How to Do a Brick Backsplash

A brick backsplash can add a unique, rustic touch to any kitchen. Installing a brick backsplash is a fun DIY project that allows you to customize your space. With some planning and the right materials, you can create a stunning focal point in your kitchen.

Choosing Your Bricks

The first step is to decide on the type and color of bricks to use. There are a few options:

  • Clay bricks – These natural bricks come in earthy red hues and add an old-world feel. They have an uneven, handmade appearance.
  • Concrete bricks – For a more modern, industrial look, consider grey concrete bricks. These have a smooth finish and consistent sizing.
  • Faux bricks – Brick veneer panels made of resin offer the look of brick without the weight. Great for DIY installs.

Consider bricks in neutral tones or colors that complement your cabinetry and counters. Accent colors like navy or light blue bricks can add a fun pop.

Preparing the Wall

Proper prep is crucial for a long-lasting brick backsplash. Follow these steps:

  • Remove existing backsplash and prep the wall area so it’s smooth and clean.
  • Seal the wall and counter edges with waterproof silicone caulk. This prevents moisture damage.
  • Apply concrete backerboard secured with screws to provide a sturdy base.
  • Spread a thin layer of mortar adhesive on the backerboard where bricks will be placed.

Laying the Bricks

Once your wall prep is complete, it’s time to install the bricks:

  • Dry fit bricks – Lay them out row by row on the counter without adhesive to map out placement.
  • Apply mortar – Spread a layer of mortar adhesive on an area of the wall. Press a brick into place firmly.
  • Check levels frequently – Use a level to ensure bricks are even as you go.
  • Cut bricks as needed – Measure and mark bricks to fit around outlets and corners, then cut with a wet saw.
  • Let mortar dry – Allow 24 hours between rows for mortar to fully cure before moving on.

Grouting Brick Joints

Grout fills the joints between bricks, locking them together and giving a finished look:

  • Mix grout per package instructions, to a thick, spreadable consistency.
  • Force grout into brick joints with a rubber grout float or trowel.
  • Wipe away excess grout with a damp sponge. Keep rinsing sponge for smooth joints.
  • Once grout has dried, polish haze off bricks with a soft cloth.

Sealing and Finishing Touches

The final steps complete your new backsplash:

  • Apply a penetrating brick sealer according to manufacturer directions.
  • Reinstall any fixtures, like your faucet and soap dispenser.
  • Add an accent strip of small decorative tiles along the counter or at the top.
  • Stand back and enjoy your new rustic brick backsplash! It’s sure to be a conversation piece.

FAQ About Brick Backsplashes

How difficult is installing a brick backsplash?

While labor intensive, installing a brick backsplash is totally DIY friendly if you have some tiling experience. The most challenging parts are setting bricks level and getting smooth grout lines.

What maintenance is required for a brick backsplash?

Brick is quite durable, but sealing it annually will protect from moisture damage. Use a mild cleaner and soft cloth to keep bricks looking their best. Re-apply grout occasionally if cracks appear.

What tools do I need to install a brick backsplash?

Essential tools include a trowel, grout float, sponges, mixing bucket, level, tape measure, wet saw with diamond blade, caulk gun, and various tiling tools. Safety gear like gloves and eye protection are also a must.

How do I cut bricks for fitting?

Use a wet saw with a diamond blade designed for masonry to neatly and accurately cut bricks. Always wear eye and ear protection. Cut bricks while they are dry.

Can I install bricks directly on drywall or plaster walls?

It’s not recommended. Moisture can damage drywall over time. Install concrete backerboard securely first to create a water-resistant surface that holds mortar and grout.


With the right materials and some elbow grease, a DIY brick backsplash can add instant character to your kitchen. The project may take time and planning, but the payoff is a stunning, rustic focal point you’ll enjoy for years to come. Be sure to seal and maintain your new brickwork so it retains its charm.