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How to Install Exterior Lightweight Brick Veneer

Updated February 21, 2017

Brick veneer comes in a wide variety of colours, shapes and patterns making the exterior of home look like a charming brick cottage or a sleek modern house. Brick veneer is simply brick moulded as thin pieces or into a panel with several faux bricks. Installing brick veneer is a challenging do-it-yourself home-improvement project.

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  1. Clean the exterior surface with a pressure washer or a stiff-bristled brush to remove dirt and debris.

  2. Place wire mesh against the entire surface. Hammer galvanised nails to hold it in place every 12 inches.

  3. Mix mortar in a wheelbarrow or trough according to the directions on the bag.

  4. Begin on a corner and apply a 1/2-inch thick layer of mortar with a trowel over the wire mesh, pressed in deeply.

  5. Use the notched side of the trowel to create horizontal lines through the mortar. Creating lines produces a good gripping surface.

  6. Apply a 1/4-inch thick layer of mortar to the back of a wraparound corner piece. Place at the bottom of the wall and press it firmly into the wet mortar. Repeat on all corners. Corner pieces, especially made to straddle corners, eliminate the need to match corners later.

  7. Apply 6-foot long by 3-foot high, 1/2-inch thick layer of mortar over the wire mesh, next to the corner piece. Create horizontal lines with the notched side of the trowel.

  8. Apply a 1/4-inch thick layer of mortar to the back of the brick veneer panel or individual brick.

  9. Butt the brick veneer up tightly to the corner piece and press firmly in place.

  10. Continue to apply mortar to the veneer and place tightly against the previous piece working along the bottom of the wall.

  11. Make cuts to the brick veneer as necessary with a wet saw, so that bricks "alternate," row to row, just as regular mortared brick does.

  12. Continue to add the corners and then courses of veneer, building up from the base of the wall.

  13. Allow the mortar to dry for 24 hours.

  14. Mix mortar according to the directions on the bag and fill a grout bag with the wet mortar. Apply grout in between individual bricks or between gaps in the veneer panels.

  15. Tip

    Wear safety glasses and gloves to avoid injury. Consider hiring a masonry professional for large projects.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Stiff brush
  • Wire mesh
  • Wheelbarrow or trough
  • Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Wet saw
  • Grout bag

About the Author

Sal Marco began writing professionally in 2009. He has written many online home improvement articles based on his more than 20 years of experience in the home improvement and building industries. He has worked as both part of a team and as a site supervisor. Marco has a Bachelor of Science in management science from Kean University.

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