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Brick Tile Installation | Brick Cladding Installation

Installation of Brick Tiles/Cladding*

Stick Based Method

Also referred to as brick slips, brick veneer, thin bricks or brick cladding, our brick tiles can be applied directly to pre-existing masonry or cement sheeting using flexible based tile glues.

Just like a tile, the tiles are spaced using spacers, the actual spacing used is determiend by the look you may be after but can vary from gap to about 10mm for that traditional brick wall look.

Once the tiles are stuck, spacers are removed and the joints are mortared using a mortaring gun. If stuck with no gap, no mortaring is required. Brick cladding has a wide range of applications including interior feature walls, kitchen or bathroom backsplashes, cladding exterior walls including walls built from Besser or Hebel blocks.

Brick Tile Wall

Example of a brick tile wall. (Left) Cross section of timber studs, cement sheeting and 22mm thick brick tiles which have been glued to the cement sheeting using a flexible tile adhesive. (Right) Face on view of the completed brick tile wall.

Rail Based Method

A rail based system is also available for installation, this can be used on both existing masonry and cement sheeting, but also allows for cladding directly to timber or steel framed buildings. An example of our rail mounting system is shown below.

The rail system is designed so that each rail sits atop the rail immediately below, by doing this a 10mm gap between the rows is maintained. Once the rails have been attached to the substrate, each brick tile/clad is inserted into the rail (see below). Each tile/clad can have a blob of adhesive applied to stop movement of the tiles before final mortaring. Once all the brick tiles are fixed in place, the gaps are mortared using a mortaring gun.

Rail system for brick cladding

Schematic of steel rail mounting of brick cladding. Note that in most cases steel rail mounting is not required.

Mortar choice

Choosing a mortar colour is really important. Broadly mortar colours can be divided into three broad types: dark grey/black, grey, yellow (buttery) and white (creamy). In most cases you will use a yellow brick sand and combine it with an off white cement, this will produce a buttery coloured mortar, the addition of hydrated lime will lighten this colour further. For a creamy white mortar you again can use a yellow brick sand but instead you use a pure white cement. For a standard grey mortar the use of standard grey cement will result in a grey mortar, to darken this mortar further (dark grey to black), a black oxide will need to be added.

Both sand, cements and coloured oxides are readily available from hardware stores (e.g. Bunnings). The typical ratio for the mortar is 4 parts sand to 1 part cement (and 0.5 parts hydrated lime or more if trying to further lighten the colour).

To stress the point, yellow and white mortar can not be produced with the standard grey cement and for a true white mortar you must use a pure white cement, not an off white cement. Links to examples of these products can be found below:

We are happy to supply the correct cement for you.....just ask.

If you want a very traditional white mortar you can also use hydraulic lime (not to be confused with hydrated lime), it is unlikely that you will find hydraulic lime in a normal hardware store but we are happy to supply it for you....just ask.

Mortaring can be done via a few methods but the easiest way for beginners is a mortaring gun, again we are happy to supply you with a mortaring gun.....just ask.

Wet area sealing

There is no need to seal brick tiles, but if used in a wet area (e.g. kitchen) sealing does allow bricks to be more easily wet wiped. When sealing the sealant should be rolled on, not brushed. Numerous sealants are available and include sealants designed to produce a natural look to those designed to create a permanent wet look. An example of both a non-sealed and sealed brick tiles can be seen below. Once fully dry, water will bead on the surface of the brick tiles.

Unsealed and sealed brick tiles
The above image is an example of both an unsealed (far left) and sealed (far right) brick tiles. These brick tiles were sealed with a low sheen wet look sealant.

Fully dried and sealed brick tiles, as can be seen water beads on the surface. 

IMPORTANT

* As with all building work, advice should be sought from qualified professionals if you are unsure of any aspect of brick laying, cladding or paving.

 Think Brink
Think Brick is the Australian clay brick and paver manufacturers association and they have a large range of instructional manuals available covering all aspects of brick masonry. These manuals are freely available and can be downloaded from their website.