N interesting new siding product is now available that mimics the appearance and durability of classic brick, but that installs as easily as any other siding material. Mortarless brick veneer systems use stackable bricks to create an appealing faзade on wood, steel, or concrete structures. The high-strength concrete bricks are long-lasting—manufacturers offer warranties up to 50 years. And because brick veneer does not require mortar, installation is well within the capabilities of interested homeowners.
Veneer bricks are available in three and four inch heights, and they are either eight or nine inches long, depending on the producer. Bricks weigh approximately five pounds each and add t h reu and a quarter inches to the face of walls. While veneer brick systems can be used in both new construction and remodel projects, application is restricted due to the added load: up to 30 feet high on standard wood framed walls. Consult with a professional builder or structural engineer for walls taller than 30 feet, as well as sections of wall above roofs.
When planning a brick veneer siding project, it’s best to work with the manufacturer or a local dealer to determine materia] availability in your area. To accurately estimate materials, youll need to know’ the total surface area to be covered with veneer brick, the width of each wall and opening for starter strip, and the length of each corner for quantity of corner strip and corner block.
Prior to installation, make sure the framing and wall substrate is sound and the house is adequately insulated. Extend all plumbing and electrical pipes, boxes, and meters to accommodate the additional thickness created by the veneer brick and furring strips.
Brick veneer siding attaches to your house with mechanical fasteners, so you can achieve the appeal of brick without the mess of mortar.
The following pages discuss the installation of brick veneer siding on standard wood framed walls. All openings require extra support in the form of three-quarter-inch plywood lintels. Lintel size is determined by the width of the opening and the brick installation method over the opening (soldier coursing shown here). Contact the manufacturer or product producer (see Resources, page 3 ] 4) for information regarding lintel sizing, as well as installation of veneer brick on other framing styles.
Tape measure Chalk line 4-ft. level L tility knife Circular saw Miter saw with diamond masonry-cutting blade or wet masonry saw Hammer drill with masonry bits
Rubber mallet Cordless drill with various drivers Caulk gun Eye protection Work gloves Safety glasses Dust mask Earplugs ‘/" plywood
Furring strips Flashing
Self-adhesive waterproof membrane (1×3,
1 x 4, ] x 6)
#10 x 2Vi" and #10 x 4" corrosion-resistant wood screwrs Scrap 2×4 Outside corner strips
Starter strips Veneer bricks Outside corner blocks Inside corner blocks Window’ sill block Construction adhesive Exterior-grade caulk
Prepare the wall. Veneer stones can be applied to a full wall or as an accent on the lower portion of a wall. A top height of 36 to 42" looks good.
A layer of expanded metal lath (stucco lath) is attached over a substrate of building paper.
Apply a scratch coat. The wall in the installation area should be covered with a 1/2- to "-thick layer of mortar. Mix one part Type N mortar to two parts masonry sand and enough water to make the consistency workable. Apply with a trowel, and let the mortar dry for 30 minutes. Brush the surface with a stiff-bristle brush.
Test layouts. Uncrate large groups of stones and dry-lay them on the ground to find units that blend well together in shape as well as in color. This will save an enormous amount of time as you install the stones.
Cut veneer stones, if necessary, by scoring with an angle grinder and diamond blade along a cutting line. Rap the waste side of the cut near the scored line with a mason’s hammer or a maul. The stone should fracture along the line.
Try to keep the cut edge out of view as much as you can.
Apply the stones. Mix mortar in the same ratios as in step 2, but instead of applying it to the wall, apply it to the backs of the stones with a trowel. A 1A"-thick layer is about right. Press the mortared stones against the wall in their position. Hold them for a few second so they adhere.
Fill the gaps between stones with mortar once all of the stones are installed and the mortar has had time to dry. Fill a grout bag (sold at concrete supply stores) with mortar mixture and squeeze it into the gaps. Once the mortar sets up, strike it smooth with a jointing tool.
Option: Install sill blocks. These are heavier and wider than the veneer block so they require some reinforcement. Attach three 2 x 2" zinc-coated L-brackets to the wall for each piece of sill block. Butter the backs of the sill blocks with mortar and press them in place, resting on the L-brackets. Install metal flashing first for extra protection against water penetration.