Tag Archives: adhesive

How to achieve a brick-like finish on your EWI system: Brick slips

Are you fascinated by all the environmental benefits of external wall insulation, such as improved thermal performance, reduced energy bills and increased façade durability, but having doubts because you don’t want to let go of that beautiful brick aesthetic on your home? Then, brick slips are the product for you. While silicone render is available in several different grain sizes and thousands of different colours to allow you to create a personalised finish, you can instead choose brick slips as the final stage of your external wall insulation system – which are also available in various colours – to receive all the benefits of a system whilst enjoying the traditional aesthetic of exposed brickwork. If this sounds more like you, and you want to know more about brick slips, keep reading!

What are brick slips?

Brick slips are thin, acrylic tiles that are predominantly manufactured and cut from real reclaimed bricks. Much like a brick wall which is created by building brick upon brick, brick slips are applied to the wall one by one atop the adhesive to mimic real brickwork. They are highly flexible, meaning they can bend around corners to recreate the edges of bricks, and available in various natural colours and textures, again much like real brick. Brick slips can be applied both internally and externally but have grown in popularity as the final stage of an external wall insulation system to receive the benefits of external wall insulation without letting go of the traditional brick aesthetic.

Brick slips provide further benefits to an external wall insulation system if you live in an area where there is a high risk of mechanical impact such as on a busy road. Due to their brick-like nature, they have a great ability to withstand damage from mechanical impact and are very hard-wearing. They are also weatherproof and UV-resistant, meaning their colour won’t fade over time. So, if your current brickwork is looking a little tired, brick slips – along with the added benefits of external wall insulation – are the way to go.

How are brick slips installed?

Our brick slips are extremely simple to install. We offer a special adhesive that comes in five different colours and is specifically designed for use with the brick slips to create a long-lasting, reliable bond between the brick slips and the substrate. The adhesive is the most important part of the installation process as it will ensure the solidity of the installation.

When installing brick slips on top of an external wall insulation system, you must first install the basecoat and mesh on top of the insulation boards. Then, the special brick slip adhesive must be applied using a notched trowel. Following this, the brick slips can be applied to the adhesive in the form of a standard brick pattern, staggering the bricks and leaving a space of around 10mm between each brick both vertically and horizontally. As mentioned earlier, the bricks can be bent around corners owing to their flexibility, or you can cut them to your desired shapes.

What are the different types of brick slips?

Here at EWI Store, we offer several types of brick slips to cater to every taste:

  • Bavarian Castle. Our Bavarian Castle brick slips are of a beautifully clean and modern light grey colour which offer a noticeably fantastic facelift to any home. Their colour also offers an excellent contrast to wooden doors and window frames for a modern look with a traditional touch.
  • Cedar Hill. Our Cedar Hill brick slips offer a more conventional aesthetic, combining hints of dark red and brown, as you would imagine real brickwork to look. The Cedar Hill brick slips are perfect if you are seeking to achieve a traditional look whilst updating the look of your home.
  • Charcoal. Bold and modern, our Charcoal brick slips are the perfect solution if you are looking to make your house stand out from the crowd. The Charcoal brick slips will look fantastic when combined with white windows and doors.
  • Yellow Stock. If you are looking to brighten the façade of your home in an understated fashion, Yellow Stock brick slips are the ones for you. These brick slips look excellent all year round and remain timeless.
  • Siberian White. Bright and modern, our Siberian White brick slips are a fantastic option if you are seeking a complete refresh of the façade of your home. White will work with any colour of doors and window frames; white for a clean finish, and black or any other colour to create a contrast.
  • Wentworth Mixture. Similarly to Cedar Hill, our Wentworth Mixture brick slips mimic the appearance of traditional bricks owing to their natural red-brown colour. Whether you already looking to update your current brickwork or are for an understated look, Wentworth is for you.
  • Westminster. Our Westminster brick slips offer a bright, natural aesthetic with their neutral stone-like colour adorned with hints of red and black. Like Yellow Stock, Westminster provides a timeless look whilst giving your whole home a facelift.

So, if brickwork is to your taste and external wall insulation sounds like an excellent solution for you, then brick slips are the option for you! As you can see, our range of brick slips means that we can cater to every taste, allowing you to achieve your desired brick-look finish. If you have any questions about our brick slips and how they work with external wall insulation, please do not hesitate to contact our talented Sales Team who will be happy to help!


Applying Render to Cement Board

What are cement boards?

Cement boards, also known as “render carrier boards” or “weather carrying boards”, are sheets comprised of cement and reinforcing fibres used as tile backing boards as a base for render and external wall insulation. Combined with magnesium, an oxide coating and fibreglass mesh, cement boards create a solid surface that can withstand extreme weathering, including rain, wind and snow. What’s more, cement boards do not rot or swell when they encounter water, meaning they can stand the test of time even on the exterior of a property. The most common cement boards on the market for render are Aquapanels, Renderflex and Siniat boards.

Applying render to cement boards

Cement boards can be finished in numerous ways however, one of the most effective ways is to apply render. Not only does render enhance the external appearance of a property, but it improves its thermal performance and thereby reduces energy costs. With that, let us explain how to apply render to cement boards!

Step one: Priming the cement boards

The first step to applying render to cement boards is to prime the boards. We recommend using our EWI-310 Universal Primer as the presence of silicate in the render creates an excellent adhesive for the basecoat of the render (to learn more about how primers work, make sure to check our complete guide to EWI Primers). The Universal Primer comes in 20kg buckets, and each bucket can cover between 60 and 80m2 depending on the absorption from the cement board. The primer should be applied to the cement board using a brush or roller; its red colour allows you to see clearly where on the wall it has been applied. For best results, allow the primer to dry completely before applying the next layer.

Step two: Applying the basecoat

After the primer, applying the basecoat to the cement board is relatively easy. Firstly, an adhesive must be applied; our adhesives come dry, meaning they must be mixed with water before application. We recommend using either EWI-220 Basecoat Adhesive or EWI-225 Premium Adhesive depending on how solid you would like the facade. Upon being mixed with water to form a grey putty, the adhesive should be applied with a notched trowel. For best results, use a 10mm-sized notched trowel for applying a 6mm-thick layer of adhesive to the cement board.

Once the adhesive has been applied, the fibreglass mesh can be embedded within the adhesive; it is this mesh that makes our render systems so flexible. The fibreglass mesh comes in rolls which must be applied vertically, overlapping one another by 10cm, within the adhesive; this can be achieved by drawing the flat edge of the notched trowel up from the bottom of a wall to pull the adhesive through the holes of the mesh. Our EWI-66645 Orange Fibreglass Mesh rolls are 50cm in length, 1m in width and cover 50m2.

As the render topcoat is so thin, it is vital to ensure that the basecoat is completely smooth. If the basecoat is still not completely smooth even after the mesh has been embedded, the easiest solution is to produce a very wet adhesive mix to apply to the basecoat.

Step three: Priming the basecoat

Once the fibreglass mesh-embedded adhesive is completely smooth, the wall needs to be primed ready for the render. The primer used depends on the type of render however, provided you match the primer with the render, the principle is the same. For example, our EWI-333 Silicone Silicate Primer comes in either 7kg or 2kg buckets and can be applied using a paintbrush or roller, with the 7kg bucket covering approximately 20m2 of the wall and the 2kg bucket 70m2.

  • Top Coat Primer – 20kg

    £67.00 (incl VAT)

Step four: Applying the render

As soon as the basecoat primer is dry, it is time to apply the render!

The majority of EWI Pro renders are thin-coat renders, so the thickness of the topcoat is determined by the grain size of the render. For instance, our EWI-040 Silicone Silicate Render comes in four different grain sizes – 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm and 3mm – so, if you are to purchase a 2mm-thick Silicone Silicate Render, the topcoat should be applied no thicker than 2mm thick. We have received various reports of the render being applied too thick and thereby impinging on the desired finish, so it’s vital to remember that the thickness of the render itself and render facade must match!

With that in mind, make sure to apply the render to the cement board with a trowel as you can pull off any excess with the trowel, too. Once any excess has been removed, leave the render for five minutes, then work the render in a circular motion using a plastic float to achieve the desired finish.

And that’s how render is applied to cement boards! If thin-coat render systems are of interest to you, make sure to check out our blog on coloured render costs per square metre for an accurate idea as to how much the materials for such a system typically cost. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment below or contact us!


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