How to Install Brick Backsplash in Kitchen


Installing a brick backsplash in your kitchen can add an elegant, rustic touch to your space. Brick backsplashes provide texture and visual interest, while also being durable and easy to clean. With some planning, the right materials, and a bit of DIY skills, you can design and install a beautiful brick backsplash in your kitchen.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through all the steps for how to install brick backsplash in kitchen. We will cover everything you need to know, from choosing the right type of brick and mortar to preparing the wall surface to final grouting and sealing. With proper preparation and by following the instructions carefully, you can end up with a stunning brick backsplash that will transform the look and feel of your kitchen.

Benefits of Installing a Brick Backsplash

Before going into the installation process, let’s first look at why installing a brick backsplash is a great choice for your kitchen:

  • Visual Interest – Brick backsplashes add lovely visual texture and warmth to kitchen walls. The patterns and natural tones of the bricks create an eye-catching focal point.
  • Durability – Properly installed and sealed brick is extremely durable. It can withstand moisture, stains, and daily wear-and-tear better than many other backsplash materials.
  • Easy Maintenance – Brick doesn’t require much maintenance. Just use mild soap and water for routine cleaning. Compared to tile, it is less prone to grout lines getting dirty.
  • Affordability – Brick is an affordable backsplash choice, especially if you use reclaimed bricks. The materials cost is low and it’s a DIY-friendly project.
  • Complements Style – Whether your kitchen is modern, traditional or farmhouse, exposed brick adds charming rustic appeal. The texture pairs well with various cabinetry, counters and hardware finishes.

With proper planning and execution, a brick backsplash can add a stunning focal point in your kitchen that you will enjoy for years to come. Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to install it correctly.

How to Install Brick Backsplash in Kitchen Step-by-Step

Follow these key steps to successfully install a brick backsplash in your kitchen:

Step 1: Prepare the Wall Surface

Proper prep work is crucial for a long-lasting brick backsplash installation. Here are the key tasks:

  • Clean Thoroughly – Wipe down the wall area with a multi-surface degreaser to remove any dirt, grease or grime. Rinse well and allow to fully dry.
  • Remove Existing Backsplash – If there is already a backsplash like tile or laminate, remove it completely using a putty knife, chisel and hammer. Scrape away any remaining adhesive.
  • Fill Any Holes or Uneven Spots – Use joint compound to fill any dents, holes or uneven spots for a smooth surface. Allow compound to dry completely.
  • Prime the Wall – After repairs, apply 1-2 coats of masonry primer using a paint roller. This helps with adhesion. Allow primer to dry fully before installing bricks.

Pro tip: For severe wall damage, you may need to install cement backerboard before priming and adding bricks. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2: Plan the Brick Layout

Take measurements and sketch out the pattern you want before actually installing bricks:

  • Measure Area – Determine the exact height and length of the backsplash area. Account for outlets, windows and other obstructions.
  • Select Brick Type & Size – Consider brick dimensions, thickness, and features like tumbled or glazed finish. Allow for grout lines in layout.
  • Map the Pattern – Sketch ideas for arranged rows or a staggered brick pattern. Mixing brick sizes and orientation creates interest.
  • Dry Run Layout – Place bricks on the counter in your planned pattern as a test run. Adjust to get your desired visual look before installing.

Step 3: Cut the Bricks to Fit (If Needed)

For most layouts, you’ll need to cut some bricks for a tailored fit:

  • Mark Cuts – Use a pencil to mark cuts needed on individual bricks. It helps to dry layout first.
  • Cut with Grinder – Use an angle grinder with a masonry blade to make straight cuts through bricks along your marked lines.
  • Make Edge Cuts – For small edge gaps, tap bricks sideways with hammer to split, or use brick nippers for clean breaks.
  • Smooth the Edges – File any rough brick edges that could snag skin. Be sure to wear a particle mask when cutting.

Step 4: Apply Thin-set Mortar

Mortar provides the adhesive base for installing the brick backsplash:

  • Select Mortar – Use fortified thin-set mortar suitable for indoor use and masonry bonding. Avoid basic cement mixes.
  • Prepare Area – Mask off countertop and edges with painter’s tape to keep clean. Place mortar container nearby.
  • Apply to Wall – Use a notched trowel to spread thin-set mortar evenly over the installation area, about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Work in Sections – Only apply mortar that bricks can cover within 15-20 minutes. Mortar dries fast so work in small sections.

Step 5: Install the Bricks

Now comes the fun part – placing and adhering the bricks one-by-one:

  • Work Bottom to Top – Begin installing bricks at the bottom row. Place in your pre-planned pattern, pressing into mortar for good contact.
  • Check Level Frequently – Use a level tool often to ensure bricks align properly. Adjust as needed before mortar dries.
  • Cut Final Row Bricks – Measure and cut top row bricks as needed for an exact fit. Grind cut edges smooth.
  • Fill Gaps – Use shims or tiles to fill any small unavoidable gaps for an even surface. Remove them before grouting.
  • Clean Excess Mortar – As you work, use a damp sponge to wipe away any mortar that squeezes out between bricks.

Step 6: Grout the Brick Backsplash

Grout fills the spaces between bricks for a finished look:

  • Let Mortar Cure – Allow 24-48 hours for thinset mortar to fully cure before grouting process.
  • Apply Grout Release – Brush on grout release agent to help prevent grout from sticking to brick faces. Let it dry.
  • Prepare Grout – Mix a non-sanded grout suitable for gaps 1/8 inch or less. Match grout color to mortar for consistent look.
  • Work the Grout In – Use a grout float or rubber grout tool to spread grout over the entire backsplash area, pressing into gaps.
  • Clean Excess Grout – Let grout harden slightly. Then use a damp sponge to wipe bricks clean so only grout in joints remains. Rinse sponge frequently.
  • Finish Cleaning – Once grout has fully cured, use a soft cloth to dry wipe bricks and remove any remaining grout haze.

Step 7: Seal the Backsplash

Sealing is highly recommended to protect the finish of your lovely new brick backsplash:

  • Let Grout Cure – Allow grout to cure fully for 72 hours minimum before applying any protective sealer.
  • Select Water-based Sealer – Choose an indoor-safe, water-based penetrating brick sealer for the best stain protection.
  • Prepare – Clean bricks thoroughly and ensure they are fully dry before sealing. Tape off surrounding areas.
  • Apply Even Coats – Use a paint roller or foam applicator to apply 2-3 thin, even coats as directed, allowing drying time between coats.
  • Remove Tape and Cure – Let cure for 24 hours. Wipe away any residue and remove painter’s tape. Enjoy your finished backsplash!

And that covers the full process for how to install a brick backsplash in your kitchen! With careful prep, the right materials, and patience during the installation process, you can end up with a stunning DIY backsplash project.

FAQs About Installing Brick Backsplash

Here are answers to some common questions about installing a brick backsplash:

Should the bricks be sealed before or after grouting?

It’s best to apply sealant after grouting is complete. Sealing the bricks before grouting can prevent the grout from adhering properly in the gaps.

What color grout should I use with red bricks?

For traditional red brick, unsanded grout in a shade like buff, taupe or gray works well. Match the grout color to your mortar for a cohesive look.

How do I cut bricks without chipping them?

Use an angled grinder with a masonry blade for smooth cuts. Cut bricks slowly and hold firmly. Chipped areas can be turned to face the wall or filled with mortar.

What maintenance does a brick backsplash need?

Brick requires very little maintenance, just occasional cleaning with mild soap and water. Re-apply sealer every 1-2 years for optimal stain protection over time.

Can I install a brick backsplash directly over drywall?

It’s not recommended. The weight requires more support. Install on masonry, concrete, cement board or plywood sheathing. Use spacers for gap.

How do I account for outlets and taps in a brick backsplash?

Plan layout ahead to position full bricks around outlets for seamless look. For taps, cut precise opening in bricks to fit escutcheon plate.

Should I use mortar or adhesive to install the bricks?

Mortar provides a much stronger bond and hold over time. Use fortified thinset mortar formulated for masonry bonding indoors.

How long does it take for mortar and grout to fully cure?

Allow 24-48 hours for mortar and 72 hours for grout to cure before grouting or sealing respectively. This ensures proper setup and hardness.


Installing a brick backsplash in the kitchen is a fun, rewarding DIY project that can completely transform the space. With proper planning and preparation, the right materials, and careful adherence to each step of the installation process, you can end up with a stunning, high-quality brick backsplash to enjoy for years. The charm, texture and durability of brick add timeless beauty and value to any kitchen. We hope this guide has given you everything you need to feel confident tackling how to install brick backsplash in kitchen yourself. Happy installing!