A little history…
It seems only yesterday since I was writing a blog post on brick fireplaces, I actually created a post on brick slips being used in a brick fireplace way back in September last year.
Increasing numbers of emails and calls from our customers with questions surrounding this subject has meant that I feel the need to touch up and hopefully shed some more light and provide more information on brick slips and brick fireplaces.
20 years ago it seemed nobody wanted a fireplace, blocking them up and installing electric fires was all the rage.
Fast forward to present day…
The trend for a traditional brick look fireplace has increased exponentially over the last 2 to 3 years, and using brick slips as a method to clad fireplaces is the new burning trend. The method of installation can be quick and easy and has been used by commercial contractors for many years.
Brick Slips offer a hassle free and simpler alternative to traditional brick work especially where there is limited space. If we rewind back 120 years when central heating wasn’t a common household feature, brick fireplaces were common within the vast majority of Olde Victorian households.
Homes would traditionally feature a fireplace in any room that adjoined the chimney breast and would often be lined with an ornamental cast iron liner.
This tradition and history especially from the early Victorian influence means that red brick and red clay brick slips seem to be the popular choice for the use on modern designed fireplaces.
Red brick and reclaimed bricks offer a certain element of history and patina. This history is what most designers are looking to capitalise on and emphasise on that Olde Victorian styled look.
A common question which myself and my colleagues keep getting asked is… Can our slips be used in open fires ?
Unfortunately due to fire and its unpredictable nature, coupled with the varied methods of every single installation we cannot recommend using brick slips in open fires at this time.
The recommended distance that the slips would need to be from any heat source is 4 inches or 100mm this is to allow for ventilation, cooling and substrate protection.
Installing brick slips as a brick fireplace is fairly easy if you follow the guidance and tips that we give on this site. Firstly I would never recommend installing brick slips in a fireplace with the intention of leaving the joints un-pointed, you do not want to allow any area where heat can penetrate through to the substrate.
Doing this could compromise the structural integrity of the wall. Our standard rapid set adhesive is the best adhesive to use when fixing your brick slips to the wall, using rapid set instead of a tubed adhesive is more cost effective and allows a better more secure coverage.
Remember back to my earlier point, when installing your brick slip brick fireplace you need to account for a minimum of 100mm clearance between the brick slips and any heat source.
Once installed the whole structure must be pointed with a fire cement. The fire cement will protect the substrate from any heat ingress and ensure that the installation is safe and that the walls are fully protected.
If you do have any reservations about using brick slips in your brick fireplace and you feel you need further advice I would always recommend you contacting your local building controller or local council just to be sure.
Corners slips, corner slips, corner slips… I cannot emphasise enough how much of a difference the use of corners make in executing an authentic brick slip brick fireplace. Corners make all the difference between the eye believing what they are looking at is a real brick structure.
If your fireplace goes round corners and it needs corners them please do not skimp, go that extra mile and use our brick slip corners. A little extra cost will make a big difference.
Yes brick slips look fantastic when used in brick fireplaces! When installed correctly they can be a fantastic show piece worthy of any room! Have a go and let your creative side take over…
Why not Ask Andy!
If you’re in doubt or wish to discuss this subject further then give Andy a shout in the comments box below! Also, be sure to check back in here for future additions to our popular “Ask Andy”column. Send your questions in to Ask Andy and if your question gets featured receive a Free love2shop voucher worth £10.