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Creating exposed brick walls: The pros and cons

Exposed brick work comes in and out of fashion more than most interior finishes, both in the home and in commercial spaces. It’s an iconic style, but it’s not for everybody. So how do you know if spending the time creating this look is worth it for you and your home?

Luckily for you, the National Design Academy has done all the hard thinking for you and below are the pros and cons to help you decide.

What are the pros of exposed brick work?

Exposed brick Interior design inspiration

  1. Exposed brick work can add contrast to a space, especially when mixed with a diverse range of finishes. High-gloss and mirrored finishes are always well complimented with the use of brickwork.
  2. It can add texture to an otherwise uninteresting space.
  3. It can also help to add warmth to a space, especially when red brick is exposed, creating a homely feel.
  4. Exposing your brickwork is not as expensive as some other wall finishes, as long as you have the right equipment and the time to dedicate to the work.
  5. The technique can also be used to create a focal point within a space, just like any other wall covering.
  6. Exposed brickwork, when treated correctly, can be highly durable, therefore works well in high traffic areas such as hallways.


What are the cons of exposed brick work?

Exposed brick problems in interior design

  1. Exposed brickwork is not for everyone and some can see this as ‘messy’ looking. If a clean finish is what you are looking for then this is not the finish for you.
  2. If the technique is not used correctly it can make a space look unfinished.
  3. Your bricks may not be of the best quality, and without removing part of the plaster you will never know.
  4. The colour of your brick is pre-determined, and although this can be painted, you would then lose the ‘natural’ look. So to maintain the original look, you would just need to make do.
  5. Your brick work must be treated once it is exposed, as otherwise you will find that the quality deteriorates, and this is something which will take time.
  6. Your brickwork will also require maintenance, which will include brushing, cleaning and re-treating, which again will take time.

So have you made your decision? Is exposed brickwork for you? If so take a look at the 5 top tips below to consider when creating this look.

5 Tips to create an exposed brick wall

  1. Expose a small amount of the brick first and assess the quality and colour before making your final decision.
  2. Do not do too much! You do not have to expose all 4 walls, just try one wall to start with.
  3. Always use the right equipment and get professional help if you are unsure about your abilities.
  4. Painting the exposed brick can work well, but remember that paint on brick can be difficult to remove so think very carefully about this first.
  5. Finally, when the wall is finished, dress the room with a range of texture to create interest. Think about mirrors, furs and metallic’s to offer a luxury feel.

Exposed brick walls inspiration - modern interior design


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4 Responses

  1. Nice Post! Thanks for sharing such useful information. Really like the way you describe all the points.

  2. Thanks for the post on exposed brick walls. I have to say that I’m a big fan of this look, and I think it can really add contrast to a space.

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