product review: andi mini brick and stone, part II

In February, I reviewed Andi Mini Brick and Stone. At the time, I’d just finished placing the stone half of Andi products on the foundation of the Rye. This time, I used the brick portion. Since the process is a little different, I figured I’d put another review out there.

I first bought Andi brick for the Beachside Bungalow. I planned to use it on the porch columns. Andi makes a variety of brick finishes, including white, red, brown, charcoal, and used. Although, I’d purchased the latter, I wanted them a little more weathered, so I tossed them in a pan, dripped some white paint on them, shook them around, and dumped them on parchment paper to dry. I liked the look, but I encountered another impediment to using them on the beach house, which was the accompanying Andi mortar/grout was temporarily out of stock. I bought a small box of real grout at the hardware store, but you needed special gloves to work with it and the whole thing seemed iffy at best and complicated at worst. So, the Andi bricks sat unused for the next couple of projects.

When it came time for the Rye, I decided to try again, this time ordering the stone. I found after all of my trepidation, it was remarkably easy to use: just glue it in place–one step, perfect! And it cuts with scissors. Really! I had such a good time, and I so loved the effect, I thought I’d revisit the brick.

I had just completed a herringbone pattern inside the Tilton (bridal salon), with wood planks from S.H. Goode and Sons. It went pretty well, so I was feeling all confident. I decided to repeat the herringbone pattern with the brick on the Tilton’s porch.

The process turned out to be equally simple. You glue the bricks in place, leaving spaces in between for the grout. Like the stone, the brick cuts easily with scissors, so you can add small pieces into the cracks and crevices.

After you’ve laid your bricks, add a topcoat to protect the porous material from the wet grout. I used the same polyurethane I’d just used on the wood floors.

The next day, I grouted. Once that dries–Andi recommends one hour or more–you sponge off the excess. It doesn’t “hurt” the bricks because you protected them with polyurethane in the previous step.

The only thing I would have done differently was to create a border with some straight-laid bricks like you’d see in real-life construction. I ended up slicing the edges and then adding a piece of filler wood to get a cleaner edge. I don’t love it, and I may yet pull out the end pieces and start over.

I give extra points for products made in USA, and I’m not sure Andi is a US-based manufacturer or not. The products don’t say and I couldn’t find a Web site.

With that one asterisk, I give Andi a big thumbs up. I think using “real” brick and stone adds so much to your finished project, and it was fun and easy to use.

No more fear. Andi Mini Brick and Stone will definitely factor into future projects.

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