Brick slips, also known as brick tiles or veneers, are thin cuts of brick, or purpose-made brick-like slabs, used as a surface material. They’re a popular choice for those looking to create the appearance of a brick wall without the need for structural modifications. Whether you’re considering them for your next home renovation project, or you’re just curious about their application and benefits, this ultimate guide to brick slips will help you understand everything there is to know.
What are Brick Slips?
Brick slips are essentially the face of a brick. They are usually about 20mm thick but can be thicker or thinner depending on your requirements. They are made by slicing off the face of a brick or by manufacturing a thin, brick-like slab. Brick slips are for indoor and outdoor use. They also offer the aesthetic of a traditional brick wall without the same level of commitment or structural need.
Benefits of Brick Slips
There are several reasons why homeowners and designers alike gravitate towards brick slips:
1. Versatility – Brick slips are used in a variety of settings, from living rooms and kitchens to exterior walls and commercial spaces. They’re also available in a range of colours, textures, and finishes. Therefore, making it easy to match them to your design aesthetic.
2. Durability – Despite being thinner, brick slips are just as durable as regular bricks. They’re resistant to wear and tear, and weather conditions, and can last for years with minimal maintenance. This is due to the materials they are manufactured from. Acrylic, cement, clay, and real brick all have weather-resistant properties.
3. Easy Installation – Brick slips are lighter and easier to install than full-sized bricks. They can be affixed to virtually any surface, including plasterboard and insulation boards, using adhesive. Crucially, they are simple to cut. Whilst cement, clay and real brick require a power tool, acrylic slips can be shaped around corners and cut with household scissors. They are therefore extremely simple to use on site. The ease of manoeuvring also makes them an ideal DIY solution.
4. Space Saving – Brick slips don’t require the same depth as a full brick. Therefore, they’re a great way to save space, especially in smaller rooms.
5. Insulation: Brick slips provide good thermal insulation and can help maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
EWI Store’s range
The EWI Store Brick Slips realistically mimic the appearance of traditional brickwork whilst injecting modern elements into their design. They suit the tastes of both traditional and modern designers. The lightweight nature of the slips makes them suitable for most scenarios, including a bedroom, living or dining room feature wall. They can also provide a rustic alternative to traditional kitchen tiles or the basis for an external cladding project.
Acrylic brick slips
Acrylic brick slips rely on an acrylic aggregate to increase weather resistance. Microscopic acrylic fibres are additives that result in the brick slips being incredibly lightweight and very easy to handle. They can also be cut with most household scissors and are easily shaped to fit around corners. A range of colours ensures that you have full control over the finished aesthetic.
The acrylic brick slip system consists of only two products; the adhesive and the brick slips. Once the slips are fully embedded, the adhesive acts as the grout. This combination creates a cost-effective system that is a DIY dream!
Clay brick slips
As with most clay, clay brick slips are fired in kilns. Therefore, they maintain their natural and recyclable nature. The classic manufacturing process, combined with modern brick slip technology creates a slip that is easy to install and provides a rustic aesthetic. Clay will portray distinctly earthy tones and is suitable for internal and external applications.
Crucially, clay bricks are environmentally friendly as they do not release cadmium. They also hold frost resistance, water absorbability, resistance to stains, impact resistance, flexibility, chemical resistance, and resistance to agents of domestic use.
Cement brick slips
Cementitious brick slips carry the inherent benefits of cement; they are generally strong, durable, and weather-resistant. They are fully customisable in terms of colour, texture, and size. As they are generally formed by being poured into moulds, they are consistent in size and shape.
Cement does offer a brutalist aesthetic to the final finished product, which can be a desirable design choice. The aesthetic is supplemented by durability and low maintenance. Cement brick slips are resistant to weathering, rot, and insects, making them a long-lasting cladding option.
Real bricks cut brick slips
Real brick cut brick slips, also known as brick veneers or brick tiles, are thin slices of actual bricks that are used as a decorative and functional cladding material for interior or exterior walls. They are cut from standard-sized bricks and range in thickness from around 15mm to 25mm (0.6 to 1 inch).
The natural benefit of utilising real brick-cut brick slips is the appearance of a full brick wall at a fraction of the cost. The structural burden is also lower as they are fairly lightweight, which maintains the durability of a regular brick. It is also possible to reclaim old bricks to manufacture real brick cuts. As such, they are sustainable and renewable.
Brick slips in practice
The preeminent design feature of brick slips is their unbridled versatility. From acrylic, to cement, to real brick off-cuts, the breadth of creative freedom that brick slips offer is unmatched. For example, acrylic brick slips in a deep red colour seamlessly fit into heritage renovations; the slips are inlaid to mimic Edwardian brickwork alongside the infamous timber framing.
If you have recently used brick slips, or you’re looking to do us, leave us a comment below!