Brick Wall Construction Basics

A brick wall in a kitchen.
What You'll Need
Thin brick panels
Mortar scoop
Fasteners (wall supports and corner supports)
Safety glasses
Utility knife
Chalk line
Screwdriver (Flathead)
Tin snips
Painter’s bucket and trowel (for mortar mix)

Brick wall construction is easier with the invention of thin brick panel systems. These systems are designed to be placed on an existing wall to enable you to convert drywall into a brick wall. The systems are easy to install but are labor intensive.

Ideally, a crew of three can accomplish the installation in a day. If you choose to go it alone, it will require two weekends to fully accomplish using these steps.

Step 1 - Prepare the Wall Surface

The surface, on which the brick panels are to be installed, should be clean and level. Use the level to determine if it is plumb. This will prevent tiles from bulging or becoming dislodged later.

Snap a level chalk line to serve as a guide for installing the fasteners. The fasteners, or wall supports, are what the bricks adhere to. Use the snips to trim the fasteners around and door trim or window frame (if any). Allow 1/16 of an inch spacing for any movement or settling that will eventually take place.

Step 2 - Affix Bricks to Fasteners

Place the thin bricks in place by putting a dab of adhesive on the tiles and sliding them firmly into place. You can stagger them to install accents or change directions in order to create a decorative style for the wall.

Step 3 - Apply Mortar

A brick wall with a mailbox on it.

After completing the installation of the thin bricks, allow some time for the adhesive to set. Prepare the mortar mix in the painter’s bucket and once ready, pour it into the mortar scoop. Apply the mortar using either a trowel or a mortar bag into the channels between the bricks.

Step 4 - Remove Excess Mortar

When the mortar reaches a sandy grit consistency, strike to remove the excess mortar. Use the brush to clean the bricks and remove any remaining loose mortar.

Step 5 - Clean Bricks

Clean the bricks with water and allow them to dry overnight. Wipe the wall after 24 hours with water and use a clean bristle brush to ensure all loose mortar has been removed. The wall should now be clean and presentable.

Be sure to follow any specific additional instructions provided by the manufacturer for the brick system. Also, be sure that the bricks remain in alignment when affixing it to the fasteners, using a level as a guide.