Can You Add Exposed Brick to a Wall?

In this article, we will discuss if you can add exposed brick to a wall. Exposed bricks are a trendy addition to your house because it provides a cozy and unique ambiance. If the foundation of your house is made of brick, then you can dig through the plaster and expose the beautiful brickwork underneath. However, not all have a brick foundation. If this is the case, can you add an exposed brick to a wall? We will discuss the answer below.

Can you add exposed brick to a wall? You can add exposed brick to a wall. You can do this by adding the regular 3 or 4-inch thick brick in front of the wall. Support the brick with the use of an existing footing or an angle that is fastened to the existing concrete wall. See to it that the wall has the proper flashing and weep holes. Moreover, the bricks and the existing siding should have at least an inch of air space between them.

How do you add an exposed brick to a wall? Is it expensive to expose bricks? What are the other ways to add exposed bricks to a wall? Is it expensive to add exposed bricks to existing walls? These are some of the questions that we will discuss in this article. We have also shared alternatives that you can use if adding natural bricks into a wall is not possible. Check out the rest of this article for more tips and information.

Can you add exposed brick to a wall
Photo by Kay Fisher on Unsplash

Tips on How to Add Exposed Bricks to a Wall

When it comes to adding exposed bricks to a wall, make sure that you have a stable substrate such as concrete or cement mortar bed. If the wall is not exposed to water, you can use a tile mastic adhesive. Otherwise, you can use a construction adhesive to add the bricks to the wall.

Adding Exposed Bricks to Drywall

Usually, you can directly add thin exposed bricks over a drywall surface. On the other hand, you should not do this if the drywall is not properly attached to wall studs. This is because in case the wall is hit by a heavy object, both the bricks and the drywall can get damaged. We have also shared this article titled, what can you do with exposed brick? Check out the tips and ideas on how to decorate exposed brick walls.

Adding Exposed Bricks to Backer Board

If you want to add exposed bricks to a wall that is regularly exposed to water, it is recommended that you use a metal lath system or a cementitious backer board. They will make sure that there is extra protection against possible damages to the wall.

How to Add Brick Veneer on a Wall

If you cannot add a thick exposed brick into the wall, you do not need to worry because there are a few alternatives that you can use to achieve an exposed brick wall in your home. You can use brick veneers. These types of bricks are thin and easy to install. There are a few steps that you need to take when adding brick veneers into the wall. Below are the steps that you can refer to.

Step 1: Prepare the Wall

The first thing that you need to do is to prepare the wall. Ensure that the wall is smooth and clean. Debris or dust that sticks into the wall can make it difficult for the glue to stick properly. You can use a ruler or a straight piece of wood to create a ledger. This ledger will serve as a guide in the placement of the bricks.

Step 2: Cut the Bricks

Once you have prepared the wall, the next step that you need to do is to cut the brick veneers. Cut several brick veneers in half. It is best to cut the bricks before installing them to save time.

Step 3: Add the Bricks

After cutting the bricks, you can start installing them to the all. It is recommended that you start adding the bricks at the bottom of the wall. Spread the mastic over a small section of the wall with the use of a notched trowel and press a brick to the outer edge of the bottom of the wall. Do a full brick and half brick pattern to achieve a natural exposed brick wall look. You can then continue adding the brick upward.  

Continue with the pattern until you reach about halfway up the wall. Proceed by going back to the bottom of the wall and continuing with the pattern. Continue adding brick veneers row by row. See to it that you constantly check the wall to make sure that the bricks are lined properly.

Step 4: Leave Space for the Grout

Make sure that you leave space for the grout. To do this, leave space that measures between 3/8 to ½ inches wide between the bricks as well as between upper and lower rows.

Step 5: Finish Installing the Bricks

Continue adding bricks to the wall until you reach the ceiling height. Lay the full bricks to complete the remaining rows. See to it that you regularly check the spacing of the bricks as you add more bricks.

Step 6: Apply Grout to the Bricks

Once you have installed all the bricks on the wall, let it dry for at least 48 hours. After the bricks are completely dried, you can apply the grout between the joints.

✅ Video – How to Build an Exposed Brick Veneer on an Interior Wall

Lee McNeil shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how to build an exposed brick veneer on an interior wall. In the video, the process of adding brick veneers to achieve the same look as a full brick wall is shown. Check out the video for more tips and information.

Fake Exposed Brick Alternatives

You can also use fake exposed bricks for your brick wall. To do this, you can use brick slips, wallpaper, and stencils. These alternatives are easy to add and you can purchase them at your local construction store or online. Choose an alternative that you are most comfortable working with. Faux brick wallpaper is easy to install and there are also 3D options that will make the brick appear as they are popping out of the wall for a natural and original look. We have also shared this article that discusses how to fake exposed brick. Check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.

What are the Ways to Achieve an Exposed Brick Look to a Wall?

Using brick slips, stencils, and printed wallpaper are some of the ways that you can achieve an exposed brick look to a wall. These options are more affordable and there is no need to hire the services of a contractor to do the job. Below are some ideas that you can consider to get the exposed brick wall effect in your home.

Expose Natural Brick

If your home is made of brick foundation, you can simply expose the real brick underneath the plaster. However, there are a few factors that you need to consider when exposing bricks. You need to carefully inspect the bricks if they are in good condition. Aside from that, you also need to clean the bricks to remove dust and plaster that get stuck. After cleaning the bricks, you need to seal them with a high-quality sealant to make them waterproof and durable.

Use Brick Slips

An alternative that you can use is brick slips. These are also commonly referred to as brick veneers. Brick slips provide the most realistic brick look because they appear to be exactly like a brick on the outside edge of the wall. We have also shared this article that discusses if the exposed brick is trendy, or out of style. You can check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Fake Brick Wallpaper

Another option that you can use for a fast and easy exposed brick look is printed wallpaper. You can find wallpaper with 3D brick prints that look like real bricks. You cannot tell that it is fake unless you get close to the wall.  You can also find textured vinyl wallpaper that has a more realistic look.

Brick Stencil

If you are good with a paintbrush, you can stencil bricks into the wall. You can do this with paint and brush. There is a brick wall stencil that is sold on the market and they also come in a wide array of sizes. You can even make your stencil by making a pattern on a piece of cardboard.

How Much Does it Cost to Install Exposed Brick?

The cost of exposed brick installation will have to depend on a few factors like the price of the materials and labor. Usually, the price range cost between 14 to 22 dollars per foot. To get the best deals, you can ask for a quotation from various construction companies. If you want to save on labor costs, you can do the installation provided that you have the skills and knowledge on exposed brick wall installation.

Is Exposing Brick Expensive?

As compared to other wall finished, exposing a brick wall is not that expensive. However, you need to have the right equipment and dedicate adequate time to finish the task. It will take a few hours to a few days to expose a brick wall depending on its size. Aside from that, you also need to inspect, clean, repair, and seal the exposed brick wall. You can also check out this article that we have shared titled, is brick sealing necessary? We have talked about the importance of sealing exposed bricks.

Is Brick Veneer Cheaper than Brick?

Brick veneer is more affordable as compared to real bricks, but they have the look and feel of solid brick. In general, brick veneers can cost between 4 to 10 dollars per square foot. You can also do the installation which can save on labor costs. We have also written this article that discusses if exposed brick adds value. Check out the article to find out how exposed bricks can affect the value of your home.


In this article, we have discussed if you can add exposed brick to a wall. To conclude, it is possible to add exposed brick to a wall. You can use real bricks or other alternatives such as brick veneers and wallpaper. If you want to have an exposed brick wall in your home but you do not have a brick foundation, you can add bricks into an existing wall to achieve the look. Thank you for reading!

Recent Posts