We have a C17th house, one of the downstairs rooms (24'x15') has a brick
floor which at some point has had a very thin layer of screen? (is that
right it looks like cement) on it.
I'd like to take the screed up and expose the bricks, our damp proof people
also suggest that the floor needs to breathe and we should remove the
I have pulled up a corner to check the state of the bricks and they look
fine however there is a residue of the cement or whatever was used for the
Before I start to strip the whole floor I need to know how I'm going to
clean the bricks up and then what I can coat them with to protect them and
make it easy to clean whilst still alloing the floor to breathe.
Can anyone help?
Ps the bricks are on dirt.
To remove the residue of the concrete screed, use brick acid (an example is
Seloclean made by selocrete). This will unfortunately also attack the
mortar (probably lime based) between the bricks so this will have to be
repointed afterwards (again use a lime based mortar to maintain
breathability). The "traditional" top coat for quary tile and brick floors
is a polish made from beeswax and turpentine. Dont seal it with a non
breathable sealer or varnish. For lots of advice on this exact issue search
the disscussion forum on
Its encouraging to note that the damp proof people suggested that the floor
needs to breathe. The normal advice from the trade is take the whole lot up
install a concrete slab and dpm and put the bricks back down again. This
has the effect of exhaerbating damp problems elsewhere (like the walls).
You can buy hydrochloric acid from most builders for cleaning bricks.
It is quite concentrated and thus dangerous to use. I would think
twice before doing it in situ.
Can't you just take them up and turn them over?
They can be resurfaced using a belt sander and red paper. The quality
of finish depending on your lapidiary skills. Use a dry lime/sand mix
brushed into the surface as a grout.
You might consider replacing any breakages with something. Polished
stones from a souvenier shop perhaps? In which case you will have to
let the lady of the house choose their type and place. Otherwise you
will have to settle for mixing old and new bricks.
It is almost certain their will be snags like that. More than likely
the centre had dished with wear and with pressure.
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