Frequently Asked Questions About Thin Brick
Does thin brick cost more than full depth brick?
Sometimes! Because current manufacturing techniques and equipment have been honed for making “regular” bricks, making thin brick often requires additional steps or major changes in the manufacturing process. In fact, much of the thin brick available today has been cut down from full depth brick that could have been used in a “regular” wall.
So if it sometimes costs more than regular brick, why use it?
Shipping and installation costs are drastically less. Bricks are bulky and heavy, so much of the overall cost of using them comes from freight and labor. In terms of freight, a full truck load of thin brick is equivalent to 5 loads of full depth brick! Most thin bricks are many times lighter than their full depth counterparts, so they are easy to carry and install, not to mention they can adhere to your wall and take up less interior space.
What are thin bricks made of?
Like full depth brick, most thin brick is made of fired clay and shale. They have all of the texture and charm that you expect from brick, and their color is permanent.
Some thin bricks are made of concrete; they are typically created thin (as opposed to being cut from a full depth brick) and include powder or liquid color additives. Concrete products are generally less expensive and heavier than clay products. Note that concrete bricks gradually contract after installation whereas clay bricks expand.
How is thin brick priced?
Thin brick is priced per sq ft for flat pieces and per piece for corner pieces. “Corners” are right angle pieces of thin brick that keep your bond (brick pattern) looking authentic when turning an outside corner or surrounding a column.
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How do I install thin brick?
First, Calculate the square footage for your interior thin brick installation. We can help you determine the exact amount of materials needed for your particular project.
Before installation, be sure your wall surfaces are clean and free of debris. Also, protect your floor and any other surfaces with a drop cloth or protective covering.
Once the walls are clean, measure and mark your walls for each course of brick. Use a level to make reference lines across the wall surfaces to ensure that your thin bricks are straight and level. (FIG. 1)
Begin installation by applying a bead of brick veneer construction adhesive to the backs of several bricks. (FIG. 2) Begin working at the bottom of the wall and work your way to the top, staggering the mortar joints from course to course. (FIG. 3) As needed, cut thin brick using a tile cutter or diamond blade grinder to complete each course. (FIG. 4)
Be sure to step back from your work occasionally to ensure that the thin bricks are straight and the mortar joints are even. Construction adhesive is typically adjustable for about 15–20 minutes. This should provide ample time to make necessary adjustments to each course before moving on to the next course.
To finish the thin brick installation, mix the joint mortar in a bucket according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Load a large grout bag with joint mortar, making sure it flows at a steady rate. Apply the mortar to vertical joints and dress them using a masonry joint tool. (FIG. 5) Once the vertical mortar joints set, use the same technique on the horizontal joints and dress the joints to finish. (FIG. 6)