There has been a tremendous amount of interest in PortStone floors done with wood inlaid grids. This page is devoted 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 panels and different types of wood flooring.
WOOD INLAY FLOORS
The photos directly above and to the right are PortStone's Herringbone pattern done in St. Louis inlaid with Antique Heart Pine laid in 10" strips.
When doing a PortStone floor with a wood inlay, a major concern is making sure that the two surfaces come out in the proper relationship 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 method can be somewhat difficult to get 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" square notched trowel to spread the thin-set 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 work out very well with a 3/4" thick wood strip. It is actually better to have the surface of the PortStone brick ever so slightly higher than the wood surface. This will feel much more comfortable to walk on than having a sharp wood edge that can also show wear and cause splintering issues.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 in the photo at the top of the page was in place before the builder decided to use PortStone. They used 2 - 5” pine planks side by side, making the wood strips 10” wide. 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, not at all cost effective, and the split brick was very fragile. PortStone was the perfect solution and it was cut to fit the grid on site. It is much easier to work with a grid size that fits with PortStone's established pattern layouts because some of our patterns can be pre-cut at the factory to fit within certain grid openings . This will allow the PortStone panel to be laid into the grid in one piece. Contact PortStone Mfg.Corp. for the optimal grid size for each PortStone pattern.
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 cypress. 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 highlights the pinwheel weave pattern of the PortStone. The cypress planks in this floor were planed to a thickness of 3/8" to flush out with the surface of the PortStone. This grid was made with 13” X 13” spacing to accomodate the Pinwheel brick patterm which comes in panels than measure roughly 12” X 12”.
The photo above shows our St. Louis brick done with a wood inlay of Heart Pine. When using our herringbone brick pattern in a wood inlay floor, the grid opening should be 33 ½” X 33 ½ “. With this size spacing between the wood planks, we can pre-cut the herringbone panels so that they will fit within the grid opening in one piece. This makes installation MUCH faster and easier and you have much less waste than you would cuting the panels to fit on site. This is not available from ANY other thin brick product.The ceiling above was done using our Rose Hill brick color in the Face Brick pattern.
The floor to the right is done in the Runningbond pattern and the color is Windsor. Our Runningbond pattern cannot be pre-cut to fit, but if you’re considering using this pattern in an inlaid floor, we can advise you on what grid sizes might be the easiest to work with. 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.
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.
A PortStone brick floor with a wood plank inlay makes a beautiful floor. A little planning in advance will help it go much easier, and we are always glad to help with that. If you have an area you want to do similar to the floors seen above, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you with layout and quantity questions.