Help! Exposed brick - to cover or not to cover

highspiritedJune 5, 2013
We have a strange layout in our house. The fireplace is in the center. The back of the fireplace makes up a good portion of a kitchen wall. This was cover in concrete. I have scraped off - chiseled most of it. The issue is now the brick doesn't match. I liked the idea of the brick as this would be where the island stove would be built. Just not sure if I should scrap off more possibly damaging the brick, some how dirty up the side that wasn't covered or just resurface with a newer style? Help
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sunnie2day
I think you'll find the brick does match once you've got all that concrete off and the bricks cleaned up. I wouldn't recover that, it looks fab even with the bits of concrete still on, I love it. It's a lovely accent wall, I'd definitely keep it!

Once you've got that gem cleaned up and a sealer applied, it's going to be lovely. Especially with the stove build.

Now, when you say damage, do you mean little nicks from the chisel, or great gaping furrows? Little nicks will just add character. Furrows can usually be filled and the filler stained to match the rest of the brick.

Please post more pics as you go on if you decide to retain the brick, I can't wait to see the new stove against that brick. What kind of floor covering are you going to use?
3 Likes    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Check with Home Depot or lowes for removing cement from brick. Must be a easier way. I love the brick would leave it. Work kitchen around it.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:32AM
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highspirited
Thanks for the quick replies. I do love how the brick looks. I was worried about the gaps between the brick and if after 60 years of being covered I could get an even look. You can see the line where the wall was.
For the floors we went with a brown gray tile. We considered wood but couldn't locate the older one inch strips we currently have and didn't want to get rid of the nice old floor that just needed to be re done. Green tape is the island outline range in the center with open shelves.
Was trying to have more light pass through so we also opened up the top of the door going to foyer. We were looking to maybe add an ironed frame decretive glass but the open look is starting to grow on me too.
3 Likes    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:38AM
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sunnie2day
I like the way the tile looks against the brick, nice, and so is the top light over the doorway. That is going to be a gorgeous kitchen when you're finished!
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:48AM
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Anna-Lisa
leave the brick, it's a nice accent and breaks things up.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:50AM
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nasmijati
I like the brick.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Brenda
love the brick (I have a back-of-the-fireplace brick wall in my kitchen as well). hope you can make it work.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Keep opening open. Don't over do. Love random pattern with tile. Adds interest. Should look beautiful. Post more pics as you go.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Nancy Walton
Get a professional mason in to clean up the brick--it will take muriatic acid, which is VERY caustic, and a pro will know how to handle it. Shoulsn't cost too much and will be worth it.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:01PM
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PRO
Beverly Anderson Interior Design
Me, too...keep the brick and I think the color will be fine when all the concrete is removed
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:02PM
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onthefence
Another back-of-the-fireplace brick wall in my kitchen person here as well! Love your brick and I'm so glad you decided to keep it. I'll be anxious to see your kitchen progress.

I really like the open transom above your doorway as well!
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Julia Allen
KEEP IT!! When remodeling my kitchen, the contractor uncovered a corner chimney--100 year old brick--that is basically a pillar from the basement through the second story. The mason evened out the edges, cleaned it, and we left it uncovered, just reworked the corner kitchen cabinets to incorporate it. I think it works very well with the overall warm, texture-y style of the kitchen,
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:07PM
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highspirited
Sorry, the pattern in the tiles is just the sunlight reflection from the door. The tiles are brownish with some gray tones.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:20PM
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highspirited
Wow! 100 year old brick - what a great discovery. Love it! We were not sure what was going to behind the orange and gold wall paper. :) I was glad to discover the brick completely cover the back of the fireplace.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:25PM
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highspirited
Hello all -
Quick update with pic.
I have been working with a wire rush drill bit. This seems to have done the job fairly well, although I think I was still feeling the vibration in my sleep. :) I have scrubbed and wash the brick 3 times to clear the little particles and dust away. Before sealing I am wondering if I should "age" the small portion that did not have the concrete to try and create the same look. Maybe a little grayish mortar? Open to any ideas.........
(The wood frame is a template for the island)
1 Like    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 6:37AM
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sunnie2day
Wow, Highspirited, that looks perfect just as it is, especially with the island framing showing what will be exposed and what will be covered by the island. Oh crikes I have serious 'found brick wall' envy going on here, that is just stunning! If anyone notices and mentions the faintly (very faintly, you've done an amazing job) noticeable differentiation between the two areas, your reply is going to be one heck of a great story to tell. Wow, this looks fabulous, it really does.
    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 7:20AM
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highspirited
Slow progress............ I have added 4 coats of sealer. Is that enough? Or should I go with the wet look seal?
1 Like    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Nancy Walton
No, no wet look! The beauty of it is the aged look, and a wet look sealer will accentuate the difference in the exposed vs. "concreted" brick.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 12:16PM
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highspirited
We have finally had some time to get back to work on the kitchen.
We were hoping to have the cabinets stained before the quartz arrived but we fell a little behind. Plan to stain the cabinets the darker color this weekend.
Here are a few updated photos of the island build out and counter tops………..
Due to the smaller size of the cabinets we couldn't find a small dual under mount sink- i think this square upper mount was a good option. :)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 3:39AM
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dclostboy
What are your plans for backsplash? You have multiple surfaces and textures and want to make sure it blends nicely.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 4:29AM
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tracielw
I love the brick! Wish I could uncover something like that..alas, my house was built in 1976, don't think there's anything too cool hiding except for maybe some strands of shag carpet in the corner.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 5:25AM
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highspirited
We were leaning toward a glass subway tile. But I am open to ideas, as we don't want it to look to busy.

I am attaching a pic of the cabinet color.

Any ideas???????
    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 9:18AM
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PRO
Timeless Interiors
What about doing a subtle color on a glass subway tile? Something like these:

http://eleganzatiles.com/products/residential/vetro.html

They offer several neutral colors, and lots of size options. It doesn't look like there is a ton of room for backsplash, so you may consider using a smaller tile than 3x6...like what is in the picture on the link in the install photo. As long as the color is monotone, smaller tiles with a subtle pattern should not come across as too busy.

Good luck! I love the brick wall by the way. What a great surprise...and worth all the hard work you put into it. Keep the pictures coming. It's been fun to follow!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 9:39AM
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PRO
OasisDesign&Remodeling
LOVE the brick!!! I think I would do the same quartz for a backsplash, or stainless. Definitely NOT subway. This is a nice mosaic...

http://www.glasstile.com/FullSizePopUp.aspx?id=2146
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:24AM
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jayne1313
What brick sealer are people using?
    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:56AM
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highspirited
We used rustoleum masonry sealer.
In order to really get it into the cracks I not only brushed it on but put some in a spray bottle to settle into the corse area. It seemed to work well.
1 Like    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:21PM
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flyr4fun
Love that you kept the brick! Going to look great when you're finished.
    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:34PM
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sunnie2day
I can't believe it's been over a year since you first posted this dilemma! How did it all turn out? Are the cabinets (as posted in Jan) as great as they look in the snap? And what did you decide for your splash back - did you go with the subway tiles or something else?
    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:52AM
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