For those who love the look of brick and already have a wall in place, brick tile is an alternative to traditional brick and mortar walls. Brick tile is easily installed and does not require tear down of existing structures. Brick tiles can help you create the look and feel you want when redecorating, without compromising space or requiring heavy labor.
What Are Brick Tiles?
Brick tiles are thin kiln-fired clay bricks designed to be installed on a wall. Tiles have the same look as regular brick, but can be used on a variety of substrates such as wood, concrete and masonry. Brick tiles can be used in more applications than regular bricks, and are primarily used for aesthetics rather than function.
Difference between Brick Tile and Bricks
Brick tiles and bricks have the same appearance after installation. Brick tiles are thinner than bricks. Tiles are usually 3/4" thick, whereas bricks are a minimum of 2-3/4" deep, more commonly 3-1/2" deep. Brick tiles and bricks are installed differently. Bricks are self-supporting, laid in a bed of mortar, one on top of the other in the pattern desired. Brick walls generally need open space behind the brick structure, requiring more space than other types of walls. Brick tiles are adhered directly to an existing wall substrate, using mortar or adhesive. Tiles depend on the wall substrate and adhesive for support.
Brick tiles are used on walls where the look of brick is desired. They are also used in wall areas that don't have enough space to allow regular brick installation. Tiles can be used indoors or outdoors. Typical indoor applications are fireplaces, interior walls and door frames. Common outdoor uses are fire pits, exterior framing and chimneys. Tiles can be used to cover the entire wall, or as an accent back splash for a distinct decorative look.
Choose the Right Tile
Brick tiles are available in a multitude of colors, sizes and textures. Standard color shades available are grays, reds, browns and creams. Choose the color that will look best in the area it will be installed in.
Tile size is also an important consideration. Smaller tiles will create a busier and more patterned look than larger tiles.
Textures range from smooth to rough. Consider the environment surrounding the wall tiles when choosing a texture. Less dirt will accumulate on smoother tiles and will be easier to clean. If the tile will be installed in a high dirt or grime area, it's better to choose smoother brick tiles for easy cleaning.
Make sure your tile is sealed with a clear sealer after installation. Sealer will increase durability and easy cleaning. Regular maintenance of brick tile is required to avoid dust build up. Use a vacuum cleaner attachment to suck up loose dirt. Periodically use plain warm water and a large sponge to clean the tiles. If the tiles are used in an area where dirt and grime build up is unavoidable, such as around a fireplace or kitchen, use a mixture of mild detergent and water. Scrub gently. Follow the detergent scrubbing with a clean rinse scrub, using plain water.
Brick tiles are a decorative alternative to standard brick, and allow re-decorators a wide variety of styles to choose from.