What are brick slips and how are they used?

What are brick slips?

You’ve probably heard of brick slips and brick tiles, but what are they?

Brick slips, or brick tiles, are thin slices of brick that are cut to a thickness of around 20mm. These thin, lightweight slices of brick are used as tiles to replicate the look of genuine, exposed brickwork.

The terms ‘brick slips’ and ‘brick tiles’ are often used interchangeably, and it is usually at the discretion of the supplier which one they use.

As a supplier, we provide them cut from a full-sized brick and prefer to use the term ‘brick slips.’

Slips are very versatile and are often used in a variety of construction and renovation projects, such as feature walls, fireplaces, and even exterior facades.

Entrance of Halle St Peters in Manchester, which is cladded using linear size handmade brick slips.


How are brick slips manufactured?

There are two ways brick slips can be manufactured.

The most common method of producing slips is to cut the face off existing full-sized bricks using specialised machinery. They can be cut from most new and reclaimed bricks, including handmade, extruded and pressed types.

Alternatively, brick slips can be specially manufactured using a similar process to bricks.

When producing handmade slips, a clot of clay is prepared and thrown into a wooden mould dusted with fine, dry sand. Excess clay is removed from the mould with a wire bow before being inverted to remove the shaped slip. These are left to air dry, then stacked into a kiln and fired.

With machine made slips, the moulding process is performed mechanically. Depending on the type and finish of the slips, these can be extruded and cut by wire, or hydraulically pressed into a mould.

The manufacturing process used will differ depending on the supplier or brand. Neither method is superior to the other, but many suppliers prefer to cut from existing bricks.

Interior of a kitchen extension. The walls to the right and left side of the image look like exposed brickwork, which were created using yellow handmade brick slips.


How to use brick slips

Brick slips can be installed in the same way as traditional tiling, or by fixing to prefabricated cladding panels prior to installation on site.

For most domestic uses, brick slips are applied to interior walls in a similar way to typical tiling.

Slips should be applied to a clean, dust-free wall using a flexible tile adhesive and spaced using 10mm T-shaped tile spacers.

After fixing, sealant can be applied to protect the slips – this is highly recommended for splashback areas such as kitchens.

Once the sealant is dry, the slips should be pointed using a pointing mortar.

Following completion, a final coat of sealant can be applied for additional protection if needed.

Prefabricated cladding is most often used for external applications. They are usually produced off-site in panels, then delivered to site and fixed in place.

There are many different brick cladding systems available from various manufacturers and their suitability will depend on your project requirements.

In any case, we recommend speaking directly to manufacturers who will advise the best options for you.

Handmade brick slips being applied to an external cladding system. the slips to the left are finished and mortared, the slips to the right side are not.


Benefits of using brick slips

Choosing to use brick slips has many benefits – the main one being that they look the same as a real brick wall!

Brick slips enable you to easily create the look of an exposed brick wall in your home without having to strip back interior walls.

They’re also a cost-effective alternative to conventional bricks. They are less expensive to transport, and simpler and faster to install compared to their traditional counterparts.

Additionally, brick slips are long lasting and can withstand extreme temperatures, making them a great choice for both internal and external applications.



Now that you have a better understanding of brick slips, you can confidently consider using them for your next project.

These versatile and lightweight brick slices can easily create the look and feel of exposed brickwork in a variety of construction and renovation projects, from stunning feature walls to cladding the exterior façade of a building.

Thanks to their easy and time-saving installation, cost-effective appeal, and natural durability, they’re a smart alternative to traditional brickwork.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a professional contractor, using brick slips is a practical solution for achieving the sought-after aesthetic appeal of exposed brick, without the hassle.

Thinking about using brick slips for your upcoming project? We offer a wide range of handmade, extruded, and pressed slips in a variety of colours and finishes, all cut to order from our brick ranges.