Pinwheel Brick in the color Baton Rouge with Hand Scraped Cypress
St. Louis in a Herringbone Pattern with Antique Heart Pine
The foyer shown here is in a home in New Orleans, LA. The pattern is Pinwheel Brick and the color is Baton Rouge. The wood is hand-scraped Cyprus. And by hand scraped, we mean literally hand scraped by the homeowner himself. Notice how the wood strips are installed in a basketweave type fashion. This takes advantage of the varying tones of the wood and highlites the pinwheel weave pattern of the PortStone. The Cyprus planks in this floor were planed to a thickness of 3/8" to flush out with the surface of the PortStone.
There has been a tremendous amount of interest in PortStone floors done with wood inlays. So, we decided to devote this page to help answer some questions and to provide a centralized location for photos of these beautiful floors. These floors were all done utilizing PortStone Brick Pavers and different types of wood flooring.
When doing a PortStone floor with a wood inlay, a major concern is making sure that the two surfaces come out even with each other. In the floor shown above, the wood planks were 3/4" thick. The thickness of PortStone plus the thin-set mortar used to adhere it to the subfloor is approximately 3/8". Therefore, it was necessary to "build up" under the PortStone enough so that it would plane out with the wood. There are several ways to accomplish this. One method is to bed up with mortar before laying the PortStone. This can be somewhat difficult to acheive a flat, even surface on which to lay the PortStone. A better method would be to install 1/4" backerboard between the wood strips. Using a 1/4"X1/4"X1/4" notched trowel to spread the thinset on which the backerboard is to be laid will result in the surface of the backerboard being approximately 3/8" above the subfloor. Then install the PortStone using the same notched trowel. This should even out very well with a 3/4" thick wood strip.
The floor to the right is done in the Runningbond pattern and the color is Windsor. The wood strips used here are a pre-finished scraped pine. The thickness of this wood is approximately 3/8", so it worked out very well with the surface of the PortStone.
Runningbond in the color Windsor inlaid with Pre-Finished Scraped Pine
If you are considering doing a wood inlay, the size of the grid will determine how easy or how difficult the job will be. The width of the wood strips is simply a matter of personal preference. Using a grid opening size on a module that fits with the PortStone pattern chosen will make the job go much easier. The grid size in the photo above is 13" X 13". That is a perfect fit for the pinwheel brick pattern which is approximately 12" X 12".
The grid in the photos at the top of the page was in place before the builder decided to use PortStone. It was laid out for old re-claimed brick that they were going to have to slice to fit. This very quickly became too labor intensive ;and the split brick was very fragile. As you can see in the photo, the PortStone bricks had to be cut around the edges to make the panel fit within the wood grid. The PortStone panels were cut to fit during the manufacturing process so that they could be laid in one piece for each opening. This is okay, and it all worked out very well, but it is much better to work with a grid size that fits with PortStone's established pattern layouts. Contact PortStone Mfg.Corp. for the optimal grid size for each PortStone pattern.
TIPS FOR INSTALLING A PORTSTONE/WOOD INLAY FLOOR:
1. For best results, PortStone/Wood Inlay floors should always centered as best possible in the areas where it will be installed. This is fairly simple in areas such as the foyer shown directly above. However this can be somewhat difficult in areas of adjoining rooms of different sizes. Sometimes the best thing to do in cases such as this is to decide which areas will be the most visible and center that area and just let it run out however it will in the other area(s).
2. Co-ordinate with PortStone Mfg. Corp. when determining grid size. In many cases, we can give you a standard layout that will work best with your chosen pattern. Quite often we can manufacture the sections to be laid in one peice that will fill the grid opening. In some cases, there may be an additional charge for this, but it can significantly lower your on-site installation cost and possibly eliminate a large portion of wasted material.
3. You will need to purchase the wood of your choice locally. PortStone Mfg. Corp. does not sell wood of any type. When purchasing the wood, the thickness of the wood needs to be considered because anything over 3/8" thick will require additional labor and material costs when installing the PortStone.
4. The wood grid should be installed first and then the PortStone.
5. If the wood you choose is not pre-finished, everything except the final sanding and finish coat should be done prior to installing your PortStone. The final coat can also be done prior to the PortStone installation if you mask all the wood surfaces very well. This is so that the wood will not get scratched during the grouting process.
6. Be very careful when grouting not to get excessive water on the wood strips. This can cause the wood to swell and detach from the subfloor.
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Herringbone Brick in the color Charleston
The grid opening size in the photo to the left and below is 17" X 34". In this size, the PortStone sheets are installed in basically 1 piece with only a couple of half bricks installed as filler pieces.
The photo to the right and directly above is PortStone's Herringbone pattern done in Sat. Louis inlaid with Antique Heart Pine laid in 10" strips.