Brick Slips - What Are They And How Are They Used?

December 16th 2019

Brick Slips - What Are They And How Are They Used?

What Are Brick Slips?

Brick Slips is a term used in the construction industry, it refers to bricks that have been cut so that their face can be used as a tile, either independently or in a cladding system. They are also referred to as brick tiles, brick veneer and thin brick.

These multiple descriptions all mean the same thing.

How Are They Used?

There are two main uses of slips currently; external cladding for large buildings, and as a tile for homes and businesses.

Tiling with Bricks

Exposed Brick is a very popular interior design choice, particularly as a feature wall. Everyone appreciates the classic look and feel of traditional masonry, and with over 3,000 possibilities there is a brick to suit everyone's taste.

Getting that exposed brick look is quite easy with brick slips. It's a simple tiling job, using a strong tile adhesive, and 10mm spacers then filling those spaces with a traditional mortar mix rather than grouting. Have a look at the advantages of using brick tiles.

External Cladding With Brick Slips

A major development in the market over the last few years has been brick slip cladding systems. This means that for large buildings, brick is simple to apply. The traditional finish is achieved by adding interlocking frames to the building, which are then filled with brick slips and completed with a mortar fill. Many different cladding systems are now on the market to hold brick slips. They are secured to the wall, and once the mortar is applied you will see no trace of the system itself.

A cladding system isn't necessary for external fitting, it just means large areas are covered in an easier method.

What Variations are there?

There are thousands of colours and textures out there to choose from, to the point where it can be quite confusing. If you want to match existing brickwork, use our brick matching service to find the one you need.

In terms of shapes, there are 4 main shapes. A full tile is the face of the brick, the most common version. Half tiles are cut from the ends of the brick and are used to create different bond patterns to add a little extra flair to the design of a wall. The other 2 shapes are for functional purposes; corner tiles allow you to seamlessly move around an external corner with a face and end together, and a reveal allows you to do the same, but vertically - over and under a doorway for example, with a face and the top of a brick.

How Are Brick Slips Made?

Almost all brick slips are simply cut from the full brick. They are either moulded by hand or extruded by machine, and fired in the kiln. After the full process, most bricks get packaged up in packs, but others go to be made into slips. The slips are then machine cut, usually to 22mm or 20mm thick and packaged up.

This process can vary slightly depending on the brick. Some bricks are manufactured to have a single face, in which case only one slip is possible, but most have 2 faces so 2 can be cut from one brick. Making half tiles is the same process, but just on the ends of the brick. To create corners and reveals means that only one can be made per brick.

How Do I Buy Brick Slips?

You can browse our brick library for what colours and textures are available, some are pre-made into brick slips at manufacturer sites, and we will arrange to cut for you. When you enquire just let us know your requirements in terms of quantity, delivery date and price and we can advise you what options are best for you and arrange samples.