Exposed brick wall in the kitchen?

12 Replies

What do you guys think? Yay or Nay? Downside I'm thinking energy savings loss is a potential. Upside is trendy/unique which is what we're going for on this flip. 

Smaller kitchen:

Dark Granite, Stainless Steel Appliances, Hardwood floor.

Got any pictures to give us an idea what you're thinking? I'm not sure what your kitchen looks like or how this would fit with your layout.

@Ryan Dossey

If you have insulated and moved the drainage plane exterior of the brick wall, making the brick a thermal mass within the conditioned space, then there is no significant penalty for exposing the wall.

However, if the brick wall being exposed is still an external wall or it is a thermal bridge to an external wall, you would effectively be removing any insulation between yourself and the outside world.

@Ryan Dossey

I'd have to see pictures to comment specifically, because it would depend on the style of the unit and the configuration of the space.  However, in general, I love exposed brick, particularly when it is in an open layout with a lofty feel or a historic space that has kept its character, but has some transitional elements.  In a traditional space or a generic space, it usually just ends up looking "kitschy", like you're trying too hard.

Thank you guys for chiming in. I will try to get some photos. Rehab is in STL I'm in INDY. 

I say yeah! 

When natural, especially old brick is a foundational construction elements it's hard to go wrong in using it to bring out the natural feel and texture of the brick.

My 1st investment property was a large brick industrial building built in 1917. When we 1st bought it I renovated the building and had the brick and wood bow trusts sandblasted. When completed the sandblasting literally created a new space, it looked beautiful and open and warm. 

At that time, 20+ years ago, no one was doing this and it certainly wasn't trendy; but because we did do it we had people lining up to lease this space and never during the time we owned that project did we have a vacancy for more than a week or two.

Great thoughts @Shawn Holsapple and thanks for the pics @Michael Siekerka. I never would have thought to leave them exposed behind the appliances. 

White could look really nice Shawn.

If you're flipping then appeal and the value-add are more important, so I'd say go for it. 

That said, since you mentioned STL, brick and smaller kitchen, I'll assume you're talking about an older property, since those three go together here. In that case you're right about the energy loss, since older buildings in this city aren't (generally) designed to have exposed brick since that'd mean removing the insulation buffer. Either way, losing that insulation in the kitchen probably isn't a huge deal.

@Peter MacKercher I always appreciate you chiming in. Yes it's in u-city. Our contractors are going to try to clean it up (had tile over it) and see if it looks good. We shall see. This flip has been a fun one though. We are UNDER budget. Keep finding cool things. There was crappy vinyl over the original early 1900's hardwood. Hardwood is in great shape! In the basement we found the original doors that we are refinishing.