Thin brick installation and application

Michelle-Garcia-Headshot | January 13th, 2022

Why it stands out from the rest

Thin brick veneer, commonly known as thin-fired clay units, has been gaining popularity in Colorado and other States in the country because of its excellent features. Thin brick veneer gives both the satisfaction of the beautiful traditional brick masonry look and at a very affordable price. Thin brick has a variety of applications; it has four basic installation processes and many qualities that make it stand out from other finishes.

Thin brick installation process

The thin brick installation method depends on some factors, including weather conditions, substrate, cost, skill, and experience of the installer. The four primary methods used for the installation of thin brick veneer include the following:

Thick set

The thickset method involves the application of thin brick with a bond coat to a mortar scratch coat. This method requires a reinforcing layer of lath or mesh within the scratch coat to control cracking due to the mortar shrinkage behind the thin brick. This method is excellent for covering up any substrate irregularities due to its thickness.

Thin set

This installation method involves the direct installation of the thin brick directly to the substrate by a thin layer of adhesive. This method requires the substrate to be more levelled than the thickset method.

The thin-set veneer installation reveals the surface condition of the substrate. Unlike the thickset method, it reduces thickness and doesn’t require any layer of lath or mesh reinforcement.

Cement backer board is the conventional substrate recommended for an exterior adhered veneer for the thin-set method.

Modular panel systems

In the modular panel system of application, thin brick mechanically secured to a modular panel made of wood, metal, rigid foam insulation, or other materials fastened to the substrate wall. This installation method usually has water-resisting elements such as drainage mats or drainage spaces. 

Thin brick could be adhered to some modular panels before installation, while other panels are attached to the substrate before adhering to thin brick. This system is different from the thin or thick set as the panels have grooves or tabs to arrange the thin brick courses in a straight line and provide all the necessary components for installation. They also provide a warranty that the panel and components are complete systems. 

Prefabricated panels

Thin brick can be used to achieve architectural precast concrete panels. In the prefabricated method, thin brick is placed face-down, and grout or concrete is poured over them directly. Necessary reinforcement is provided to meet the project’s requirements. The finished face is then coated with wax to prevent staining. The concrete that is poured on the surface of the brick flows into the space between the thin brick and forms the mortar joints.

Once cured, the panel is removed to form to reveal the thin brick surface. The thin brick adheres to the back of the concrete and all four sides of the brick. The joins between the bricks could also be finished by filling with mortar or modified mortar and tooling it to the desired profile.

Thin brick applications

For residential applications:

  • Outdoor Kitchen and Hardscape
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Exterior Gable Peaks
  • Wet Bar
  • Basement Remodel
  • Fireplace Facing
  • Exposed Foundation Wall
  • Home Additions
  • Kitchen Backlash
  • Dining Room Feature
  • Home Office Upgrade
  • Siding Replacement

For commercial application:

  • Interior and exterior retail branding
  • Hardscape and signage structures
  • Outdoor eating spaces
  • Interior application to match exterior masonry
  • Combine matching full brick and thin brick
  • Precast concrete Façade solutions
  • Reception desk and customer greeting areas
  • Projects with high seismic requirements
  • Projects that require constant insulation
  • Pre-Engineered Metal Support systems
  • Tilt-up concrete panel projects
  • Exterior cladding solution for all building types
  • Interior and exterior of restaurants

Why thin brick stand out from other finishes

Easy installation

Thin brick veneers are specifically retailed for walls and are easy to install. Homeowners can install them using these basic supplies without needing a professional. Thin brick veneers can also be installed in areas where the normal brick veneers cannot be installed due to a lack of structural support.

Greater durability

Thin brick beats the other choices in the niche of wall finishes because of their durability. Imitation bricks, for instance, are prepared from cement and gypsum or some varieties of plastics; none of them compare to thin brick in terms of durability. Thin brick veneers also provide:

  • Sound-proof and fire-resistant performance.
  • Serving both aesthetics and protective purposes.
  • Giving it an edge over the other non-masonry finishes.

Easy maintenance

Thin brick is easy to replace and readily available in hardware stores. They don’t fade and are not reactive with most household chemicals. They require minimal maintenance costs and do not require regular cleaning.


Thin brick is a lot less expensive when compared to other materials in the market. The lower price of thin brick results from how the brick is made. It contains only twenty-five percent of the materials used in most bricks. 

Its installation price is also lower when compared to other bricks or materials. The installation methods have been listed above; still, it doesn’t cost much if you have a professional install it.

Thin Brick has four basic installation processes and many qualities

Many people think that because thin brick is smaller, weigh less, and cost less, they cannot possibly be real bricks. Thin brick is real brick; it’s just made thinner and is available in multiple styles, shapes, and colors. 

Thin brick is thinner and lighter than the average brick; they support their weight and do not add to the weight of the material. This material is designed to be the most versatile of finishes as it can be used almost anywhere, as we’ve seen from its application. 

Thin brick has been tested with other sidings like vinyl cement board and have always had the upper hand in terms of security, making it one of the most secure finishes to choose on a property.

Thin brick is made of recycled materials, and this is why most users love it. You can enjoy the beautiful appearance and security that thin brick provides you without sacrificing environmental sustainability in return. 

Combining most of the essential benefits of thin brick – noise reduction, reduced impact of damage, heat, wear and tear, and vandalism. 

It’s safe to say thin brick veneer is the trend to follow if you’re looking for a finish to deliver well on aesthetics and protection, without having to go beyond your budget.

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