What’s wrong with faking it?

I’m talking interiors here folks, so if the headline has grabbed you for the wrong reasons, then I apologise (or maybe not – I’m happy to try any cheap attempt to get readers).

Kitchen renovations are never stress free and as I write this I would like to say I’m nearing the end of mine, but to be honest (and someone told me that’s a very brummie thing to say), I think I still have a few weeks to go judging by the pace my ever depleting building team are moving at.

However, whilst I’m not quite there yet, I would like to share with you how easy it is to add texture and a wow feature with a fake brick wall.

I’ve been posting pictures on Instagram Stories of my kitchen development and the stories that get the most questions are my brick wall. Brick slips are not a new phenomenon and I’ve been adding them to developments, particularly kitchen ones for the past 2 years.

This first set of pictures is from a full house renovation in Richmond, South West London.

jane fitch interiors brick slips fake brick wall

Before picture (nice bike) – but please focus on the chimney breast.

jane fitch interiors brick slips fake brick wall

Ta – da Look at the transformation from the simple brick slips (sorry – ignore lady getting in the way of my shot!)

 

These next pictures are from a kitchen extension (which was also part of a full house renovation) in Clapham.

jane fitch interiors brick slips clapham fake brick wall

You can see here the brick slips starting to go on the wall.

 

jane fitch interiors brick slips clapham fake brick wall

The finished wall (not finished kitchen though)

When I started my kitchen development the introduction of a faux brick wall was a feature that both myself and my partner agreed on. However, when I came to research buying the slips, my starting point was the same place I sourced them from for my clients.  However, when I added up how many I needed I came to the horrific conclusion that we couldn’t afford to have them on our development. Over a £1000 on brick tiles – and that’s not including the labour for a very time consuming jobby.

Matter of factly I told Brenden (said partner) that it was not happening, or if it did then maybe it could be to a lesser degree – maybe on the teeny tiny wall space either side of the patio doors. It’s only a small wall, so the cost would be less – right? Mr Grumpy (yes he’s been renamed 3 times now) was not happy and was not keen to budge. We had to have those brick tiles and something else in the budget would have to make room!!

So I set about researching cheaper alternatives.

Many samples later, eBay came up trumps. Click here to be directed to the eBay seller who saved my bacon. Delivery of samples was super quick. Then, when I ordered by 35 Square Metres – they arrived in a matter of days. Great for a last minute planner like me.

By the way, I tried cheap imitations like the concrete ones, but, urgh! they looked really cheap. I only sourced them from eBay so I’m not sure if there are credible ones out there. But they weren’t for me I’m afraid.

Anyway, the upshot is that my partner, Brenden, Mr Grumpy is now Mr Happy (for the moment), that’s when he’s not Mr Dust freak or Mr ‘haven’t they finished yet?’.

My new eBay sourced tiles are less than a third of the cost of my original source and for me the quality has not been compromised. Yippee, win win.

So, if you’re thinking of faking it yourself, then here are my top tips.

  1. Shop around and bag yourself an eBay bargain.
  2. When ordering, think about corner detail. I didn’t have any, but if you do have corners, you can get corner bricks slips too.
  3. Estimate wall coverage and then add at least 10%. I added 15% because I expected breakages and because my measuring is usually very inaccurate. Also if you end up short (not in stature terms), then you end up paying extra for delivery and all your hard earned savings start to disappear.
  4. Use a strong tile adhesive to stick them to the wall – but remember that the space between should emulate a real brick wall. Industry standard is 10mm – so we used left over 10mm thick ply as our spacers. Nothing like a bit of recycling rubbish for the building works.
  5. Make sure the rows are level. We used a laser line, but a spirit level works just as well. Keep checking each row to make sure it stays level though.
  6. Think about the colour of your pointing. Ask your builders if time permits, to mix a sample of the pointing. I didn’t have time, so I showed my builders the colour I wanted and I let them get on with it. Risky!! The pointing is the most time consuming part of the project. It has to be done properly. No holes allowed or else you’ll get problems later on.
  7. Don’t forget you can use these brick tiles externally too, but make sure you use the right adhesive and grouting mix.

As I said before, my kitchen is not yet finished, but here are the progress pictures.

 

jane fitch interiors brick slips brick wall fake brick wall

Please ignore the curtains in the background. They were left from the previous owners, plus that room has not been touched yet!! Focus on the wall……..

jane fitch interiors brick slips brick wall fake

Here it is, complete with fake beam also. I just love faking it – don’t you?

 

Please pop back in a couple of weeks (hopefully not months) to see the final pics of the whole kitchen. Any questions, please comment or email me. Feel free to subscribe, so that my kitchen update just pops in nicely to your (already crammed with spam) email inbox.

 

cheerio me lovelies.