22 Aug Pro tip: It’s Easy to Install Thin Clad Interior Brick
Interior brick can easily be added to any home and you don’t need the skills of a mason to gain the beautiful results.
Using ThinClad brick can turn just about any vertical surface into a highly durable and beautiful wall that’s great for defining sections of a home like a partition, wall in a family room, or in the kitchen under cabinets as a backsplash.
You can contract it out, of course, but it’s also a great DIY project that you can do over a weekend or two, all while taking pride in your work.
ThinClad brick is real half-inch brick - the product is cut in the manufacturing process before the brick is fired in the kiln, then manufactured to the same quality standards as full sized face brick.
You can get ThinClad in any color or style that Pine Hall Brick makes, which is a major advantage for interior applications where color matching and contrasting are important.
Tim Grein is a custom home builder in Wallburg, NC. He just finished his own fireplace project using Chesapeake Pearl ThinClad. He could have easily hired his trusted mason, Jose Jimenez, to do the job but Grein saw it being as much about interior design as it was construction.
Grein contracted with Jimenez to complete the usual outside masonry. Grein used Oyster Pearl facebrick and paired it beautifully with stone, rustic wood, and a soft green trim - all while focusing on the living room fireplace using Chesapeake Pearl ThinClad for a slight variation.
There’s a lot of white in the living room that catches afternoon sun.
“I went with Chesapeake Pearl inside for all the different shades it gives you with white sand and white mortar,” said Grein. “I felt like the Chesapeake Pearl tones would pull out the wall colors.”
How do you install interior ThinClads?
Grein stresses how easy the job is and how versatile the product can be.
Like most home improvement jobs, a little planning goes a long way. Grein recommends doing a dry stack model on the floor first. Do some careful measurements and figure how many cuts you need to make. For Grein’s fireplace there were surprisingly only a few cuts needed. You’ll definitely need a cutting tool, which you can rent or purchase from most hardware stores and building supply companies.
As you lay out your drystack, stand back and take in all of the different tones in the brick. Move them around to your taste so you don’t get too much of one tone concentrated in a single area. You might want to let it sit for a few hours and see how the sun hits it as the day progresses.
Once you have the dry panel laid the way you want, you’re ready to apply the ThinClad using either thin set of thick set mortar. Get technical instructions here.
“You can apply it similar to ceramic tile, where you have to butter the back of the ThinClad brick. Then you put thin set on the wall."
“Another way—how I did mine—is to put the mortar on the wall really thick, approximately an inch ,then you actually take a brick and press each individual one into the mortar; this prevents you from having to grout it as well, because the mortar works up through the gaps between each brick,” said Grein.
“Then you let it dry a little bit and scrape off the excess. You can use a jointing tool or a trowel to give it a finished masonry look.”
ThinClad is so versatile you can install it over drywall, painted walls, plywood, or concrete board. You will probably look for other spots in your home that could benefit from the warmth and style of brick.
Even a wood home can have brick inside!
Regardless what your home is made of, there’s nothing stopping you from adding brick features just about anywhere inside your home. Try one wall in a family room to set off a favorite sofa. ThinClad adds an entirely new facet to your DIY remodeling arsenal.
Interior Job Complements Exterior Masonry
Grein's exterior brick, by Jose Jimenez, uses Oyster Pearl with white sand mortar.
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