Everything you need to know about how to install brick veneer in your home, and where to buy it. Adding a brick wall is a unique way to add character to your home.
One of my most favorite elements of our vintage inspired farmhouse bathroom is our brick wall. I just love it SO much – and I’ve had so many questions from you about it!
DIY brick veneer wall tutorial:
First, I have to thank my sweet friend Ellen for doing the hard work for me. She installed this very same brick veneer in her house, and I loved it SO much, that I asked her for the exact brick, manufacturer, color, etc. She went through the hard work of finding the *perfect* brick, and I benefited from it. So – thank you Ellen!
For those of you who are local to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania – here is the specific information you need.
If you’re not local to Bethlehem, then try searching online for “brick veneer near ___ (your area)”
What you’ll need: (some affiliate links included for your convenience)
Adhering your brick veneer to the wall:
*disclaimer – I am not a professional. I always advise you to do your own research and make sure you’re using the right products for your space and brick. Make sure you ask your brick supplier if there are any special instructions on their end too*
- Begin by cutting a bunch of half bricks – you’ll need them on the ends of your wall so your bricks will have a staggered grout line.
- Make sure your walls are clean! My drywall was brand new, so it was simple for us, but make sure you clean up your wall before you lay any brick.
- Start spreading mastic on the wall with a notched trowel. You’ll want to work from the bottom up, so start at the base of your wall.
- Spread mastic in small areas – you don’t want it to dry before you get to an area. Make sure you have the area fully covered, and then start laying your brick.
Side note: This is a small wall, with special drywall for wet areas. I would recommend installing brick veneer on cement board if you’re covering a larger surface area. We also put it over our plaster walls downstairs with no problems – but make sure your plaster is in great condition before doing this.
- We didn’t have to do any corner pieces on our wall, but if you do, start with your corner piece first.
- Put the brick on row by row, starting from the bottom.
- You’re going to have to decide what you’ll want to use for spacers. I used some stacked tile spacers between my bricks, but that’s because I was too lazy to cut down wood strips, and we were using those same spacers for tiling in our bathroom anyways.
- I tried to get away with not using spacers, but the brick kept sliding down the wall when I did that. Since the brick is imperfect, I had to make some of the stacks 2 spacers high and some of them 3 high. You’ll want your spaces to be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch wide:
- Make sure your rows are level as you go. When you’re finished with a row, use your level to make sure it all lines up. If not, it’s easy to fix with spacers as needed!
- Continue this process all the way up your wall. I did mine all in one evening, but it wouldn’t hurt to do it over a few days.
Adding grout to your brick veneer:
- At this point your wall will look great, but not finished. You’ll still be able to see the drywall and mastic behind your brick – and that’s where the grout comes in!
- Make sure your brick and mastic have set for at least 24 hours before you grout it.
- Scoop your grout into a grout bag – you’re going to get messy with this process! Now pretend you’re going to be icing a giant brick cake – because that’s just how the grout bag works!
- The first time I used the grout bag, I was so frustrated. It was heavy, super hard to squeeze, and came out super slowly.
- The next night, I gathered up my confidence and tried again. This time, I added a tiny bit of water to the grout, and cut the tip of the grout bag a little bigger. It made ALL the difference! I would absolutely suggest doing the same if you’re having difficulty.
- Add grout to all horizontal and vertical lines. Make sure it’s deep enough and touches the bricks on either side.
- Work a few rows at a time with the grout – you’ll want to squirt the grout in, and then go back over it with the back of an inexpensive chip brush to smooth it out. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of this part of the process, but Mandi from Vintage Revivals has awesome pictures of this part of the process in this post here.
- Continue smoothing all of your grout lines all the way up the wall. Step back, analyze any problem spots, and mark them with painters tape to finish next.
Updated to add: We installed a second brick veneer wall in our home (this one was much more square footage). I found this video and it was really helpful! It may be helpful for you during the grouting process.
Put your finishing touches on the brick as needed, and then wait for it to dry & cure!
We are obsessed with our brick wall in our bathroom. It was a relatively inexpensive way to make a huge statement, and now I’m looking for other spaces in our house to brick as well!
Now, I completely understand if people aren’t quite ready to add something as permanent as brick to their walls. You could consider adding brick-look wallpaper to a wall too!
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Guess what? We loved our brick wall so much, that we installed ANOTHER one! Come check it out here:
And if you’re curious about how other people have added brick to their homes, I wrote a whole post about some of my favorite spaces that incorporate brick walls. Click here to read all about it & see the beautiful spaces: