DIY Help: Installing brick veneer on an interior wall

Does anyone have any experience installing brick veneer on an interior wall?

It doesn’t look too difficult, but I find a lot of contradictory info on the web. Some say that it can be installed directly over drywall/sheetrock using an adhesive. Others say that you need to go down to the studs, put up hardie board, then a wire mesh, a scratch coat, and finally use thinset to install the bricks.

I see lots of videos on putting up the actual bricks, but very little about surface prep. Any advice would be appreciated!

use thin decorative veneer bricks (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick).

if you use drywall only paper is holding it up (mostly).

use hard cement board, then you can use an adhesives (on the back) with just decorative mortar in between.

Is there not a recommended install procedure, spec sheet etc available from the manufacturer? Usually there is a least a list of acceptable substrates. That would be a good place to start, because ‘brick veneer’ could describe a variety of products with quite different installation requirements.

I always research product I am installing even if I am hiring a sub trade to install it. A lot of guys just do what they’ve been taught or think is good enough or can get away with. Coming back to fix shortcuts is just too much of a hassle, so I rather it be done right, and manufacturers recommendations are a good start.

Its pretty easy to cut out drywall and replace it with whatever is best. If just using thinset adhesive Hardi board, Denshield or cement board are better substrates than ordinary drywall. Tile is often installed directly on (sealed) drywall in dry locations, but brick veneer may be a bit heavy. If metal lathe and mortar are involved plywood is going to be much nicer to staple the lathe to rather than trying to staple through drywall to studs. I cant imagine Hardie board is good to staple into.

I’m not to the “look at specific products and read the documentation” phase yet; I’m more in the “that looks like that would be a fun project to take on” phase.

Also, any tips on how to work around wall outlets? Specifically, what do I do with the outlets themselves so that they’re not recessed the thickness of the brick?

you can get an extension ring (rectangle) which brings the device out to the new wall surface.

You can pull the outlets out a half inch from the box so that they won’t be recessed. If the screws holding the outlet to the box are too short after you pull the outlet forward, get some #6-32 machine screws of the appropriate length to replace them.

As I understand it, accepted practice is to use extension boxes as mentioned above. Usually electricians insist on it when tile for example is applied to a previously bare wall. I deal with it all the time in kitchen renos when we add new tile backsplash. Electrical boxes are designed to contain sparks, and do not do that very well if the wall plate is sitting off of them by half an inch. It is easy to move the box out to the new wall surface if they are screwed from the inside, but often especially in older buildings the mounting screws/nails are on the outside of the box, behind the drywall.

On the general topic:

Among this place’s charms is the fireplace in the Family room = it looks like random stone of some sort, but I’m certain, given the build quality, it is not.
It is both 1" or so raised, and protrudes 3-4" from the wall; the firebox is a prefab unit without gas line. It does, however extend beyond the face of the sheetrock.
This is Sacramento, 1979 - 100’s of boxes thrown up for the boomers who were finally getting around to nest-building.

Any ideas what this is? Is is it a sheet product that I can just knock down and have a real mantle piece installed, or am I stuck with the ugly? One wall of this room was completely covered in floor-to-ceiling mirror - got rid of that crap.

Yeah, it’s probably a much better idea than mine.