Tips to Install a Brick Backsplash in the Kitchen

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A backsplash is the covering for the wall behind the kitchen countertops. You cannot create a kitchen without a backsplash. It is a crucial part of your kitchen design. You can make your kitchen idea more appealing and functional by installing one. There are many options available in the market you can consider for your kitchen backsplash. One of the most popular options you will come across is a brick backsplash.

Many homeowners love a brick backsplash. There are plenty of benefits to this backsplash option. To begin with, it is very durable and will not get damaged. Moreover, you will not have to worry about maintenance. It can be easily cleaned. A brick backsplash is available in two variants for your kitchen idea, veneer bricks, and faux brick veneer panels. You can choose any option depending on your preferences. Real brick is sometimes used as well, but it is not recommended. This kitchen backsplash option does not prove to be so convenient.

Installing a brick backsplash in your simple kitchen design is more difficult than it seems. If you are planning to install a brick backsplash, here is all you need to know:

Equipment/tools you need for the task:

  • Square-notch trowel
  • A drilling machine with bits and drivers
  • A screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • A few small pieces of cloth
  • Grout bag
  • Brush for painting
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Brick jointer
  • A wet tile saw or hacksaw
  • Adhesive tape

Materials

  • Grout
  • Concrete sealer
  • Caulk and caulking gun
  • Electrical box extenders
  • 18 square feet of brick veneer
  • Thinset mortar
  • 80-grit sandpaper

Instructions:

Take measurements

Before you can get started with anything else, you will have to take the measurements. This is very crucial as you do not want to create unnecessary waste. Use the measuring tape to measure the countertop length and then measure the desired height in the kitchen design. Multiplying the numbers will get you the exact square footage of the area. You must add 10 percent extra in your calculations for wastage. Therefore, if your backsplash will be 8 feet long and 24 inches tall, you would require around 18 square feet of brick veneer.

Cover the countertops

Use the plastic sheeting you have with yourself to cover the countertops. Use adhesive tape to ensure it does not move. It will keep the countertop protected.

Remove faceplates

When you have faceplates behind the countertop, you will have to remove them. You will have to flip off the circuit breaker in the service panel to cut off the electricity supply. Then, you can remove the faceplates with the drill or screwdriver.

Prepare substrate

Sanded the wall first with 80-grit sandpaper to scuff it up. It will ensure that the mortar sticks better. After sanding, vacuum it and clean it with a rag.

Apply the mortar

You will have to apply the mortar to the wall using the trowel. Use the flat side for this and then switch to the square-notch side to comb the surface. This will leave thin-set lines about 1/8-inch high.

Put up the brick veneer

Start working from the bottom and move upwards while installing the brick veneer. Make sure that the brick veneer does not touch the countertop. There should be a 1/8-inch gap between the brick and the countertop. An easy way to do this is by placing a thin piece of wood on the countertop that will ensure that all the brick veneers are installed at the same height. You will only have to gently press the brick veneer into the wet mortar. It will start sticking in a short while. You can now move on to the next one and follow the same method for pressing. Once all of them are done, you can remove the piece of wood.

Cut the veneer

Whenever you come across any obstruction like a power socket, cut the veneer with the wet tile saw or hacksaw.

Think about the top finish

When you are almost done pressing the brick veneers and have reached the top, decide how you want to finish it. Do you want to leave a gap or cut bricks lengthwise to keep it covered? In most cases, the gap is left untouched when it is less than ½ an inch. Otherwise, cut filler bricks are installed.

Add grout

Fill your grout bag after mixing the grout. After twisting off the end, you will have to squeeze the grout into the joints. The jointing tool is then used to smoothen the grout.

Add caulk

Finally, caulk should be added to the gap between the brick veneers and the countertop. You can use the caulking gun for this.

Seal the surface

You will have to finish the task by sealing the surface. It is done when the grout is fully cured. Two or three coats are considered enough for sealing the brick surfaces.

Install electrical box extenders and plates

You will have to reinstall the outlets and switches again. However, you will have to first install electrical box extenders.