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Brick Veneer – Advantages, Types, Installation Method

Brick veneer is thinner than the traditional brick siding, easy and lighter handling and effortless installation. It is suitable for both interior and exterior applications. It also adds warmth, texture and charm to any place and suits any style -traditional, industrial or modern, so the urge to use brick veneer still prevails.

brick veneer

Advantages of Brick Veneer

As the brick is a fired clay product, it is more durable than any other materials such as vinyl, aluminum, plastic, and other man-made materials.

  • Light in weight and easy to install.
  • It requires a very simple support system.
  • Large selection of various colors and textures to suit vintage styles to contemporary styles.
  • Saves time and money on labour.
  • In exteriors, the air cavity between the brick veneer and substrate helps to keep moisture out and acts as an insulating space.
  • It is durable and fireproof.
  • Requires less maintenance.

Brick-tile cladding systems are designed to have the appearance and durability of traditional brickwork. It is widely used in the construction industry. It does not support the structural load of the building, even if the brick cladding tiles are removed, the house will continue to stand.

Walls with blockwork are faced with an extruded polystyrene extruded panel to which 16mm brick slips are applied onto the grid. It gives the appearance of standard brickwork. Horizontal joints are tongue and grooved to interlock vertically. The adhesive is applied in place with proper horizontal spacing. Mortar is applied with a pointing gun to the required joint profile.

An alternative system uses a plastic-coated galvanized steel profile fixed to the structural wall. The specially shaped brick tiles then clip into the steel system with appropriate vertical joint spacing. Mortar (typically a 1: 1: 6 mix) is applied with a pointing gun and smoothed off to the required profile, usually bucket-handle.

brick cladding and brick veneer
Courtesy of Corium, a division of Baggeridge Brick plc
brick cladding and brick veneer
Image source: fantasticeng.com


Tile pattern/bond pattern :

brick veneere
Image source : realthinbrick.com
  • Running bond: In this bond, each row of thin brick tile is offset by half the width of a brick tile. One row of bricks is exactly in the center with the other row of bricks.
  • Basketweave: Pairs of bricks are laid in horizontal and vertical directions alternatively.
  • Herringbone: Brick tiles are laid horizontally and vertically in a zig-zag pattern.
  • Spanish bond: Four bricks are laid in the alternate horizontal and vertical direction in the form of a square with a half brick tile in between.
  • Diagonal running bond: Each row of bricks is at a 45-degree angle.
  • Diagonal basket weave: Similar to Basket weave but laid at 45 degree angle.


Thickness varies from 1/2″ to 1″.


It is available as

  • Individual Piece
  • Panel – 12 bricks per sheet remounted on fiberglass mesh for quick installation.
  • Corner Pieces and Corner Sheets.


Can be applied on both Interior and Exterior walls. Interior applications such as accent walls, inset panels, ceilings or brick fireplaces, etc. Exterior applications such as brick siding.

Applied on drywall, cement board or cinder wall.


There are many suitable materials in modern days for masonry veneers. Most common are the materials like natural clay, manufactured clay, natural and artificial stones, cement, sand, concrete, etc.,

Installation Method for Brick Veneer

The installation method depends on

  • Location (Exteriors /Interiors),
  • Surface (Masonry/Wood/Metal/Wallboard, etc.,),
  • Type of brick veneer.

In the interior most common method, thin bricks are adhered directly to a suitable substrate surface.

  • Thick set Method : The brick tile is adhered to mortar scratch coat on a mesh that is fastened to a backing.
  • Thin-set Method : The brick tile is directly adhered to the substrate.

1.Surface Preparation

Masonry surface (brick, block, stucco, concrete)

Clean the untreated masonry surface to ensure it is free from dirt and dust. If the surface is too smooth, hack the surface with an axe to create a rough and pitted surface.

Painted or treated surfaces can be coated with a bonding agent or covered with metal lath.

Over framing (wood or metal) with sheathing (plywood, OSB, paneling, gypsum wallboard, concrete board, fiberboard)

On an exterior surface, a weather-resistant barrier (2 layers) must be installed before installing metal lath.

brick veneer
Image source/credit : gobrick.com

2.Apply Scratch Coat

Apply thin coat of mortar to completely cover the masonry surface or metal lath to create mortar scratch coat. Scratch the surface horizontally with a rake for a rough surface to provide a strong bonding surface for the veneer.

3.Apply or Install Veneer

Apply a 1/2″ thick mortar to the back of the veneer and press the veneer firmly to scratch coat to ensure good bond.

Corner pieces should be installed first alternating short and long legs.

After the corner pieces apply flat pieces starting at the outside to the center of the wall.

Cut and trim stones to fill any gaps to fit or attractive finished surface.

4.Grouting Joints

A grout bag is used to fill the joints. Fill the grout bag with mortar mixture and squeeze the small end into the joint area to be filled.

5.Finish Joints

After the mortar joints are firm, scrape away all excess grout in the joint for an appealing and professional finish.

6.Clean and Seal Veneer

Use a cleaner to remove any dirt and stains on the veneer face and apply a water-based sealer to keep veneer clean.

Sustainable Considerations

Use of Reclaimed brick panels adds to the sustainable building materials. Antique terracotta tiles are not only durable but also reflects aesthetics and elegance to the project.

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