DIY brick range hood
This DIY brick range hood was inspired by our DIY brick fireplace project and ended up being the very last project in our kitchen renovation.
This brick range hood is a great beginner project if you’re new to framing, drywall, and tiling because most mistakes that you might make along the way get covered in the end.
Vent hood (we used this one, but make sure you read the specs to ensure there is enough clearance between the interior wall and the vent; this information should be included with the installation guide). Make sure that your vent hood is designed to be built-in.
Flat bricks (we used a little over one box)
Corner bricks (we used two boxes)
Sanded grout (we used bright white)
Grout bag (We used 1 25lb bag)
Scrap wood (for spacers and brace)
Framing and vent installation
Before you get started with cutting any wood, plan out the brick pattern. You’ll want to use full bricks for the front. We ended up with 31” across the front to fit 4 full bricks (remember to include your spacer dimensions between each brick!), and 16.5” deep for a little over 2 full brick lengths in depth. When planning the frame dimensions, it’s important to remember that the drywall will add an additional inch to the overall dimension.
Our vent specified 4” of clearance between the inner wall and the front of the vent itself. For us, this meant 4” of space between the front bottom cross member and the vent. We could have gone even deeper, but liked the slim profile of ~16.5” out from the main wall.
To create the structure we used some pocket holes and screws as well as through-screws to attach the various pieces together. We mitered the vertical members to fit the ceiling profile and added screws to the very top.
After we were satisfied with the sturdiness of the frame, we tested the vent by plugging it in and verified that all of the buttons and lights worked. We installed the vent by following the installation instructions, which basically had us remove the stainless steel vent cover and control buttons and screw the sheet metal lip onto the bottom of the frame we had built. After replacing the vent cover and control buttons, we used a 6” adjustable elbow ducting and mastic tape to attach the vent to the existing vent hole to outside.
Score the drywall with your carbide knife and snap it down to size. This is a great beginner drywall project because the smaller pieces are easier to install than full sheets, and you’ll be covering any seams up with brick later so you don’t have to stress about it being perfect.
My best tip for hanging drywall is to use as few pieces as possible to make the finishing steps as easy as they can be.
We had some gaps to fill with drywall on the under side of the vent. If I were to do this project again, I would hang the underside drywall first and then move on to side pieces just because that edge ended up a little rough and I think it would have been slightly easier to finish this way, and a little bit neater had we not planned on adding brick.
To prepare the drywall for brick, you’ll need to tape and mud the seams and prime it. You need to prime the drywall to seal it and prevent moisture from getting in to the drywall. The seams don’t need to be perfect, but they do need to be flat enough to put the bricks flat on top of it.
We used Koni Brick for this project. We chose these bricks because they have a beautiful rough texture and subtle variation that we couldn’t find in other similar products. That roughness and irregularity works in your favor because imperfections in the spacing and levelness will hide any mistakes. Koni Bricks are great for beginners!
Before getting read to add the brick, you’ll need to attach scrap wood to the bottom of the structure. It should come out at least the width of the bricks and will prevent your bricks for sliding off the structure.
We attached ours with a nail gun to hold it up while we did the project, and then easily tore it out when we were done. We did have a few nail holes at the end of the project, but it was nothing too difficult to repair.
You’ll also need to cut scrap wood to use as spacers. They need to be at least the depth of the brick and approximately 3/8” wide. This is a standard joint for bricks, but you can choose to set them at a different width if that is the look you are going for.
Start with the corner pieces. The corners will not sit perfectly flush on your structure (even if it is a perfect 90 degrees) due to the irregularity of the brick.
Spread the mortar (or tile adhesive) on the back of the bricks and use a little more in the corners than elsewhere. I like to use a kitchen spatula for this job.
You’ll get a feel for how much you need as you go along. When pressing the bricks on, focus on pressing the long side of the brick into place. This will help keep the bricks level.
To prevent the corner bricks from sliding down as you go up, use spacers or other scrap wood to hold the bricks in their place.
When all of the corner pieces are adhered, you can add the bricks to the middle. At this point, remove the props holding up the corner pieces to make room for the full pieces. I like using the spacers in between each horizontal brick to help keep the spaces consistent as I lay the bricks across each row.
If you need to cut any pieces, you can score and snap with a carbide knife or an angle grinder.
Wait 24 hours to allow for the adhesive to dry before moving on to grout. You can remove your wood brace at this time. Mix your grout per package instructions and load it into a grout bag. We had to try a couple times to get the consistency right. It needs to be free flowing enough to get through the grout bag but not so soupy that it slides out of the gaps. When you get it right, pipe it into the bricks.
Work in small sections of piping the grout, and then waiting a few minutes for it to start setting before going back with the brick jointer to really make sure the grout was sticking in place. Then I brushed over it with my fingers. Sanded grout is pretty unpleasant on your fingers (it kind of feels like rubbing your fingers over sand paper) but it really is the best tool for the job. We wore gardening gloves for a portion of it and that helped make the job a little less painful.
We grouted in the small gap at the bottom. You can see the small nail holes (that I still need to repair 😅) that were left from the brace.
I’m really happy with how this project turned out! It adds such a lovely soft texture to our kitchen.
This post was sponsored by Koni Materials. All thoughts are my own.
This post was written for the Collected Eclectic blog.
Collected Eclectic was a passion project focused on recording the process as Grace and Michael van Meurer transformed their builder grade home in to something special.
124 blog posts were published between 2018 and 2021. Explore the complete Collected Eclectic archive here.
Learn more about the project here.