How to install fireplace brick facing

Brick image by Luke Haverkamp from

A fireplace wall made of brick can add the charm of a 100-year-old New York loft to any living space. Brick facing is an easy way to create this look without ripping out the walls of your home. Brick veneers are thin bricks that are made specifically to be hung on the wall. The tiles are roughly one-third the thickness of regular brick and can be found at most tile retailers. You should make sure the fireplace wall is flat and sturdy before adding any brick facing to it.

Snap chalk lines on your wall to use as a guide. Tap a small finish nail into the wall where you want your chalk line. Using a chalk box, available at home improvement stores, hang one end of the string on the finish nail. Stretch the line across the wall to a point at the same height on the other side of the wall. Holding the chalk box tightly with one hand, use the other hand to snap the line against the wall. You will want a chalk line for every two courses of brick. Brick tiles are 2 ΒΌ inch wide with a 3/8-inch mortar joint. Snap a chalk line every 7 7/8 inches.

Spread thin set adhesive on the wall using a notch trowel. Use a thin set with an acrylic additive. It should also be a thick consistency so that the tiles won't slip while drying.

Set the first course, or row, of brick on the wall using the thin set. Use spacers between each tile to keep the tiles even and to leave room for the grout. Be creative when laying the tile. There is no right or wrong way to use the colour variations. Lay the tiles in the way that suits your tastes. Start at the base of the wall and work upward. The base bricks will help keep the upper bricks from slipping.

Cut tile pieces for the edges using a wet tile saw. You can rent a wet saw from any equipment rental location. Order L-shaped corner pieces from your tile retailer. This will help you to avoid having to make mitre cuts.

Check the first course of brick with a level. Make sure that the tiles are even.

Set the second course of brick facing for your fireplace. Check to make sure the brick tiles are level. Repeat this process until your wall is completely covered. Allow the thin set to dry completely.

Apply sanded tile grout between the bricks using a pointed trowel. This will reduce the amount of grout you need to clean from the front of the tiles since you will be able to apply the grout directly between the tiles.

Wipe away all grout from the face of the tiles with a wet sponge. Clean the sponge and water often. Allow the grout to dry completely.

Apply a stone sealer to your brick tiles for extra protection from spills and dirt. Be sure to test sealer on a tile remnant before applying it to the entire wall as it may change the appearance of the tile.

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