Your guide to that brick veneer installation
Brick veneer. Faux brick. Thin Brick. Half brick. While it has lots of names, a brick veneer is a popular wall finish – adding both a distinct aesthetic appeal and variety of layouts.
Brick veneer, which is produced from shale or clay and is kiln-fired, is similar to facing brick, except that it is approximately 1/2 inch to 2-inches thick.
In addition, a brick veneer finish also offers one of the best fire-rated protection available among all building materials.
Following are steps that will help guide you through the brick veneer installation process:
The brick veneer installation process starts by removing all dirt, oil, plaster and paint from the wall where the brick veneer will be installed. This requires chipping the existing painted wall surfaces with a chipping hammer and brushing away all the flaky bits.
Start the brick veneer installation at the corners and edges of your wall and begin installing a metal flashing on top of the concrete brick. This will support the brick veneer. Remember that the outer edge of the flashing must be turned down over the foundation ledge and the inner edge over the sheathing, but under the building paper. Lay a full brick on the top corner edge and then lay a half brick underneath. Repeat this pattern from ceiling to floor.
Leveling your brick veneer
Trowel pre-mixed mortar onto the foundation ledge and prepare it to receive the first course. Install leads at the wall ends to establish wall planes and the desired height. Note: Level the first course so that the rest of the courses are leveled.
Adjusting the heights
Place a bead of construction adhesive on the back of a brick 1/4 inches from the edges. Place it on the wall, apply firm pressure for about five seconds and then scoop up mortar mix with a brick trowel. Using a pointed trowel, press the mortar into the joints between the brick veneer.
It is important to make weep holes above the metal flashing to allow water to escape from the wall. Install them between 18 and 24 inches apart.
Laying your brick veneer
Lay the brick veneer by troweling on the horizontal bed joint, and then apply mortar onto the brick end for the vertical joint. Fill all gaps that form between bricks with mortar.
Use a string line to align the upper front edge of the brick and to align to the final height. Use the window sills to verify the vertical alignment and adjust the thickness of your mortar joint.
Anchor the veneer to the sheathing by using wall ties or brick anchors. As the wall height increases, install the brick veneer ties every four courses and spaced two feet horizontally.
After you install the last course (and the mortar hardens), tool the mortar to give the finished joints a concave profile. Remove the residual mortar by scrubbing the wall surface with a brush.
Tools of your trade
Here’s what you need to have in your toolbox for your brick veneer installation job:
- Safety glasses
- Dust mask
- 1 3/4-inch roofing nails
- Hammer Tacker
- 1/2-inch staples
- Tin snips
- Circular saw
- Grout bag
- Soft bristled brush
- Wheel barrow
- Masonry trowel
- Chalk line