PortStone Thin Brick panels are easy to install, especially when compared to ceramic tile, or regular brick panels. A good installation job begins with floor preparation.
Clean the floor of any dust, dirt, or debris. Be sure to remove any paint from the floor as well, as this could prevent proper adhesion to the concrete. Use a crack suppressant membrane to address any cracks in the concrete subfloor. We do not recommend the use of cement or gypsum backer board underlayment when installing PortStone over a wooden subfloor. We recommend using an uncoupling membrane such as Ditra or ProvaFlex. These also work great for crack isolation over concrete slabs.
During application, care should be taken not to put excessive force on the corners. While the material is very strong and durable once installed, the bricks can be cracked if not handled properly. While usually, once installed a cracked brick is not visible. If you have any questions as to whether or not the brick should be installed, simply cut out the cracked brick and replace it with a brick from a different panel.
Using a chalk line, pop a few reference lines across the subfloor. These can be used as a guide in order to keep the pattern running parallel with the room.
Be sure to use a good grade of polymer-modified thin-set mortar to adhere PortStone panels to the subfloor. Then, use a ¼” X ¼” square notched trowel to spread the thin-set in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions on the bag. Lay the PortStone panels in place. Do not apply excessive force as this will squeeze the thin-set mortar out from under the panels. Use only enough force to bring the brick panel into good contact with the thin-set mortar. Every so often, lift one of the panels to make sure that you have 100% coverage under the panels. DO NOT WALK ON THE FLOOR FOR 24 HOURS.
After the floor has been laid and the 24-hour thin-set curing time has passed it can then be grouted in. You can use any type of sanded grout you would like to use provided it will withstand grout joints of ½” or more in width. For a regular brick mortar look, we strongly suggest using our Brick and Paver Grout Mix. It is specially blended for use with PortStone and works extremely well. When grouting your floor, work in small areas to give you time to clean as you go. Take care not to pull too much grout from between the bricks.
NOTE – Do not use epoxy grout and do not use any of the All-In-One type grouts with a sealer made into the grout. These grouts stick to the surface of PortStone like very sticky paint. It makes a terrible mess trying to get it clean.
In most cases, PortStone can usually be sealed the day after it is grouted. Unlike regular brick pavers, PortStone does not have to cure for twenty-eight days or more to allow the moisture to escape before sealing. Make sure that the grout has properly cured before sealing. Once the grout apply 1 coat of SC-25 Paver Seal. This is a solvent based sealer so be sure to provide adequate ventilation and extinguish all sources of ignition. We also have an excellent water based sealer, WB-25 Sealer, that can be used instead of the solvent based sealer, but we have to know which sealer you will be using when you place your order so that we can make sure the factory sealer coats will match what you will be using on your floor.
The sealer is dry enough to walk on usually within 2 to 3 hours. Then, two coats of our Super Wax Floor Finish or our Matte Finish are applied. If you are applying Matte Floor Finish, always take care to not let it puddle. Any puddles remaining after the rest of the floor has dried should be blotted up with a clean paper towel. Our floor finish dries within about 30 to 40 minutes between coats. It is ready for light foot traffic after a couple of hours.
If used outside or where it will be exposed to potential wet foot traffic, an anti-slip additive MUST be used in the final coat of sealer. The surface WILL BE VERY SLICK WHEN WET if this is not used. We can supply everything you need for a PortStone installation for an interior or exterior job. Our only exceptions are crack isolation membrane material and Ditra or Provaflex.
If your wall is an exterior wall, the wall must be prepped according to the MCMA (Masonry Veneer Manufacturers Association) guidelines. See the below link for more information on this process.
Ceramic tile mastic, or a thin-set mortar, can be used to adhere the PortStone panels in place. If you find you are having issues with panels sliding downward, use a drywall screw in one of the joints between the bricks to temporarily hold the panels in place.
Allow the panels to remain in place overnight before grouting the wall.
There are several methods that can be used to grout in PortStone Thin Brick walls. A grout bag can be used to place the grout directly into the joints. This can require less clean-up but it can take longer to apply the grout to the joints. If using the grout bag method, allow sufficient time for the grout to stiffen before striking the joints with a jointing tool or small stick. Brush off any excess grout. It may be necessary to use a damp sponge to touch up the bricks.
Another method is to use a grout float or sponge to apply the grout into the joints. You can also just use your hands to work the grout into the joints. Be sure to wear good protective gloves using any of these methods. Use a damp sponge to remove excess grout and grout haze. You will likely need to wipe the wall down 2 or more times to remove all of the excess grout and haze.
The daily care and maintenance of PortStone are very easy. Simply dust mop or damp mop as needed. We do not recommend the use of harsh cleaners such as PineSol or vinegar and water. These will act as strippers and remove the protective floor finish coating over time. Clean water is best. If you feel the need to use a cleaner, it is best to use one that is pH neutral to prevent the removal of the floor finish. The Home Depot carries a product such as this manufactured by ZEP, very creatively named Zep pH Neutral Floor Cleaner.
We recommend that at least once a year, one or two coats of a PortStone approved floor finish be applied. This will help keep your floor looking fresh and new. Applying floor finish is a very easy process; just clean the floor thoroughly then apply the floor finish using a rayon mop, lambswool applicator, or paint pad. If you choose to use a mop, be sure that it is a 100% rayon mop. Do not use a cotton mop nor a cotton/rayon blend. Cotton or cotton/rayon blends will leave lint in the dried floor finish.
Be sure to put rubber tips or felt pads under all table and chair legs. PortStone holds up very well to everyday wear and tear. PortStone is very durable and long-lasting. Treat it as you would any fine floor and you should get many years of trouble-free enjoyment from it.
Be very careful when using a rug with a synthetic backing over PortStone or many other floors that are finished with an acrylic floor finish. The chemicals used in some rug backings will react with the sealer and floor finish on PortStone and other floors. They can leave a definite print of the backing imprinted into the floor’s surface. The rug can pull apart leaving bits and pieces of the backing firmly attached to the floor. In many cases, this imprint cannot be completely removed becoming a permanent part of the floor. Removing any part of is it very difficult. The only real cure is to completely remove the affected area of the floor and replace it with new PortStone material. Not all rug backings will do this, but the safest policy is to only use rugs with no backing or make sure it is a 100% natural rubber backing.
PortStone Manufacturing Corporation warrants all PortStone products to be free of manufacturer’s defects and to be manufactured according to our specifications and within color variance parameters established by PortStone Manufacturing Corporation.
All PortStone products are guaranteed against manufacturer’s defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year from the date of purchase. Any PortStone product found to be defective before installation should not be installed. Installation of any defective PortStone product shall void any and all warranties.
We do not guarantee any specific color or texture matching other than that the color and texture will be within our acceptable variance parameters.
Since PortStone Manufacturing Corporation has no control over how the product is handled or installed; or what the product may be exposed to after installation, PortStone is not warranted against chips, scratches, or cracks.
This warranty is for product replacement only. It specifically excludes any and all labor expenses or any other expense related to the product replacement.
PortStone Manufacturing Corporation has no ownership interest in any independent distributor, contractor, or installer. No independent dealer, distributor, contractor, nor installer has authority to modify this warranty in any way. Any guarantee made by an independent dealer, distributor, contractor, or installer as mentioned above is the responsibility of that person or company. It is made separate from this warranty. They shall not alter this warranty in any way.
This warranty covers the original purchaser and anyone who takes possession of the home or building where the product is originally installed during the warranty period.
This warranty provides specific rights. You may have other rights which vary by location.
When properly installed and maintained according to our recommendations and specifications, and with the care and treatment that you would give any fine flooring material, your PortStone floor should give you many years of beauty, serviceability, and enjoyment. Check our website, www.portstone.com, or give us a call at 601-922-0902 for any questions you may have.