Selecting Flooring. It’s one of the hardest decisions that someone can make when choosing to update their home. From wood flooring to vinyl and ceramic tiles … your options are endless. I went looking for tiles in stores as I’m the kind of person that doesn’t always trust the colors on computer and phone screens. I had initially considered porcelain tile that looks like wood but once the white oak floors were installed throughout our first floor, I knew the brick flooring is what I wanted. I was a little disappointed to not find the tiles in stores (I went to 3 Home Depot stores) but I knew that Home Depot carried hundreds of DIY friendly flooring options online. So my online search commenced. I came upon these MSI Capella ivory brick porcelain tiles and knew they were the ones. They are both for indoor and outdoor use so it made sense for the space seeing that it will have heavy foot traffic. The grout color I picked out once I received the tile. I ALWASY suggest you pick the grout color after you’ve seen tile in person. With that said, I’m excited to share with you all our European inspired sunroom flooring select. I wanted an old world/time worn look to the flooring in this space so I decided to add a German smear finishing method to the flooring once the tile was installed. German smear is a style often found on centuries-old cottages and castles throughout northern Germany. To me, with space being the first “look” into our home, I knew this would set the tone to what visitors would see when they went inside.
Since this tile was going over existing brick that was there (the tile was in perfect condition, just not my style) the old tile was roughed up a bit with a sander to take off the old finish and to make a base for the mortar to stick to. Next, the mortar was mixed up according to directions and used to apply the tile in a herringbone pattern. This was left to dry overnight.
The next day the grout was mixed up and added to the tile (the tile is spaced apart at a 1/4” but you can space them out however far apart you would like). The key to the German smear technique is that as you put on the grout to fill the gaps, make sure you leave a little bit on the surface of the tiles. That it what gives that German smear look. If the grout happens to dry faster than you want, you can use a rough grit sanding block or sander to remove excess dried grout (if you are removing fully dried grout from tile, there will be a lot of dust, so wear a mask and be prepared to clean surface walls and windows in the space when done. That’s it … pretty easy. Oh and you can apply a sealer if you want after it’s all done.