Brick Backsplash for Kitchens: What You Need to Know

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If you've always dreamt of having a Brooklyn apartment with all those rich architectural details well, you're not alone. But for those of us who don't have access to the loft life, there's no better way to get at least some of that industrial look than with a brick kitchen backsplash. Whether it's rugged, new, or even faux brick, this material creates an automatic accent by adding rich color and texture.

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When it comes to interior style, the earthy clay material complements every decor from modern to contemporary to rustic to farmhouse — there's genuinely a way to make brick work for just about everyone. Plus, it's incredibly durable. So you can install brick tile behind the stove, the sink, and anywhere else without worrying about heat damage. There are a few cons to keep in mind, though. Real brick backsplashes can be hard to clean due to the porosity of the clay and rough texture. And if not treated properly, they can easily absorb liquids and stain as a result. But some feel that stains just add to the rustic charm, and we're inclined to agree.

Ready to learn more about this do-it-all material? Here's all the brick wall kitchen inspo you need and more.

10 Brick Backsplash Ideas

1. Cover an entire accent wall with red brick.

Wall-to-wall backsplashes are hard to pull off, but brick always looks effortless. And if you're lucky enough to have the industrial material already exposed, you don't need to do any extensive home improvement work. Simply follow Sharon from Hornsby Style's lead, and complement the rustic brick backsplash with a statement-making range hood, wooden shelves, and a navy color scheme. You can't go wrong with this kind of accent wall.

2. Decide on your arrangement.

If you're going the DIY brick backsplash route, you have to consider the orientation. Will you go with a classic stacked bond pattern, or opt for a more playful installation such as herringbone or crosshatch? The painted white brick in this modern kitchen from Sita Montgomery Interiors showcases a running bond style, so each brick starts in the middle of the one below it.

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3. Create a rustic focal point and add multiple rich textures.

Add a thin brick backsplash behind the stove in a herringbone pattern for a fresh farmhouse kitchen feature that has heaps of texture and character. Jenna Sue Design created a brick focal point in this cook space and complemented the scheme with copper wall sconces, black cabinets, and wood countertops. We love it.

4. Extend upwards.

There's just something so impactful about a brick wall that runs all the way to the ceiling. It creates an industrial moment but still feels incredibly warm and inviting, and that's exactly how your kitchen should feel. In this space from Tom Howley, the clay tiles bring the entire room to life. So we recommend following his lead and stacking your brick all the way up.

5. Do something different.

Be still our beating heart. This terra cotta brick backsplash tile from Leyer has us swooning thanks to its originality. The pale bricks are arranged vertically, adding a warm glow to this simple space with white cabinets. And even though the color is simple it's far from bland.

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6. Bring out the paint.

If you're a fan of brick backsplashes but don't necessarily love the traditional color, bring out the paint. Opt for a color that feels vibrant and fun like the playful pink shade in this kitchen from Little Greene. The finished result will look completely unique, plus painted brick is much easier to clean.

7. Whitewash it.

The rustic brick backsplash in this kitchen from Jennifer Johnson almost looks too good to be true. But rest assured it is in fact real (even though there are some brilliant brick wallpaper alternatives out there). This whitewashed DIY backsplash was achieved by simply spreading a thin layer of white grout over select bricks and was done in a flash. You could even get a similar look with watered-down white paint.

8. Mix materials.

If the thought of an all-brick backsplash sounds a bit overwhelming to you, don't fret: You can totally break up the design by tossing another material into the mix. In the case of this sleek space by Bria Hammel Interiors, warm bricks and rustic wood accents are featured. And the elevated design adds an air of sophistication that's balanced with more classic elements like the white subway tile.

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9. Skip the shine.

Part of the appeal of brick is its rustic appearance. So we say skip the polish, and you can still have a refined look. The showstopping gray brick in this kitchen from Tiffany Harris Design feels a little luxe and a lot interesting. Each tile still has the classic brick texture, and the color choice warms up a more simple space.

10. Make it moody.

There's nothing we love more than a kitchen that combines light and dark colors, and this space from Kate Marker Interiors does just that. The rich brick creates contrasts against the inky island and bright white walls for the perfect amount of moodiness.

Brick Backsplash Costs

Now that you've got a few ideas on how to incorporate a brick backsplash into your new kitchen design, let's talk costs. According to HomeAdvisor, materials can average anywhere between $5 and $16 per square foot. Installation (which includes mortar, grout, and the use of special tools) generally costs between $7 and $20 per square foot.

Overall, the price range can largely depend on the project scope and design. For the budget-conscious buyer, brick veneer makes for a nice alternative, and there are even 3D wall tile panels that offer the same look.

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Brick Backsplash Installation Guide

Installing a brick backsplash may not be as intimidating as it sounds. Here are a few helpful tips and things to keep in mind if you decide to do the job yourself.

Clean the wall before starting your backsplash application. Additionally, since bricks aren't waterproof and offer no insulation, choosing the right sealant is super important. For a solid brick backsplash, apply a clear polyurethane to create a barrier against air, moisture, cooking fumes, and stains. If you're using brick veneer, stay away from silicate-based sealants, which can discolor brick veneer.

It's also important to make any marks and cuts on the backside of the bricks. This will ensure that any chips or jagged edges face the wall and aren't visible. Moreover, avoid placing bricks too close to outlets. You want to be sure to have enough room when you're replacing all of those outlet covers because the last thing anyone wants is a bare socket ruining a gorgeous backsplash design.

Don't forget to seal the joints between bricks. If you skip this step, the bricks will attract moisture or dirt. And when applying grout, stick to the joints and avoid spreading any of the substance on the actual brick surface unless you're going for a whitewashed look.

Finally, you must assess whether you're comfortable tackling a project like this yourself. Can you safely remove electrical panels, turn off the power, use a wet tile saw, and take accurate measurements? If the answer to these questions is no (or you're simply don't have the time to commit), then it's probably best to hang up your toolbox and leave the job to the pros.

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Kenya is a freelance writer from Dallas. She currently contributes to Apartment Therapy and has written for various online publications, including Playboy, Essence, Bustle and more.