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brick backsplash kitchen 11

brick backsplash kitchen 11

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Houzzers, I get the feeling from some Comments sections that many of you are afraid of using brick in the kitchen, and that’s a shame. Brick can lend a wonderful historic look, warm up a kitchen or make you feel like you’re in an urban loft. On the other hand, you fear you’ll wind up with a stack of greasy, hard-to-clean masonry stacked behind your stove. Or perhaps you suspect that a thin brick veneer will look oh so faux. There’s no need to fear. Here’s the lowdown on brick and brick veneer: whether or not to seal it, how to make a brick veneer look authentic and how to maintain and clean it — it’s much easier than you think.


Avocado Sweets Design Studio This kitchen, in a former Victorian school in London, shows how well bright colors can work with exposed brick in the kitchen. It is also very functional for the foodies who live here.“We coated the brick with a clear satin varnish to project it and avoid bits of brick flaking off,” says Evros Agathou, creative director of Avocado Sweets Interior Design Studio. The clients were nervous about food stains on the brick, so the designers added a stainless steel sheet as a backsplash behind the range to put them at ease. “Bricks are exposed to far harsher conditions than food spills and stand up very well,” Agathou says. “I think that if the brick has a protective coating on it, such as a varnish, it shouldn’t stain, but I haven’t tried it … yet!”See the rest of this loft


This kitchen, in a former Victorian school in London, shows how well bright colors can work with exposed brick in the kitchen. It is also very functional for the foodies who live here.“We coated the brick with a clear satin varnish to project it and avoid bits of brick flaking off,” says Evros Agathou, creative director of Avocado Sweets Interior Design Studio. The clients were nervous about food stains on the brick, so the designers added a stainless steel sheet as a backsplash behind the range to put them at ease. “Bricks are exposed to far harsher conditions than food spills and stand up very well,” Agathou says. “I think that if the brick has a protective coating on it, such as a varnish, it shouldn’t stain, but I haven’t tried it … yet!”See the rest of this loft


Phillip W Smith General Contractor, Inc. The easiest way to get the look of real brick without having to accommodate its weight is to use a brick veneer, which is typically ¾ inch thick. The veneer on this backsplash is Thin Brick by Boral Stone in Tuscan Blend. It is a concrete-based product.“Sealants are not necessary on these products,” says Kris Knannlein of Boral Stone Answers. “However, if you choose to seal it, it must be a silane-based breathable sealer.” She warns that using a sealer may darken the color, slow the natural movement of moisture out of the brick and/or increase the possibility of efflorescence.Anatomy of a Brick Veneer Wall


The easiest way to get the look of real brick without having to accommodate its weight is to use a brick veneer, which is typically ¾ inch thick. The veneer on this backsplash is Thin Brick by Boral Stone in Tuscan Blend. It is a concrete-based product.“Sealants are not necessary on these products,” says Kris Knannlein of Boral Stone Answers. “However, if you choose to seal it, it must be a silane-based breathable sealer.” She warns that using a sealer may darken the color, slow the natural movement of moisture out of the brick and/or increase the possibility of efflorescence.Anatomy of a Brick Veneer Wall


Jane Kim Design Speaking of lofts, New York City architect Jane Kim is no stranger to working with exposed antique brick. In this loft, in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, she embraced the former warehouse’s industrial past, accentuating the brick with reclaimed wood and steel. Long, open shelves underscore the brick pattern and break up the large expanse. As for old brick in the kitchen, Kim recommends sealing it. “We usually seal it with a matte brick sealer to keep the dust from getting all over the kitchen,” she says.


Speaking of lofts, New York City architect Jane Kim is no stranger to working with exposed antique brick. In this loft, in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, she embraced the former warehouse’s industrial past, accentuating the brick with reclaimed wood and steel. Long, open shelves underscore the brick pattern and break up the large expanse. As for old brick in the kitchen, Kim recommends sealing it. “We usually seal it with a matte brick sealer to keep the dust from getting all over the kitchen,” she says.


Locati Architects Dennee has discovered some installation tricks for making veneer look like real brick. “In terms of pulling off this look, I think the biggest thing is to use the brick from inside corner to inside corner and from the countertop all the way to the bottom of the cabinet or ceiling,” he says. “To truly suggest a convincing brick wall upon which the cabinets were hung, you need to eliminate revealing that the material is a veneer — ending the brick on an inside corner, and never and outside corner, is part of this.”


Dennee has discovered some installation tricks for making veneer look like real brick. “In terms of pulling off this look, I think the biggest thing is to use the brick from inside corner to inside corner and from the countertop all the way to the bottom of the cabinet or ceiling,” he says. “To truly suggest a convincing brick wall upon which the cabinets were hung, you need to eliminate revealing that the material is a veneer — ending the brick on an inside corner, and never and outside corner, is part of this.”


Locati Architects Architect Greg Dennee of Locati Architects opted for a brick veneer in his own Montana kitchen. “It can be applied similarly to a tile, not requiring any additional structural support,” he says. “Mine was grouted by an accomplished mason, giving it an authentic feel.”Dennee opted not to seal his veneer. “Honestly, it is really simple to clean, and we have never had an issue with it, even at the back of the cooktop,” he says. “That said, we have sealed some bricks and stones with transparent, no-sheen masonry sealers for our clients with good success.”Note the vertical row of bricks Dennee added across the backsplash. This is called a soldier course and is typically seen at the base or top of a brick wall, often on exteriors. “I thought it would be fun and unexpected to use it to set off the range and hood from the rest of the backsplash areas,” he says.


Architect Greg Dennee of Locati Architects opted for a brick veneer in his own Montana kitchen. “It can be applied similarly to a tile, not requiring any additional structural support,” he says. “Mine was grouted by an accomplished mason, giving it an authentic feel.”Dennee opted not to seal his veneer. “Honestly, it is really simple to clean, and we have never had an issue with it, even at the back of the cooktop,” he says. “That said, we have sealed some bricks and stones with transparent, no-sheen masonry sealers for our clients with good success.”Note the vertical row of bricks Dennee added across the backsplash. This is called a soldier course and is typically seen at the base or top of a brick wall, often on exteriors. “I thought it would be fun and unexpected to use it to set off the range and hood from the rest of the backsplash areas,” he says.


Robert Paige Cabinetry LLC “Removing the outlets from the brick backsplash will most certainly improve the overall look and help convey a more convincing look,” Dennee says. He recommends moving the backsplash electrical outlets up high, set horizontally, or using Plugmold-style strip outlets if possible. (Be sure to comply with safety codes and use a professional electrician.)In the Lowcountry kitchen, there are no outlets mucking up the brick pattern or giving away that it’s a veneer. “The outlets are concealed in a cavity underneath the cabinets along with the undercabinet lighting, using either Plugmold strips or shallow junction boxes,” Paige says.


“Removing the outlets from the brick backsplash will most certainly improve the overall look and help convey a more convincing look,” Dennee says. He recommends moving the backsplash electrical outlets up high, set horizontally, or using Plugmold-style strip outlets if possible. (Be sure to comply with safety codes and use a professional electrician.)In the Lowcountry kitchen, there are no outlets mucking up the brick pattern or giving away that it’s a veneer. “The outlets are concealed in a cavity underneath the cabinets along with the undercabinet lighting, using either Plugmold strips or shallow junction boxes,” Paige says.