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Frequently Ask Questions

You can find answers to most of the common questions about brick slips here but if you can't find what you are thinking of then contact us

You may also find the following guide useful:

BRICK SLIP FEATURE WALL PROJECT GUIDE

And if you are looking for something in a different size:

SPECIAL SIZED BRICK SLIPS AND SPECIALS

Image of six brick slips stacked in tow piles of three

Brick slips a.k.a 'Brick Tiles', 'Thin Brick', 'Veneer Bricks' are the faces of bricks. Ours are made of clay but there are other versions made of concrete, plastic, etc.

There are two ways of producing clay brick slips; cutting from a full brick or purpose making them to the required dimensions.

Yes. Our products have been tested and achieved British Standard certification for frost resistance (BS EN 771-1 F2).

We also have a range of fixing products suited for external work and can offer guidance on suitable adhesives, systems and construction advice. Contact us and let us know what you are planning.

Yes you can use our slips in fireplace openings. They are real clay and fired in a kiln to over 1000°C. The only real consideration when using them in a working fireplace is what type of fireplace you have and therefore what adhesive to use.

Wood Burning Stove

You can use a high quality bathroom tile adhesive like BAL Rapidset Flexible whose datasheet declares it is capable of withstanding temperatures up to 100°C. In the vicinity of an enclosed fire it is highly unlikely to ever see this temperature under normal circumstance.

Fireplace brick slip installation using wall tile adhesive

Open Working Fireplace

If you believe that the brick slips will encounter temperatures of over 100°C, you should consider using a refractory cement such as our KOS Fire Cement which has an operating temperature of 1200°C.

Our brick slips are attached by means of an adhesive. We offer two different types; wall tile adhesive and a foil pack silane adhesive for use with a gun (just like a sealant gun).

Wall Tile Adhesive

The most common method is using wall tile adhesive and the method is exactly the same. Clean and prepare the surface, mix the adhesive according to the pack instructions, apply a small amount to area you can lay before it goes off using a trowel or rake and then stick the brick slips. You can do this 'free hand' but you will get better results using spacers.

Silane adhesive applied using a Foil Pack Gun

Using the foil pack high grab adhesive you cut the nozzle of the gun to approximately 8mm, cut open one end of the foil pack and load it into the gun chamber. Then it is just a case of pull the trigger and apply the glue in a bead along the length of the slip. The glue sets very quickly in normal environments (>5°C with +~30% humidity).

Standard brick work has a 10mm joint spacing. Experienced builders and DIY'ers can do this by eye but for the rest of us we use spacers and they are usually offcuts but we do have T shaped spacers at a very reasonable cost.

MDF or Plaster board strips cut as spacers

You will usually have some 10mm board lying around and a few minutes of cutting can produce enough spacers. You can use a few and recycle them as the adhesive goes off while you work.

T Spacers

We offer T Spacers (standard tile + spacers do not work for laying standard brick bonds) that can be left in and pointed over. We spent quite a while finding a manufacturer of this rare product.

Levelling Line

You should always use a levelling line (that's two stick with a string between them so you can see the horizontal) when laying bricks. A 'wonky' course will be very displeasing to the eye. Nowadays lazer levels are relatively inexpensive and quicker and easier to setup and use than the traditional stick method. you could also use a spirit level but over long lengths you could find you still get a curved course.

Tracking Systems

For large areas we do offer a plastic tracking sheet with the horizontal courses guided by raised tracks. These are glued, screwed/fixed onto underlying blockwork/timber/backing boards and then the slip laying process is much faster though of course there are complexities such as around windows and doors where cutting of the sheets must occur.

You can cut these quite easily but of course the right tool for the job is required. Always use the correct eye, ear and hand protection while using any power/hand tools

Get Matclad to Pre-Cut

We will pre-cut slips for you (sometimes at a cost). The easiest method but you will need to tell us what you require and do a lot of planning to make sure you have your dimensions correct. Usually all you will need are halves but sometimes you will have to do a bit of cutting to fill in those 'irregularities' that do occur in all buildings.

Hire a Clipper or Diamond Saw

Most DIY and tool hire shops have saws capable of cutting and for a big job this is a real must. It will allow you to cut the odd sizes needed in most jobs to complete the reveals etc.

Bolster and Hammer

Traditional and low tech the bolster and hammer approach can be effective but expect losses due to irregular breaks. For best results break them on a sand/soft bed.

Pointing the brick work can be the most time consuming part and has a huge impact on the overall finish of the work. There are several ways to point the brick work each with their pros and cons

Traditional trowel method

Even to the experienced builder this is a time consuming task. Once pointing mortar has been mixed a pointing trowel is used to push pointing mortar into the joint. Try not to get too much on the surface of the brick as this can be very hard to remove. Once filled you use a finishing tool (bucket handle or joint raking tool is common) to produce the common pointing finish. The bucket handle produces the very common curved slighlty inset finish and the rake produces a recessed finish. Once the mortar is partially set you should use a wire or stiff brush to get rid of the excess on the surface.

Piping Bags and Pointing Guns

You can now buy tools to inject the mortar into the joint and this is probably the single most time saving tool you can buy. The key to using these tools is to have a very wet mortar. If it is too stiff it will not flow correctly. Piping the mortar into the joint usually ensures a completely filled joint without any voids.

Voids in pointing

It is a must to avoid any voids in the pointing especially on external jobs. Voids will fill with water and (due to expansion of frozen water crack) the pointing in cold weather