It’s easy to install brick veneer on drywall. The question is whether it will look right. This isn’t a complicated home renovation, but it can test your patience. The key to the process is keeping the brick veneer even without making it look prefabricated. Let’s take a closer look at the process for installing brick veneer on drywall.
What Is Brick Veneer?
Some people assume brick veneer is a plastic product. Then they see it in person and confuse it for thin sheets of the real thing. In truth, brick veneer is a concrete product. It’s lighter and thinner than brick but comes in all the colors you’d expect to find, from deep burnt orange and red to sophisticated tans and white.
Supplies Necessary for Installing Brick Veneer
- Tape measure
- Chalk line
- Veneer pieces
- Mastic or thinnest
- Masonry trowel
- Wet saw
- Paint rollers
- Stiff bristled brush
Unless you’re going for an updated, formal appearance, it’s best to choose veneer pieces in large and small sizes to mimic the look of traditionally installed brick walls. Alternatively, you can select one size and use a wet saw to create variety. A wet saw will also come in handy when cutting pieces to fit around light switches, phone jacks, and electrical sockets.
Preparing Your Wall and Veneer Surface
It’s best if you can start with a clean and level drywall surface, but you have a bit of leeway when it comes to applying veneer. You can also apply masonry veneers to “Durock.” Either way, the project doesn’t depend on a perfect base, so brick veneer can be the ideal fix when there are problems with the existing surface.
First, you want to measure your wall in two horizontal and two vertical points. Mark the center. Then, begin laying out your brick pattern in 8-inch rows. Mark chalk guidelines along the wall to help ensure your rows stay straight during installation. Also, make sure to cover the floor under the wall with a tarp.
Attaching Brick Veneer to Drywall
Drywall is flammable and not appropriate for the opening of a brick veneer fireplace or other sources of extreme heat. That said, it can be safely used nearby and around sources that are warm, like heat registers. The best adhesive for affixing brick veneer to drywall depends on the temperature of the surrounding surface.
General masonry mastic is perfect for brick veneer installations in normal, room-temperature conditions. If close to a heat source, an adhesive like thinnest is a better option. Apply a layer to the wall using a masonry trowel, then firmly push veneer pieces into place, following the predetermined layout. Be sure to leave space between each piece of veneer to fill with mortar or grout later.
Begin at the top center of the wall and move down and out. This will help you adjust for spacing throughout your project. If you must use the wet saw to cut pieces for electrical sockets and other obstructions, apply the adhesive directly to the veneer for the sake of easier placement.
Sealing and Mortar Application
Unlike an external brick veneer installation, it’s more helpful than not to seal your brick veneer. You can do this task with a rolling paintbrush with an extendable handle. Most masonry sealants will provide the protection your veneer needs to stay in good condition. There’s a good chance it will leak without it, which is definitely something to keep in mind for kitchen and bathroom placements.
It might take three days or longer for the interior brick wall installation to dry thoroughly. Once set, sealed, and dry, it’s time to add mortar between your veneer pieces. Like grout, mortar comes in a variety of colors, some more suited to your brick veneer’s appearance.
Mortar comes in several varieties, namely N, M, S, and O. Type O and S are best suited for brick veneer. You can also use grout in its place.
Make sure to cover the floor if you’ve removed the tarp earlier, and then begin filling the space between the veneer pieces. Go back over your work and press the mortar firmly in place.
Once you apply to the entire wall, clear excess mortar away with a stiff-bristled brush or wet sponge. It might take another three days for the mortar to dry before you can safely enjoy your new faux brick wall.
Beautify Your Home without the Risk
While thin brick veneer installation may seem like a doable job for some especially adventurous homeowners to handle, the mess, repetition, and precision necessary for a finished look is often a struggle for the non-expert. In the end, hiring the right professional is likely your best option.
Contact our expert team at Pinska Masonry to install brick veneer on drywall if you want to ensure a beautiful result and a job done right the first time.