Most people believe brick actually grow lovelier with age, and that look can be achieved by installing brick slips to your walls. The brick slips have gained increasing popularity by combining the aesthetic of traditional brick masonry with the economic benefits that may be realized in thinner wall sections. They replicate the look of conventional bricks, and can be supplied in a wide variety of styles and colours to suit both contemporary and traditional projects.
Brick slips are typically fitted to a backing board or fixed with adhesives to a substrate. They are either wirecut into slimline profiles before being kiln-fired or sawn from the face of a standard clay brick. The latter method allows thicknesses to be varied. Natural stone facing tiles, split from genuine stone can also be used on internal and external slip cladding systems.
Brick slips come in a vast selection of colours making it perfect for use in any residential or commercial application. The lightweight, easy to install and low maintenance attributes of brick slips make them a budget friendly option for achieving the rich look of traditional full brick masonry and a simple way to improve the look and value of your home. Brick slips are made from the same materials and similar processes as other brick, but are thinner and weigh less. Brick slip veneer generally provides superior resistance to noise, minor impacts, abuse, heat and vandalism. Brick slip systems also impart less load to buildings.
Some slips are designed to be fitted to a backing board using an adhesive, while others have a profiled mounting system. There are some brick slips that interlock. The slips are lightweight compared to brick and installing brick them is cheaper. Using insulated brick-slip cladding as a finish for external wall insulation is a great way to upgrade existing solid walls to achieve high energy efficiency without adding too much thickness.
There are four basic installation methods: thick set, thin set, modular panel systems and prefabricated panels. The first two involve field installation of each brick unit on a substrate with either a thick mortar bed for thick set or a thin layer of modified mortar or adhesive for thin set. Modular panel systems use an intermediary panel made of polystyrene, metal or other materials to assist in supporting the thin brick slips. These modular panels are either fastened to the substrate wall with thin brick already adhered to them or the thin brick are adhered to the panels in the field. Prefabricated panels are structurally independent with the brick slips or stone facings already fixed to the panel and are lifted into place on the building.
- Replicate the look of natural materials,
- Wide variety of styles and colours,
- Easy to handle and install,
- Less labour intensive,
- Reduce wall thickness,
- High frost resistance,
- External walls,
- Internal walls,
- On proprietary cladding systems,
- On rigid backer boards,
- On external wall insulating systems.
- On prefabricated panels.
- Prior to applying brick slips, ensure that both the surface to install and brick surfaces are dust free and dry.
- Application of the bricks should be commenced at the most visible outside corner.
- The intervening horizontal brick spacing and layout should then be determined.
- This is best achieved by running two courses of bricks from one end of the wall to the other taking account of wall panels occurring between openings and adjusting the perpendicular joints and/or inserting cut bricks to achieve a full or half brick at the wall ends and the end of wall panels between openings.
- The optimum perpendicular joint width is 10mm, this may however be adjusted within the limits 6-15mm.
- When the desired brick spacing has been achieved with the two courses of bricks acting as a template, the wall should be sectioned with plumbed lines approximately mid span of each panel as a guide for perpendicular joint locations for adjoining courses.
- Where openings or obstructions occur, it may be necessary to adjust the brick spacing in order to avoid too narrow mortar joints or small pieces of brick adjoining the opening or obstruction.
- Expansion joints in the main structure must be maintained. The width of the expansion joint should be filled with a non-hardening poly-sulphide sealant in a complementary colour to the depth of the brick.
- Brick slip straights may be cut with tile cutters, diamond tipped angle grinder disc or wet saw.
- The grout should be mixed with clean water in a clean container using a high speed shear mixer with plasterers paddle attachment.
- Pointing should not commence unless the temperature is at least 5°C and rising.
- Leave the tooled joints for at least 10-15 minutes and then brush the finished brickwork with a stiff bristle brush at an angle of 45 degrees to the horizontal to ensure that the grout is not pulled away from the brick edges.
- At the base of the brick panel at the brick panel joints, leave a 10mm weep hole for the egress of any moisture which may have percolated behind the brickwork. Avoid brushing the brickwork too soon as this may leave brush marks in the mortar.
- After completion of the job wash the affected areas with clean water and a hard bristle brush hosing the affected brickwork during cleaning to ensure that staining does not occur.
- Cleaning of the grout should not be carried out until the mortar has properly cured, usually after about 48 hours from installation.
- Do not use of brick acids for the cleaning of mortar or brickwork.