Installing a thin brick backsplash is an easy and affordable way to add visual interest and texture to your kitchen or bathroom. Thin brick veneer offers the look of real brick without the weight, cost, or installation hassles of full brick. With some planning and basic DIY skills, you can transform a boring blank wall into an eye-catching focal point.
What You’ll Need
Before starting your thin brick backsplash project, make sure you have the necessary materials and tools:
- Thin brick veneer tiles or panels
- Mortar or thinset adhesive
- Notched trowel
- Grout and grout float
- Sponge and buckets
- Tile cutter or wet saw (for cutting bricks if needed)
- Tape measure
- Drywall screws or construction adhesive (for installing backer board if needed)
Safety gear: Work gloves, safety goggles, dust mask
Preparing the Wall
Proper wall prep is key to a successful thin brick backsplash installation. Follow these steps:
Remove any existing backsplash and thoroughly clean the wall area. Remove any grease, soap residue, or other debris.
Install Backer Board
If your wall surface is drywall, you’ll need to install cement backer board as an underlayment. Measure and cut boards to fit your backsplash area. Screw or adhere backer board to wall studs.
Mark Tile Layout
Dry lay a few rows of thin brick to determine the layout. Account for cut edges at corners and outlets. Use a level to ensure your rows will be straight. Mark the wall with layout lines using a pencil.
Applying Thin Brick Veneer
Once your wall is prepped, you’re ready to start installing the thin brick backsplash:
Mix mortar adhesive per package directions. Use a notched trowel to evenly spread mortar onto the backer board where the first row of bricks will sit.
Set First Row
Starting at the bottom, press bricks into the mortar and against your layout lines. Check row for level and make any necessary adjustments.
Apply Additional Rows
Apply mortar and stack additional rows of bricks. Push bricks together tightly to avoid gaps. Cut any custom bricks needed using a wet saw.
Let Mortar Cure
Allow mortar to fully cure for 24-48 hours before applying grout. Tenting plastic over the backsplash can help keep it moist as mortar cures.
Grouting Thin Brick
Once mortar has cured, it’s time to grout:
Mix and Apply Grout
Mix grout per package instructions. Holding grout float at a 45° angle, work grout into brick joints, packing it tightly.
Clean Excess Grout
Let grout sit for a few minutes until slightly hardened. Use a damp sponge to wipe away excess grout and smooth joints. Rinse sponge frequently.
Once grout has fully cured, apply a grout sealer to protect it from moisture and staining. Let sealer dry completely.
To complete your new backsplash:
- Run a bead of silicone caulk along the top edge and at bottom where the backsplash meets the countertop.
- Reinstall any outlets, switch plate covers, or other fixtures.
- Thoroughly clean the backsplash to remove any haze or residue.
- Stand back and admire your dramatic “new” kitchen focal point!
With proper thin brick installation techniques, your backsplash will provide years of rustic, textured style. The project can usually be completed over a weekend by an experienced DIYer. Let your new backsplash bring some handmade artisan flair to your living space!
Frequently Asked Questions About Thin Brick Backsplashes
What type of thin brick should I use?
Look for bricks intended for indoor use. Calcium silicate bricks offer durability and won’t deteriorate from moisture. Avoid soft, poor-quality bricks.
What color grout should I use?
For most brick, white or off-white unsanded grout provides a classic look. For darker brick, use a matching darker grout.
What kind of mortar do I need?
Use a polymer-modified thinset mortar designed for tile/stone veneer. Do not use traditional thick mortar or masonry cement.
How do I cut thin brick?
Mark and score bricks with a tile cutter, then snap halves cleanly. Use a wet saw fitted with a diamond blade for more precise cuts.
Can I install thin brick over existing tile?
Yes, if the existing tile is in good condition. Scuff sand the glazed surface and use a high-quality mortar or adhesive.
How long does thin brick installation take?
Plan on 1-3 days depending on the size of your project. Experienced DIYers can often install a full backsplash in 1-2 days.
Installing a thin brick backsplash can take your kitchen or bathroom from boring to beautiful. With a trendy distressed look and endless color options available, thin brick brings you the charm of real brick without the hassles. Careful prep work, proper materials, and good DIY skills will allow you to complete an eye-catching new backsplash in a weekend’s time. Let your stunning new thin brick focal point bring character and craftsmanship to your living space.