So you want to create a brick feature wall and you need a bit of advice before you can start fitting them. Well, that's why we've written this guide on how to fit brick slips.
Work Out How Many Brick Slips You Need
Before we get started, you need to figure out the size of the area you are planning to cover. This will help you to calculate how many brick slips are needed.
You will need to make sure that your order enough to cover the entire wall. We advise that you add 5% to your total number to allow for wastage and breakages. It's better to have too many than too little!
How Many Standard Brick Slips Do You Need?
This will vary depending on the supplier you purchase the brick slips from. Most suppliers offer them at slightly different sizes.
Our brick slips are all made to look like reclaimed and rustic old bricks. Therefore, each brick is ever so slightly different but they are all approximately 270mm long and 65mm wide (the thickness varies between 12mm and 15mm).
Each box from us contains 25 individual brick slips and this covers half a square metre (0.5m2). To ensure the box covers half a square metre, make sure you use 10mm gaps between the tiles as recommended.
To work this out, you need to measure the height of the wall and the width of the wall. You then multiply the height by the width to find out the square metreage.
Example (standard brick slips)
You have a standard rectangular or square shaped wall.
The height of the wall is 2.2 metres (220cm).
The width of the wall is 3.7 metres (370cm).
2.2m x 3.7m = 8.14m2 (metres squared).
Because 1 box of brick slips covers half a square metre, you need 2 boxes for every square metre.
To make it easier, we'll double the square metres needed.
8.14 x 2 = 16.28
This tells us that we need just over 16 boxes of brick slips to cover the wall.
Taking the 5% extra in to the equation means 18 boxes would be the ideal amount to order. You would have enough tiles to cover the wall and have extra in case of breakages.
How Many Corner Brick Slips Do You Need?
If you are going to be covering an external corner, you'll need to make use of brick slip corner tiles.
These are different to standard brick slips because they are 'L' shaped. This enables them to fit onto an external corner and look like a whole brick.
The long side is the same length as a standard brick slips - 270mm.
The short side is half of this - 135mm.
Example (corner brick slips)
These are used when transitioning around an external corner on to another wall.
We use only the height of the wall to work out how many corner slips we need.
Let's say the wall is 2.2 metres (2200mm) tall.
The corner brick slips are approx. 65mm wide. The gap between each tile should be 10mm.
This is how we work out how many corners are needed.
65mm + 10mm = 75mm
We then divide the height of the wall by this number.
2200mm / 75mm = 29.33
This tells us that we need just over 29 brick corners to cover the area.
Using the 5% rule, we would order 31 corner pieces to be on the safe side.
What Do You Need To Fit Them?
We've compiled a nice easy check list of all the items needed to fix brick slips to a wall.
- Brick Slips (and Brick Slip Corners if needed)
- 10mm Tile Spacers
- Brush / Sponge
- Brick Jointer
- Floor Covering (to help with mess!)
- Mixing Bucket
- Notched Trowel
- Pointing Mortar or Grout
- Pointing Trowel, Mortar Pointing Piping Bag or Mortar Pointing Gun (gun preferred)
- Spirit Level
- String Line
- Strong Wall Tile Adhesive
- Wooden Batten
Before getting started, it's best to be prepped and ready!
Grab your preferred floor covering and make sure you cover the floor underneath and around the wall where you are fitting the brick slips. You don't want to get adhesive or grout anywhere but the wall!
You'll also need to wipe down the wall before you can start fitting. This will get rid of any loose debris / dust that can interfere with the adhesion of the tiles. A damp cloth will do the trick.
To prime the wall ready for installation, you'll need to use diluted PVA (follow the manufacturers recommendation for dilution). Use a brush or a sponge to apply the solution to the wall and allow it to dry.
Fitting The Brick Slips
Now you're ready to fix your brick slips to the wall!
When starting, it's always best to start from the very bottom. This makes it easier to keep a straight line and will look neater.
Note: if you're using corner brick slips, fit these first and then proceed with the standard brick slips still starting from the bottom.
Mixing And Applying The Adhesive
To ensure you get the strongest adhesion possible, always follow the manufacturers recommendation.
When starting, it's best to work on a small area (we recommend less than half a square metre) until you're comfortable with installing the tiles.
Working on a small area allows you to take a little more time and prevents the adhesive from drying out before you get the chance to fix the slips.
As you get further into the installation, you'll find you can start working on larger areas - but don't get carried away! Always give yourself enough time for the best end results.
When you apply the adhesive to the wall, you can use the teeth of the noticed trowel to flatten it out. Make sure to retain any removed adhesive to use later on!
Sticking The Brick Slips To The Wall
Once you're happy with the adhesive on the wall, you can start the exciting part - fixing brick slips to the wall!
Grab a brick slip and gently (but firmly) press it into the adhesive. Continue along the row until it is complete.
Make sure to use the spacers to ensure that a 10mm gap is maintained between the tiles. Only remove the spacers once you know the adhesive is set.
Take care to keep the brick slips sit flush with each other and maintain a straight line.
You can use the string line and spirit level to help out when trying to keep a straight line.
The wooden batten can be used to apply light pressure to the fitted brick slips to maintain a a consistently even surface.
When you've completely finished the first row and are happy with how the tiles are sitting, you can repeat the process row by row (or course by course as the 'bricks' say!) until the entire wall is covered.
Ensure that you allow enough time for the adhesive to completely set before moving on.
Filling The Gaps With Grout / Mortar
Now you're ready to start filling the gaps and completing your brick feature wall!
Before you start, make sure you've removed all the spacers!
Note: if using a piping bag or gun to apply the mortar, make sure the mortar is suitable for the application method to avoid clogging of the equipment.
Start by mixing the mortar in the bucket making sure to follow the manufacturers recommendation.
When mixed, you can start applying in to the gaps. Ensure to completely fill the gaps and not leave any spaces.
If applying with a gun or bag, you'll find it easier to avoid getting mortar on the brick slip faces (it can be hard to remove) hence why it is recommended. Try it out on a small area to make yourself comfortable with the application process.
Once you have finished filling the gaps, allow the mortar to dry for at least 30 minutes. If the mortar is thicker in consistency, leave it for up to 60 minutes.
Striking The Mortar
Now you've let the mortar dry out for a short while, you're ready to grab your brick jointer!
You'll want to use the curved end of the tool. Use this to strike out a depression in the mortar (lightly press it into the mortar and move it along the joints).
Do this over all of the horizontal and vertical joints in your new brick work.
When you've finished striking the mortar, remove any loose mortar by lightly brushing over all the joints.
Now just sit back and leave the mortar to completely dry out. We recommend leaving it 24 hours.
Cleaning Any Mortar Off The Brick Faces
If you've been careful, this step shouldn't take too long.
There are many products available that can make removing the mortar from a brick face easy. You'll need an acidic cleaning solution - make sure to use it as per the manufacturers instructions.
Optional: Seal The Brick Slips
It is recommend that a sealant is applied to your finished brick slip wall in certain situations.
For instance, if you've installed them in an area where they are likely to get dirty (for example, in a kitchen) you'd be better off sealing them once completely installed.
This helps to make cleaning them easier and prevents the brick slips from being stained.
If you are fitting them in an area that is likely to have a high flow of water (for example, around a bathtub or on a shower wall), you must seal the brick slips after installation.
Because brick slips are porous, water can make its way through them. When using an appropriate sealant, you won't need to worry about this.
Enjoy Your Brick Feature Wall
All the hard work is done! You can now sit back, relax and enjoy your new brick feature wall!
We hope this post has been helpful and if you have any questions, we're always here to answer them. Just use the live chat button or visit the contact us page to speak to us!