at this point. Just make sure that it is only haze and not actual grout left on the bricks. When the floor is sealed, this haze will go away permanently. After the grout is completely dry, usually the next day, sweep and vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove any remaining sand and grit.
 Sealing PortStone Brick Flooring 1 This is the difference the sealer makes. The haze has completely disappeared and the full color and beauty of the floor is brought back to life. The brick and the grout will both darken considerably when the sealer is first applied. It will then gradually lighten somewhat as the sealer cures, but will still hold the proper depth of color after it has cured.  PortStone Paver Sealer RTU is ready to use and should not be diluted before use.   Roll the sealer on with a 3/4" nap paint roller.  It is a good idea to "cut-in" around the walls and cabinets with a brush.

MAKE SURE THAT THE FLOOR IS COMPLETELY DRY PRIOR TO SEALING.  IF A PORTSTONE FLOOR IS SEALED WHILE EVEN SLIGHTLY DAMP, WHITE SPOTTING CAN OCCUR WEEKS LATER.

NOTE: PORTSTONE RTU PAVER SEALER as well as all other solvent based sealers are flammable. Be sure to have adequate ventilation and extinguish all pilot lights and turn off any source of ignition before starting to seal.   DO NOT SMOKE!     We recommend the use of a respirator with filters approved for use when applying lacquer.

 Apply Floor Finish after the sealer is dry. Once the PortStone Paver Sealer has dried (usually within 60 to 90 minutes), apply 2 to 4 coats of Focus Floor Finish.   This can be applied with a rayon mop, sponge mop, or painting pad (as shown at left). This typically dries within 20 to 25 minutes between coats. Focus Floor Finish is a water based product and will appear milky white at first but will dry to a clear gloss. For a higher gloss, just add more coats. If more than 4 coats are desired, allow 2 days before adding additional coats.
 Close up photo of finished floor This photo shows the floor after the sealer and floor finish have dried. This is how a finished PortStone floor should look with the full depth of color.  To keep your PortStone floor looking fresh and new, we recommend that a fresh coat of floor finish be applied once a year.  You can apply our approved floor finish in thin coats as often as once a month if you'd like without having to worry about getting too much build up.                          
 The Finished Product!

Finished Old Chicago floor by PortStone.

To Order Factory Direct, Call 601-922-0902

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