How To Install A Thin Brick Wall

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Whenever we have guests up to our cabin, we typically get complimented on our brick wall and get asked if it was hard to install at which point we laugh a little and say “oh no ….not at all!”  Which is basically true because it was smooth sailing after learning a couple of tricks.  However, there were some moments, before getting one crucial supply, that I thought I was going to tear my hair out.

So….I’m going to tell you how to install a brick wall in the easiest possible manner so you can avoid any headaches or hair pulling!

How To Install A Brick Wall

Prepare Wall For Brick

For a new wall, you need to install cement  board or a water resistant drywall (green or blue board) to the studs where you want to have brick.  We used cement board.

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Adhere Bricks To Wall

Since I tend to be the patient one in the family, it was my job to adhere all of the thin bricks to the wall.  First I had to decide on a pattern and I chose the running bond.  This meant that starting at the left wall end, I began the bottom row with a full brick, the next row with a half brick and repeated the pattern all the way up the wall.

To get half bricks, I used a two inch wide brick chisel and a hammer.  I had so much fun with this part!  Just place the brick on a board, line the chisel up at the center point and whack that baby (the chisel handle) with a hammer.  It cuts the brick clean and smooth every time.

One more thing that I did before I actually starting adhering the bricks was to draw out some level lines on the wall…both horizontal and vertical.  I wanted to have a guide as I was laying out the bricks but it didn’t have to be perfect since I wanted it to resemble an old brick wall.  I also just used my finger and my eyeball as a spacer between the bricks.

Purchase The Right Adhesive

Now came the fun part!!  NOT!!!!!!   I said I was patient and I normally am but adhering the bricks with my first choice of some average run of the mill construction adhesive WAS NOT WORKING!  I literally had to hold each brick in place for five to ten minutes before it would stop sliding and stay in place.  Since I am a glutton for punishment and had to wait to go into town for a better solution, I did quite a few that way.

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But then I was saved!  This is the whole key to making this job a snap.  I discovered an awesome construction adhesive, thanks to a dvd that was playing in the adhesive aisle at Menards which actually showed a brick slipping down the wall and a man’s voice saying “is your adhesive not grabbing…or something like that!  I stopped dead in my tracks and maybe even answered the man on the screen.  He went on to advertise the Loctite Power Grab all purpose construction adhesive, which I quickly grabbed a case of and happily went to check out.

It worked like a charm.  Now my bricks were staying in place immediately…..immediately!!!!  I finished the rest of the wall in record time.

Apply Mortar Between Bricks

Now it was time for the mortar between the bricks.  All you need is an inexpensive mortar mix, water and a large pail for mixing.  For applying the mortar, you need a grout bag and tuck pointing tool (optional).

I started this process.  When I mixed the mortar more on the thin side – kind of like toothpaste but maybe even a little thinner, it flowed out of the grout bag real nice and easy and made quick work out of filling the spaces between the bricks.  I used the tuck pointing tool to smooth out the mortar so it looked real nice and neat…….too neat…so I switched to my finger instead so it looked more authentically old.

A couple of times that I mixed up the mortar, it was too thick which made the job much more difficult.  Once you get the consistency just right it really works well.

By the end of the process, I was mixing and my husband was filling the spaces and we were running like a well oiled machine!

how to install a brick wall

We had also installed a section of wood so that we would have something to hang things from.  Now that it was done we could sit back and have a glass of wine while we waited for the mortar to dry!

I'm addicted to crafting and decorating my downtown urban loft and up north rustic cabin. Read more about me.
36 comments
  1. Hi there,
    Love what you did with the wall. Was wondering what kind of brinks they were?
    What kinda shops you get them from.
    Thanks heaps
    Mel

    1. Hi Melinda,
      The bricks were Robinson thin brick veneer in English Pub which we purchased from a local brick and stone shop. Hope that helps!
      Renee

      1. Hello I love the brick, I have the same exact brick but ours are from maybe the 70’s and I can’t find them anywhere and I am in need if 3 . If it is a website where I can order them that would be great. Thanks

    2. i want brick supplier for interior

  2. Hi Renee~

    THIS LOOKS INCREDIBLE- NICE~NICE WORK! I have brick on one wall in my Kitchen that my Father did 42-43 years ago when he built a new kitchen onto the family home – STILL LOOKS GREAT! The Kitchen is 24feet X 34feet (big!)

    I want to add a Room off the Kitchen (My Husband and I now live in my FAMILY HOME!) that will be open to the Kitchen and use ALL BRICK WALLS~ The space will be 14feet x 24feet with high open ceiling to the roof.

    I **HOPE** I can be patient enough to do this also! I love painting, carpenter work (when able?) and decorating~ It may take some EXTRA help with the size of the room.

    I will BOOKMARK your site… EXCELLENT INFORMATION….THANK-YOU FOR SHARING ALL THE VERY HELPFUL TIPS!! GREATLY APPRECIATED~

    Again…. incredible work!!!

    Jayne

    1. Thanks Jayne! and good luck with your project! It sounds fantastic!

  3. I am wanting to do this to a wall in our home. I was going to install it directly to the drywall that is in the home. Why is it necessary to use cement board or water resistant drywall?

    1. Hi Julie,
      The biggest issue, if you are going to apply it like I did with construction adhesive, is with the weight. The cement board will be a better base for holding all the brick. There is also the issue of the mortar that goes on between the bricks, which goes on pretty wet and adds additional weight. It may work though, on drywall, since the entire installation isn’t being done with mortar. I just didn’t want to risk it and followed the manufacturers recommendations for installing with adhesive.

      1. Dear Renee,

        I would like to find out what’s the price per piece of this brick veneer?

        Thank you.

        1. how much would this cost to do a wall 8′ by 10′

      2. What if our existing walls are plaster not drywall? Do you still recommend?

        1. I’d also love to know if this can be installed directly onto plaster! I want to do this on the large wall that separates my twin from my neighbor’s house, which is THICK and solid, but am curious as to how you think the construction adhesive and mortar would adhere to the plaster. Thanks!

  4. That is an excellent question. Beautiful wall.

  5. I just love this wall! Hopefully I will have a home of my own again and be able to do this! My dream is a kitchen with brick walls and a big & open fireplace in the kitchen,one you can cook in and I have the perfect cast iron witches brew pot to hang a pot of bean soup on a spit in the working fireplace. I envision an informal kitchen(formal dining elsewhere) with a large rough wood table with bench type seating. One that can double as work space or cookie & pie cooling areas! Also dream of a fireplace in the master bedroom< I think it is so romantic! Putting a wood strip on your brick wall to hang things from is nothing short of genius !!I would paint it to look like the brick so if I ever wanted to hang something smaller than the strip it wouldn't look out of place. Beautiful job! I shall dream on for a home of my own!

  6. Hi, what size cement board did you use…1/2 or 1/4 inch..by the way looks great..thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Crystal,
      Thank you!…we used 1/2 inch thickness.

  7. Love your wall! We have used brick that we’d like to use in a similar fashion. A few questions: Did you split actual brick, or split brick veneer? Also, what did you do about outlets? We have quite a few that we will need to deal with along our backsplash.

  8. We did this in our kitchen. But we put the bricks on a thin piece of plywood then attached the plywood to the walls. It was really easy to put the bricks on horizontally and if we get tired of it we can easily take the plywood down.

  9. Beautiful brick wall. They have switchplate and outlet covers at Home Depot c called “Masque” which cover the sockets ( without getting paint on them ) but you can paint the “Masque” entirely to match the wall. I even faux finished mine…and they just disappear into the background. ,,,,,

  10. I’m confused. I don’t see half bricks in your pattern, only full size ones. Also you used vaneer bricks, not real ones? thanks

    1. The half bricks were used just to start every other row (for the running bond pattern) as seen in the second to last photo. The bricks used are called a thin brick veneer which look, feel and cut just like a regular brick.

  11. You can actually buy those brick veneers at any tile shop as well.. And as for gluing the bricks to the fiber rock, you can also use thin-set(the stronger type such as Laticrete 254).. 1/4″ fiber rock should do just fine, I don’t think you need 1/2″, but it’s your choice. Do not do this directly on top of plywood though, it moves and eventually the veneers might crack or something..
    Love this project… Question…how much was the brick veneer price per sq ft?

  12. Looks beautiful! I just bought a condo and plan on doing this to a couple of my walls. Do I put the cement board right over the painted wall? Sorry if that is a silly question. I’m new at this DIY stuff 🙂

    1. Hi Deb,
      Thin brick can also go over water resistant drywall. A semi-gloss or gloss paint over drywall will make it water resistant. Depending on what type of paint is already on the walls, you could always add a coat or two of the gloss paint instead of cement board which would probably be easier.

  13. I love this brick wall idea. We are thinking about doing this in our bedroom, but we are on a budget. Could you tell me roughly h

    1. I guess I shouldn’t be typing this on my phone. I was just wondering how roughly much this project cost? I’m sure it depends on the size of your wall, but it seems this could get a little pricey for all of the bricks. I’m still hoping I am able to do something like this. It looks beautiful!

  14. They make “L” shaped corners that would make the brick veneer even more realistic

  15. Hello Reene, I am delighted with the Brick Wall.
    I live in southern Germany (Bavaria). Is there a way to import these stones?
    And to open a distribution?
    Can you get me a contact with the manufacturer?

    Best regards Uli

  16. How could you attach the wall board or concrete board to concrete walls. That’s what I have in my basement.

  17. we required these type of tiles in Delhi ( India)

  18. Love your wall very much and would like to attempt this project in a new home we’re purchasing. My question is, do you HAVE to apply the drywall or cement board? Can you not apply directly to existing wall, whether it’s plaster or painted sheetrock?

  19. Hi,

    These pictures are really wonderful. We’re planning to do something similar on one of our Living Room walls. Only problem is that this wall leads to a niche, which adjoins a bedroom. There’s about a 5 foot portion of the niche, at right angles to the Living Room wall, where we want to continue with the bricks.

    How would you suggest that they be laid so that symmetry is not disturbed.

    Thanks a ton!

  20. Hi
    Love the brick work I’m in Melbourne Australia can you give me details of the supplier please
    Kind Regards
    Sunny

  21. Have a beautiful brick wall of Chicago brick in my living room. It was mortared with the black mortar. The mortar is Insat about an inch. Use to have dark paneling but now white walls. Is it possible to re-mortar the brick with a lighter mortar or grout? If so where do I start for this project?

    1. If I’m understanding you correctly and the current mortar is inset an inch from being flush with the brick, I would think that you could just go over the old mortar with new…maybe a half inch. You could also paint the mortar as well.

  22. Great advice on how to install brick wall. Must choose the best adhesive! Thanks for sharing.

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