Do I need to seal Brick slips after fitting?
Brick slips are becoming more and more popular in both the residential and commercial sectors. Ideal for use externally and internally, they provide a cost effective and stunning rustic brick wall look They're also easy to maintain but we are often asked, do you need to seal brick slips?
Sealing Brick Slips
Firstly, the vast majority of people do not use a sealant. The rustic and textured style is why you went for brick slips in the first place and they are highly durable, so sealing them is not a must.
However, if they are to be used in a environment where frequent cleaning will be required (behind a hob etc), or if you just have a clean freak in your house, it might be best to apply an appropriate sealant to protect the brick slip surface and to make them easier to clean.
Likewise an untreated slip brick can absorb liquid fairly easily due to their porous nature. so if you are planning to use them externally or behind a sink for example, it's also best to seal the brick slips
Clean the slips before you start
It's always best to clean the brick slips before you start. We've created a separate article for cleaning brick slips, which is worth reading before you start, but like most things in life, it's important you take your time and prepare well before starting!
If your brick slips have only recently been fitted, then do not follow our brick slip cleaning guide as it can take between 6 and 8 weeks for the mortar to fully cure.
Please be aware. If you seal the bricks without cleaning, any stains or marks will be 'sealed' onto the slips, so it's important that your remove them before, even if it means waiting a few weeks to clean the brick slips properly before sealing.
You need to make sure you are happy with the brick slip wall before you starting sealing, this includes any dried adhesive or mortar that are on the thin bricks, which can be removed with a wire brush
Remove the stains with mild washing up liquid and water
We recommend that you DO NOT user any products containing acid as it could damage the brick slips and your health, especially if used indoors!
Sealing brick slips
If you've cleaned the wall, are happy with how it looks and have ensured that it's dry from the cleaning you are ready to start sealing the brick slips cladding
When choosing a brick sealant, there's plenty of choice within the UK. Most of them have different properties for different applications so ensure that you read the data sheets and confirm that the product is fit to use with the slips. If in doubt, it's always worth discussing with the retailer prior to purchase and builders merchants are generally better than DIY stores for this purpose.
*This article is meant as a general guide. You should always read the manufacturers instructions before use
A matt sealant will leave a matt finish on the brick slips.
Matt sealant will make the least difference to the original colour of the brick, so is advisable unless you are looking for a shiny gloss finish
A gloss brick sealant will give a shiny/gloss type finish to the brick slips
It can also give a deeper colour to the brick slip which enhances the natural colours.
To summarise it really is personal preference as to whether you seal your brick slips or not. Areas which are prone to getting dirty and wet would benefit from a sealant, but brick slips are durable in nature so sealing them isn't a necessity.
However if you do decide to seal your brick slips it's always worth trying the sealant on an off cut or spare tile, prior to applying to the wall to ensure it has the effect you desire.