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Using Brick Slips to Add Character to Your Home

Using Brick Slips to Add Character to Your Home

Brick slips are thin slices of real brick that can be used to create stunning feature walls or accents in any room of your home. Unlike faux brick panels or wallpaper, brick slips bring the authentic look and texture of brick into your decor. Installing a brick slip feature wall or fireplace surround adds warmth, charm and value to your home.

Brick slips are an increasingly popular choice for home renovations and new builds. The bricks come in various colors, shapes, textures and finishes to complement any style. Brick slips allow you to achieve the aesthetic of a brick wall without the hassle and expense of building with full brick. In this blog post, we’ll look at the benefits of using brick slips and give tips for installing them in your home.

Benefits of Using Brick Slips

There are many advantages to using brick slips rather than full brick for walls and accents:

  • Cost effective– Brick slips are much more affordable than installing a full brick wall, which requires specialized masonry skills. The thin slices are also lighter than full bricks, reducing structural demands.
  • Quick and easy installation– Brick slips can be installed in a fraction of the time it takes to build with full brick. No need to precisely lay each brick; the slips are mounted right onto drywall or other surfaces with adhesive.
  • Authentic look– Brick slips provide the same handsome, textured look as real brick. The color, shape and texture are indistinguishable from full brick when installed.
  • Versatile– Slips can be used to create a whole accent wall, fireplace, kitchen backsplash, columns, archways and more. Use them indoors or outdoors.
  • Low maintenance– Brick slips won’t degrade like natural brick. Once installed, they require no repointing or sealing. They’re also resistant to mold and moisture damage.

With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why brick slips are surging in popularity for renovations and new construction alike. The versatile slips let homeowners achieve the coveted look of brick without the cost and labor of full bricklaying.

Designing With Brick Slips

When planning a project with brick slips, it helps to understand the different options available. Brick slips come in a range of styles:

  • Colors– Choose from natural earth tones like red, brown and tan or go bold with painted colors like navy blue or sage green. Distressed and glazed finishes are also available.
  • Textures– Smooth, wirecut, sandblasted and rustic styles emulate everything from historic bricks to modern interpretations.
  • Sizes– Standard bricks are 2 1⁄4” high by 8” long. But slips also come in elongated sizes and special shapes for arches, corners and borders.
  • Brands– Top manufacturers like Wienerberger, and bricktilecompany offer diverse collections with lots of choices.

With this range of colors, textures and dimensions, it’s easy to find the perfect product to bring your design vision to life. Visit a supplier to view products in person or order samples to see how they coordinate with your existing finishes.

Placing Brick Slips Strategically

Carefully consider where to place brick slips for maximum impact:

  • Fireplace surround– Instantly transform a basic fireplace by framing it in brick slips. Use contrasting tones or textures to make the fireplace a focal point.
  • Kitchen backsplash– For a bold accent behind sinks and stoves, brick-clad backsplashes are striking. Use heat-resistant slips around cooking surfaces.
  • Entryway– Welcome guests with a faux brick wall in an entryway or mudroom. Add character without taking up floor space.
  • Bathroom– Humidity-resistant brick slips add a cozy, spa-like feel around tubs and showers. Use slips selectively on one or two walls.
  • Outdoor kitchen– Define an outdoor cooking space by cladding a grill niche or bar area in brick slips.
  • Columns– Wrap brick slips around drywall or wood columns to create substantial, architectural accents.
  • Backyard retreat– Use faux brick to build a cozy sitting wall, fire pit or backdrop for an outdoor kitchen.

Get creative with brick slips by using them selectively where you want a pop of texture and charm.

How to Install Brick Slips

Installing brick slips takes careful planning and preparation but is relatively straightforward for DIYers. Here are the basic steps:

Choose Your Surface

Brick slips can be applied to drywall, plywood, concrete, cinder blocks, existing tile and more. The surface must be smooth, clean and structurally sound. Painted surfaces should be lightly sanded and primed so the adhesive bonds properly.

Prepare the Surface

Mark plumb lines on the surface to ensure your finished project is level. Spread a thin coat of mortar or specialty brick slip adhesive over the surface using a notched trowel. Do small sections at a time so the adhesive doesn’t dry out before adding slips.

Apply the Slips

Following any pattern or design, press the slips into the adhesive. Tap gently with a rubber mallet to ensure a good bond. Use spacers between slips to maintain even grout lines. Work row by row, wiping away excess adhesive as you go.

Grout the Slips

Once the adhesive has cured, mix grout according to package directions. Push the grout into the joints between slips using a grout float or bag. Let it set slightly, then scrub off residue with a sponge and clean water. Allow to dry fully.

Seal and Finish

Apply a penetrating brick sealer in 2-3 coats, allowing it to dry between applications. Once sealed, your brick slip wall is ready to enjoy for years to come with minimal maintenance required.

With the right tools and preparation, brick slips can easily be installed by motivated DIYers over a weekend. For large or intricate designs, consider hiring a professional tile contractor to ensure proper installation. Either way, faux brick slips let you affordably achieve the timeless look and feel of authentic brickwork. How to install brick slips – Brick slips can be applied to drywall, plywood, concrete, cinder blocks, existing tile and more. The surface must be smooth, clean and structurally sound. Painted surfaces should be lightly sanded and primed so the adhesive bonds properly.

Create a Stunning Brick Slip Feature Wall

The unique look of brick makes it a perfect choice for creating a stunning feature wall in your home. A statement-making brick slip feature wall adds visual interest, dimension and character to any room. Use faux brick slips to make a bold focal point without the cost and mess of true masonry work.

When designing your brick slip feature wall, consider these tips:

  • Select a wall with a simple, flat surface for easiest installation. Avoid electrical outlets or windows.
  • Pick a wall visible from main living areas so the feature wall becomes a conversation piece.
  • Use colors and textures that pop against surrounding finishes but also coordinate.
  • Incorporate special shapes like corners, arches or medallions for added interest.
  • Outline the area to be bricked and paint the background wall a harmonizing color.
  • Add accents like shelves, sconces or artwork right on the feature wall.
  • Install recessed lighting above the wall to cast dramatic shadows across the brickwork.
  • Opt for stacked bond, herringbone, basketweave or other eye-catching brick patterns.
  • Wrap brick slips around corners or multiple walls for a custom built-in look.

With smart planning, you can create a showstopping brick slip feature wall even on a budget. The possibilities are endless whether you want a modern, vintage or rustic vibe. A faux brick accent wall immediately warms up any space and adds the perfect dose of texture.

Tips for How to Install Brick Slips

Installing brick slips is an approachable DIY project for any homeowner. Here are some top tips for proper installation:

  • Select high-quality brick slips designed for easy application, like Cultured Stone or Brick Slips UK. Avoid cheap, crumbly slips.
  • Check that your surface is smooth, primed and ready for installation. This prevents slips from popping off later.
  • Use a quality thinset mortar suitable for brick slips, like Mapei Ultraflex LFT. Do not use mastic adhesive.
  • Apply a consistent 1/4” layer of thinset to the wall using a notched trowel. Heavier layers can slide.
  • Press slips into the thinset firmly, tapping with a rubber mallet. Use spacers for even grout lines.
  • Allow thinset to fully cure (24-48 hours) before grouting. This prevents cracks or loose tiles.
  • Grout with an unsanded mixture formulated for thin joints under 1/8”. Avoid standard sanded grout.
  • Seal bricks with a penetrating sealer following the manufacturer’s directions to protect them.
  • Take care around electrical boxes, leaving space to insert plugs. Chisel out thinset if needed.

Follow these tips and you can install brick slips with confidence. With the right preparation and materials, your faux brick accent will look amazingly authentic. Brick slips allow anyone to achieve the classic look of brickwork without specialized masonry expertise.

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