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Tips and Guides

Expert Advice: Working With Bricks At Home

Discover different ways on how you can incorporate these materials into your home and where to buy them

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Photography: Dairy Darilag and Paolo Feliciano (Main Photos)

There's no denying that brick walls can add charm and character to any space. When you spot these materials—whether in a coffee shop or in a home—you'd be left wanting to try out the look, too. A favorite among designers and homeowners, bricks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some may prefer one kind over another, but regardless of your choice, bricks give a needed warmth to a place's interiors.

It can also help you achieve various styles like rustic, industrial, and even shabby chic as bricks can adapt to the decor and other finishes in your space. If you've always wanted to work with this material, here are important points to keep in mind:

Where can you use bricks?

Bricks are commonly used in accent walls. Limit the use of the material to a maximum of two to three areas in your interior. Here are some areas in your house or condo where you can use bricks as an accent:

  • In the living area—on the wall behind your sofa or on the wall that frames your TV
  • In the dining area—on the focal wall that stands nearest your dining set

*For shared walls in the living and dining areas, you can dress the wall in the same material

  • In the hallway—on your gallery wall where you display your collection of portraits, artwork, and frames
  • In the kitchen—as a backsplash (the space between your countertop and overhead cabinets) or on the side walls and above your overhead cabinets (if you're using the rougher kind of brick)
  • In the bathroom—for your vanity area, on the wall behind your counter, or as an accent in the shower area

*For the kitchen and bathroom areas, make sure you choose bricks that are in tile form—these are not porous and are easy to clean—to make sure they are suitable to use in wet areas.

  • In the bedroom—on your headboard wall or on the wall the frames your TV

It would also be charming to use the material throughout the condo, just make sure to break areas up and create separate focal points. To do this, you can put up an artwork or mirrors. You can also take note of the abovementioned accent areas and choose to finish the said walls in another material like paint or wallpaper.

What are the things you need to keep in mind when buying and installing bricks?

Before going to home depots and purchasing bricks for your space, make sure you accomplish these must-dos first:

1. Check the wall or walls where you intend to install the bricks. If you have a concrete wall, you can install directly on it. Meanwhile, if the wall happens to be an interior partition which is non-load bearing, it is advisable to build a new accent wall that protrudes from the existing. A 3/4"-thick plywood with solid wood supports is favorable. Make sure that the supports are anchored toward the floor and ceiling for stability.

2. Knock on your desired wall to check if it is made of concrete or lightweight materials. A concrete wall will give a solid sound while the latter has a hollow sound, as if knocking on wood.

3. Take measurements of the wall you want to finish in bricks. This will help you estimate the quantity of bricks you need to purchase. Don't forget to take into consideration the spaces in between the bricks for the grout.

Ready to purchase your materials? Take note of these tips:

  • When choosing bricks, you can opt for brick veneers, faux bricks, tiles in brick design, or even wallpaper with brick print to simulate the look and feel of real ones. Keep in mind that real bricks are created to be load bearing and you won't be needing that in your condo as it will only add more weight to your unit. Consider using the alternatives to spruce up your space.
  • Don't hesitate to ask about the appropriate adhesive and finishing material (if needed) to use for different brick types. Your supplier should be able to recommend a few options. 
Where can you buy bricks?

Bricks are widely available in our local depots. Check out stores like Wilcon Home Depot and CW Home Depot—both have a selection of faux individual and tile bricks.

Separate stores like GT Stoneworks, EZ Rocks, and other product suppliers in the Balintawak area offer clay bricks—just make sure you choose the thinner alternative when working on condo units. For wallpaper with brick design, check out Season’s Fabrics at CW Home Depot, WallCrown Design Center, and DM Wallpaper.

PHOTOS: Dairy Darilag | Paolo Feliciano | Miguel Nacianceno

Interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and is one of the go-to designers for the Real Living Makeovers. You can get in touch with her through e-mail: vera.villarosa[at]gmail.com.

 

 

Do you have questions or concerns about your home's layout, furniture, and color scheme? Send your questions to reallivingonline[at]gmail.com with the subject: Expert Advice. We might answer and feature your queries online.

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