Installing Brick Veneer Inside Your Home

Thin Brick, Brick Veneer, Faux Brick, Half Brick, whatever they call it in your neck of the woods, lets get this show on the road!!

First, I feel like I need to open with a disclaimer.  I found a lot of conflicting info online about how to actually install brick veneer over dry wall. Some online sources recommend installing concrete backer board, or metal lath to your drywall before you put the brick on.  Others said that it was totally fine to install it directly to the drywall if you are using the right kind of thinset.  So I decided to ask the experts actually in my life (that do this day in and day out) what they thought.  They said that installing directly to the drywall is the way that they do it, and have done it for the last 25+ years.  So that is what I did.  If you at all have differing opinions or are concerned about replicating this project in your own home, please for the love of all that is holy take the extra precautions that will make it so that you can sleep well at night.

Now that I have officially sucked the fun out of the room we can begin!

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The very obvious first step in turning the living room into a loft was brick.  Brick it all.

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(Just a reminder, this is what we started with)

GE Reveal Light bulb-2

Installing brick veneer is a really simple project, I feel like the hardest part was not eating a massively frosted sugar cookie at the end of every day.  (You’ll see why in a second!)

I bought the brick from a local shop (the same amazing guys that we used at the restaurant).  You can expect to pay $5.00+ per sq/ft.  If you are in Southern Utah and recreating this project Quickstone is 100% who you want to work with.

Because we decided to install the brick directly over drywall, the first thing that we did was clean the wall really well.  Make sure that all of the dust is off the wall and wipe everything down with a slightly damp rag.  If you are dealing with grease and/or grime you’ll want to use something more heavy duty like TSP to get all of the oils off.

The next step is to get level lines on your wall.  You can use a chalk line, a laser level, or (if you are lucky like me!) you might already have lines on it!  The look that we were going for was a little imperfect, having such a large space between the level lines worked out so well  (That way I’d have something to recheck everything on every 4 rows or so, but it isn’t row by row perfection.)

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Like I mentioned earlier, using the right product for the job is CRITICAL.  We used OmniGrip from The Home Depot.  Its is a spreadable mastic and it worked so so well.

When you are ready with your lines, the first step is to spread a thin layer of OmniGrip all over your wall and let it dry.  This will give the adhesive that you are putting on the brick something to grab to so your bricks aren’t sliding all over the place.

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When you are spreading adhesive to the back of your brick, you want a good thick layer.  Like a perfectly frosted sugar cookie.

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Then, once you have the entire brick covered, use your trowel to scrape out a line in the center.  This creates a suction cup of sorts when you are sticking the brick to the wall.

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Press it down firmly.  You’ll get the hang of the entire process really quick.


The best way to work is to start at the bottom and work in a medium sized section.  I didn’t want the brick to be perfectly spaced, so I just used my finger to check the spacing.  In the picture below you can see a piece of wood that is the new baseboard.  We used this to figure out the spacing from the floor.  The brick settled down a little, so in hind sight it would have been better to install this first, but it wasn’t a big deal to cut 1/8” off of it.

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It took about a day and 1/2 to get to this point (with 2 people buttering the bricks and 1 placing them).

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When we started working on the second wall I decided that I wanted the brick Soldier style above the windows (Soldier style is when the brick stands in a uniform vertical line)

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Which meant that we needed to change the brick above the doorway that had already been installed.

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You guys.  Lets go back to the installation debate.  The internets say installing veneer to drywall is a bad idea because you are essentially only adhering the heavy wall to paper.

That sounds absolutely HORRIFYING.

But. There is not a doubt in my mind that installing it directly over drywall is a great option.  Check out the brick that we pulled to change the style above the doorway.

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That is the paper from the OTHER SIDE of the sheetrock.

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Crazy right?

To finish off the rows along the windows and doorway we tried a few different techniques.

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The first (pictured on the left) was using a brick hammer.  Which is basically a hammer with a chisel on one side.  On a scale of 1-10 I would rate this technique around a 5.  If you are going for rough imperfect edges it is great, but if the edges along the doorway are the only places that the brick is broken it looks a little weird.  And it is hard to break the piece in an exact size.

The next technique (on the right) that we used was a wet tile saw and it worked SO well.  It was easy to control the cuts and worked especially well for the long cuts along the ceiling.

Part 2 is all about grouting and finishing it off!

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dont miss any of this series


  • Allison 03.03.2015 at 17:56

    I’m basically hyperventilating over the “finished” photo.

  • Christelle 03.03.2015 at 18:02

    that really is an impressive job

  • Melissa 03.03.2015 at 18:08

    Wow! It’s like buying a whole new house without moving. What a transformation! I can’t wait to see how you decorate & style it.

  • Morgan 03.03.2015 at 18:12

    Really, really love the look of the upright bricks over the windows and door. That was worth going back and changing. It totally gives it the old warehouse/architectural/been here forever look. Great project! I can’t wait to see if/how you install art/shelves etc on the brick!

  • kelly 03.03.2015 at 18:22

    I have to say that your projects are like nothing I see anywhere else, I’m always amazed.

  • AnnMarie 03.03.2015 at 18:39

    I’m so curious to see how this project turns out! But I have to say I’m a little sad to see those shelves between the windows go — they were my favorite part of the old room design. But I trust you have something awesome up your sleeve for this design!

  • Alison G 03.03.2015 at 18:47

    I really like the way you never follow the “in” trend. You have your own style and go after it. Everywhere in design you see things getting painted, such as brick and wood. You on the other hand do the opposite. Cuddo’s to you. I hope you like the finished product. looks like lots of work to me.

  • Rachel 03.03.2015 at 18:52

    I love it! I would worry that when you go to change the wall again that it will destroy it when you take the bricks down.

  • The CraftStar 03.03.2015 at 19:05

    I am soooo glad you’re sharing this. I really want a white brick wall on one wall in my kitchen extending out to the dining room, but was nervous because of the drywall. This looks relatively painless. :0)

  • Jenny@EvolutionofStyle 03.03.2015 at 19:14

    Looks GREAT! I love the look of exposed brick – always. I hear you on the installation though – we gave our fireplace a new lease on life with stone veneer, and the idea of a heavy wall of stone (or brick) falling on you is a scary one! I just posted the how-to today! Great work!

  • Quincy 03.03.2015 at 19:25

    It looks awesome, but I have to admit it seems out of place in a stuccoed tract home. I feel like your soul belongs in a house with history. Do you plan to stay? Because this is a project that many cookie-cutter homebuyers just won’t get.

  • monica 03.03.2015 at 19:34

    Beautiful, I love it.

  • jessica 03.03.2015 at 19:50

    in general i’m against any kind of decorating trick that makes an interior look structurally different. there is some pretty cheesy looking brick veneer (borderline textured wallpaper). i think the key to making sure this doesn’t look weird is to 1) understand the architectural style and period and even the location of your house and 2) limit the brick to a small area like a feature wall. are other homes in your neighborhood built out of brick? is there brick in other parts of your home? it seems like a lot of interior design blogs focus on trends and room makeovers but it needs to make sense for the whole house. consider the exterior. this is not easy to change if you get tired of it.

  • mommala 03.03.2015 at 19:51

    Fantastic! I love interior brick walls & wondered about installation. Our den has a fireplace of the same brick as our home exterior; I’d love to brick the entire wall it’s on for texture & contrast to the painted walls. Thanks for your inspiration & practical guidance. Can’t wait for the next installment!

  • Tashia D 03.03.2015 at 21:14

    Amazing! Love it!

  • Kate 03.03.2015 at 21:46

    I LOVE this! Where did you get your brick from?

  • Kristi Harvie 03.03.2015 at 22:02

    I LOVE IT SOOOOO MUCH!! Amazing transformation~

  • Cindy 03.03.2015 at 22:03

    This is amazing. I thought the first photo was one of your inspiration photos: it looks like a completely different space. Nice, nice job.

  • Carlisle 03.03.2015 at 23:31

    This is SUCH a cool idea!!! I love how fearless it is – can’t wait to see how it turns out!!

  • Lynda Cobb 03.03.2015 at 23:57

    Just voted for you. Good luck! “Operation Lofty Intentions” is going beautifully. Fingers crossed for no “do, redo” redux all over agains!

  • Kevin 04.03.2015 at 04:16

    Looks amazing.

  • Rachel 04.03.2015 at 04:19

    Girl you have some major balls to do that! You are amazing. I would never have in a million years though to add my own brick. Why not stick with the cool faux 80’s brick wallpaper route. Oh wait, that’s out? Who knew!

  • Colleen Pastoor 04.03.2015 at 07:06

    I can’t wait to see the finished! I would love to add a brick wall in my basement, so I’m pins and needles!

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  • Debra 04.03.2015 at 14:21

    Great job! Our first apartment had brick walls in both bedrooms but were not insulated! But, man, did they look nice!

  • Trinidad 04.03.2015 at 21:00

    $5 a square foot! I’ve been wanting to do this for over a year, but I priced it about $9 a square foot (

    Unfortunely, I’m in NJ so Quickstone isn’t on option but I’d love any resources you could send my way.

    Pretty, pretty, pretty please!

  • Ilse 04.03.2015 at 21:19

    I FREAKING LOVE THIS! Haven’t been this excited by a blog post in a looong time! Can’t wait for the next post but I totally get the loft vibe allready!

  • Rare Door 04.03.2015 at 23:58

    You’re bad a$$. The brick veneer looks amazing! We’re truly blown away.

  • Julia 05.03.2015 at 16:55

    Holy Cow! Talk about transformation!

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  • Andrea @ 06.03.2015 at 19:43

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve been wanting to do exposed brick when we get a home, so I’m so glad you’re doing this to yours first. That way I’ll know what I’m doing when the time comes.

  • Corinna - For My Love Of 08.03.2015 at 18:35

    Wow Mandi! Such an incredibly cool feature! I really wish I lived in a neighbrood I thought I’d want to be in long term. But I’ll definitely reference back if I ever get the chance to try this out!

  • Feel the Fear 16.03.2015 at 16:06

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  • Daddy O 29.04.2015 at 01:08

    Looks great, just one thing. That’s a lot of weight to be applying to the cardboard face of the drywall, I really hope it lasts. A better and safer way of doing it would be to replace the dry wall with cement board and glue the bricks to that. I’d hate to be sitting next to that wall if/when it comes down.

    • Daddy O 29.04.2015 at 01:17

      You also post that applying it over drywall is safe and use the brick you pulled out from above the door as an example. Well, that small patch of drywall is not holding up NEARLY the same amount of weight as the larger expanse so that argument is moot. Now add the weight of the grout and…bad idea all around. Again good luck to you and anyone else thinking of doing this but I strongly encourage a cement backer.

      • Evan Forsyth 14.10.2015 at 23:01

        I laid it 20 feet high on drywall

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  • chelsa 15.07.2015 at 21:02

    hi mandi! I love how your brick wall turned out, i especially like the painted one you put in your restaurant. This is such a great idea! Beautiful!

  • Cindy 24.08.2015 at 16:21

    Hi, you have totally inspired me to do this! 😍. We did an addition to the back of our home an I wanted to keep wall unfinished brick, but contractor said we couldn’t. 😢.
    I do have two questions though… My wall has several outlets, cable an 2 electrical, did you use wet saw to cut these out? And how were you able to keep them flush?

    • Libby 31.01.2016 at 12:23

      I don’t see an answer posted about this question, but I also want to know about the electrical outlets!

  • angela portnoy 23.09.2015 at 18:27

    where did you get the brick, I want to do this. thanks, angela

  • Evan Forsyth 14.10.2015 at 22:59

    Congrats on the work few suggestions though i would try to keep all my head joints in a vertical line and make it work out a whole brick at the top of the wall as well as hit doors heights.

  • Marissa 19.01.2016 at 06:50

    Omg omg ahhhhh! I can’t tell you how exciting it is to come across this post! I actually make my own bricks, and also make various cement and hypertufa work. It never occurred to me that I could use my own bricks on a wall in my home…exposed brick is one of my favorite design elements in a home or business. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Heather 26.02.2016 at 04:05

    hi – great stuff – really valuable article – i’m afraid i can’t find Part II though? and the mastic you applied to the wall to have something to stick to – did you let that sit and dry first? or did you just go for it right then and there? thank you!! I’m about to undertake the same project and i found the same conflicting information re hardi backer vs no hardi backer (cement board). I would love to know how you applied the grout after brick was up. thanks in advance!

  • Amy Kowalski 18.03.2016 at 21:27

    I’ve been toying with doing a brick wall in my tiny eat in kitchen to cover up a rather dreadful drywalling job done by a previous owner. I was always afraid of how much work it would be, and time. Plus expense according to the other sites I’ve looked at… so much more work than what you have demonstrated here. How long have you had the brick up on the drywall? Is it still working out ok? Im just curious if I could really get away with just putting the brick against the dry wall … Im apprehensive…


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