Not all reclaimed brick is suitable for re-purposing. Some of it may have irreparable cracks or missing pieces that would make the block unusable for most applications. That doesn’t mean the brick cannot be salvaged-chances are it could be used to create brick veneer instead. What is reclaimed brick veneer, how is it made, and what are potential brick veneer uses? These questions and more are answered below.
How is Reclaimed Brick Veneer Made?
During the reclamation process, certain bricks may be identified as having flaws or defects that would render them unsuitable for larger projects such as building walls or walkways. So long as these bricks have a top surface that is basically intact, they may be used to create brick veneer. After carefully separating the bricks, they are then cleaned in preparation for cutting.
A masonry saw is used to cut each brick into slabs that are 3/8” thick. This ensures uniform tiles that are durable enough for a variety of projects. After cutting, the tiles are carefully packed to protect them from damage while being stored or shipped.
Advantages of Reclaimed Brick Veneer
There are many advantages to reclaimed brick veneer, the biggest one being that an entire brick no longer has to be discarded just because it has some damage. Salvaging at least part of the brick reduces the burden on landfills, and is therefore an environmentally-sound practice. Other advantages of reclaimed veneer include:
- Being a material that is very easy for beginners to work with, making it ideal for a number of DIY projects.
- The fact that brick veneer is very lightweight and suitable for locations where traditional brick may be too heavy.
- Having a vintage appearance that is identical to other forms of reclaimed brick.
- Being more economical than purchasing full blocks of reclaimed brick or newly-manufactured veneer.
- Providing added insulation and soundproofing when added to exterior walls.
- Requiring very little maintenance or repairs to keep the veneer in tip-top condition.
There are many uses for a brick tile. As mentioned, reclaimed brick veneer is very lightweight, and is therefore suitable in areas where the added weight of full brick might be too heavy. Brick veneer can be added to accent walls, hearths, floors, and kitchen backsplashes without needing to reinforce their surrounding structures first. They may also be used in areas where weight is not a concern such as:
- Outdoor walkways and sidewalks
- Concrete patios and steps
- Ceilings of enclosed porches
- Wishing wells, fountains, garden ponds, and other water features
- Retaining walls
- Raised garden or flower beds
- Outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, or barbeque areas
Tips for Working with Reclaimed Veneer
Prepare your surface well by ensuring it is clean, dry, and free of any defects such as cracks or dips. Many bricklayers recommend cutting a few bricks in half before beginning your project. They claim that doing so saves time because you will not have to stop in the middle of your project to cut more brick.
When placing veneer on a wall, secure a straight piece of wood against the bottom, using a level to ensure it is perfectly lined up. This piece of wood will act as a “ledger”, allowing you to keep subsequent rows of brick straight. Once you have completed the entire wall, the ledger may then be removed.
Install full rows before moving on to the next. After each row, recheck your work using a four-foot level. Make any adjustments quickly, as the adhesive used to attach brick veneer will begin to dry in as little as 20 minutes.
Reclaimed brick veneer is an excellent solution for a variety of projects both indoors and out. To see one of the largest selections of reclaimed veneer available anywhere, please contact us.