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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Olingen® Thin Brick?
Olingen is an award winning - patented thin brick product made from the highest quality real, cut, kiln-fired clay brick. A full piece of brick is cut to approximately ½ inch thick. Several thin bricks are pre-mounted on a durable, fire resistant, fiberglass mesh with the brick already laid out and aligned for quick and easy installation. Olingen is the easiest and fastest method available to install thin brick for interiors or exteriors.
 
Olingen is available in pre-assembled flat sheets and corner sheets, with 12 color blends to choose from. The primary 8 color blends are made from "tumbled brick", having a classic old world, aged, or weathered look and feel. The 4 other color blends are commonly known as "straight brick", and are made from the same brick but are not tumbled and provide a more uniform (flat and straight) appearance with less color and texture variation.
 
How do I install Olingen Thin Brick?
Olingen is quick and easy to install. It is similar to installing tile.
 
There are 4 simple steps to follow:
1. Apply adhesive to substrate (wall, surface, etc.) using a 3/8 inch notch trawl.
2. Begin the layout process by applying Olingen outer corner sheets first. Press on each brick firmly allowing the adhesive to penetrate through the webbing onto the brick.
3. Next, apply Olingen flat sheets. Overlap brick onto the exposed webbing and space evenly. Press each brick firmly into the adhesive. Allow to set for approximately 24 hours.
4. Apply grout using a grout bag or tile grout float. Once the grout is stiff to the touch (but not dry), finish grout using a tool and/or wet sponge smoothing grout lines and removing excess grout.
 
For installation diagram and a YouTube tutorial video click here.
 
What Type of Adhesive Should I Use To Adhere the Olingen?
• For an interior application over a substrate such as drywall, Sheetrock, or plaster (painted or unpainted), you can use a standard pre-mixed tile mastic. It is usually white and comes premixed in a bucket and can be purchased from your local hardware store in the tile department.
• For an interior application over a substrate such as cement, backer-board, or other cement-like surfaces, use a tile thin-set adhesive. Thin-set adhesive is typically sold in a powder form and requires water and thorough mixing using a drill and mixing drill bit. Thin-set can be purchased from your local hardware store in the tile department.
• For an exterior application over a substrate such as cement, backer-board or other like surfaces, use a tile tin-set adhesive. Thin-set adhesive is sold in a powder form and requires water and thorough mixing using a drill and mixing drill bit. Thin-set can be purchased from your local hardware store in the tile department. Always use a moisture barrier and follow your local building codes.
• Do not use tile mastic to adhere Olingen directly to a wooden surface. A polymer modified tile thin-set adhesive can be used over an exterior grade plywood for interior applications only. The recommended brand is VersaBond Fortified Thin Set Mortar, or Mapei Polymer-Enriched Thin-Set Mortar and it can be purchased at your local hardware store in the tile department.
• Typical brick mortar such as type "S" or type "N" is not recommended to adhere Olingen, it is too thick and will not press through the webbing adequately reaching the brick surface.
 
How Much Adhesive and Grout Do I Need?
When applying adhesive such as tile thin-set or tile mastic, cover the entire substrate using a 3/8" notch trawl. Generally, 50 lbs of adhesive will cover approximately 60 sq. ft.
For grout you can use either a typical sanded tile grout or a type "S" mortar mix.  Plan on an 80 lb bag covering approximately 50 sq. ft.
 
How Many Square Feet Will Olingen Cover?
Olingen flat sheets are a rectangular shape with dimensions of 31.5”W x 14.5”H. There are 15 bricks mounted per sheet covering 3.18 sq. ft. There are 4 flat sheets per box which will cover a total of 12.75 sq. ft.
 
*Tip - To calculate your square footage, measure the length and height, then times them by one another. (example: a wall 10 ft long and 8 ft high = 80 sq. ft.)
 
Olingen corner sheets are formed at a 90 degree angle with dimensions of 14.6”H x 17”W. There are 5 corner bricks per sheet which covers 1.22 Lineal ft. There are 5 corner sheets per box which will cover a total of 6.1 Lineal ft.
 
*Tip - To calculate your Lineal ft., measure the height or distance of a corner (example: measure your corner from floor to ceiling = total Lineal ft.)
 
What Is the Actual Size of the Individual Brick?
Olingen Thin Bricks are a standard or modular size. Each individual flat brick is 2.37"H x 7.87"W x 3/5"Thick. Olingen corner bricks are 2.37"H x 7.87"W x 4.33"L x 3/5"Thick.
 
How Do I Cut Olingen Panel?
You can easily cut Olingen by using a standard tile saw or simple masonry bit hand grinder.
 
Can I Remove a Piece of Brick From the Webbed Sheet?
The thin brick is glued onto the fiberglass mesh. You can easily remove single brick from the webbed sheeting by simply pulling them off. You may need to do this for individual brick cutting or custom brick placement. The Olingen fiberglass mesh can be cut using a utility knife or heavy duty scissors or tin snips.
 
What Type of Surface Can I Place Olingen?
Olingen thin brick can be used on virtually any surface including drywall, painted or unpainted walls, plaster walls, backer board, hardie backer, cement walls or floor, wood (with special polymer fortified thin-set adhesive) and more. The type of adhesive to best use will vary based on where you are placing Olingen. See what type of adhesive to use above.
 
Can I Use Olingen Around My Fireplace or Stove?
Yes, Olingen can be used around a fireplace or stove including the ?walls and floors. The brick is a kiln fired clay brick which is heated at over 2,000 degrees, so it will tolerate extreme heat or cold. Olingen is made from non-combustible materials so it is ideal for fireplace, stove, and oven surrounds. Verify the proper space requirements with your stove or fireplace manufacturer. Consult a building professional and check your local building codes. 
 
Where Can I Install Olingen Thin Brick?
Places to use thin brick are virtually endless both interior and exterior. Some ideas where to use Olingen include: fireplace or stove surrounds, accent walls, columns, kitchen or bath back-splash, flooring (on a solid surface such as concrete, backer board, etc.), chimney, exterior siding, kitchen islands, bed headboards, wine cellars, man caves, porch or stairs, table tops, outdoor BBQ or kitchen, home exteriors, accent walls, and more.
 
If you have an idea where you have used or want to use Olingen Thin Brick let us know and we can help you with the best way to apply Olingen.
 
Is Olingen Designed for Interior and Exterior Uses?
Olingen is designed for both interior and exterior applications. It will withstand the outdoors elements as well as add beauty and value to the interior or exterior of your home. There are no additional structural requirements for Olingen and most standard walls will easily support the light weight of Olingen thin brick.
 
How Do I Grout Olingen?
You can use type "S" mortar to grout your brick once installed. Many people also use a standard sanded tile grout so they can pick a particular color and get a smoother finish.
*NOTE: Do not use type "S" or type "N" mortar to adhere Olingen to your surface. Only use these for mortar options. See question above on how to adhere Olingen.
 
What Should I Do for Inside Corners?
Inside corners do not require corner brick. Simply cut the flat brick to size and grout the inside corner.
 
Can I Paint Olingen?
You can paint the Olingen by first using a primer such as “Kills” and then apply the paint you want. You may also use a cement stain or release agent to customize the look you want. 
 
Can I Apply a Sealant To Olingen?
You can apply a sealant to Olingen. By applying a “flat” standard brick or cement sealant for projects such as back splashes etc., it will make the brick and grout easier to clean. Please keep in mind that it may affect the brick color (may darken) so try a small sample before applying it to your entire project. A sealant may also bring out the color variations in the brick for a more defined and diverse look and feel.
 
Where Can I Buy Olingen?
Olingen can be found at many local building supply stores. All Lowe’s and The Home Depot stores sell Olingen through special order at their Pro-Services counter or through their website (search Olingen). 
 
The fastest and easiest way to purchase Olingen is by ordering online through our exclusive Webstore by clicking here. For large orders call us directly at +86(573) 87937180 and save on shipping costs.
 
Go to our Dealer Locator on our website to find a dealer near you. You may want to call before going into a dealer to make sure they know about Olingen or if they have brick sample boards, brochures, etc.
 
Where Can I See a Sample of the Brick Colors?
The available color blends can be viewed on our website. You can also order brick samples through our Amazon store.  You will receive three brick for each sample color to help give you the best idea of the complete color blend.
 
What is the Difference Between Olingen’s Kiln Fired Clay Brick vs. a Cement or Cast Brick?
Strength Comparison
Olingen Clay Brick units are 2 ½ to 3 times stronger than concrete or cast brick.
Clay Brick – average compressive strengths typically range from 8,000 to 10,000 psi
Concrete Brick – average compressive strengths typically range from 3,000 to 4,000 psi.
 
Moisture Absorption
In simple terms, Concrete or Cast Brick absorbs approximately 2-3 times more moisture in the same amount of time than does Olingen Clay Brick, therefore Olingen resists moisture better. This is a great benefit if you live in a moist climate or have freeze-thaw cycles.
 
If you examine the walls of clay brick and concrete brick buildings after heavy rains you will note concrete brick walls can stay damp for days after a rain. More moisture penetration makes brick extra vulnerable to freeze/thaw cycles, therefore concrete brick deteriorates much faster and is more likely to crack or break than Olingen Clay Brick.
 
*NOTE: Compare Initial Rate of Absorption (IRA) – products in natural state.?
Clay Brick absorbs approximately 15-35 grams of moisture per minute per 30 sq. in.?
Concrete Brick absorbs between 40 and 80 grams per minute per 30 sq. in.
 
- Concrete Brick- (Reference ASTM Standard C55 Standard Specification for Concrete Brick)
Definition: A concrete masonry unit made from Portland cement, water, and suitable aggregates, with or without the inclusion of other materials.
- Clay Brick- (Reference ASTM Standard C 216 Standard Specification for Facing Brick - Solid Masonry Units Made from Clay or Shale)
Definition: A solid masonry unit made of clay or shale formed or extruded into a rectangular prism while plastic and then fired at high temperatures (up to 2000°F) in a kiln oven. Clay or shale brick is a ceramic product.
 
What Structural Support Is Needed for Olingen?
There is no additional support needed for Olingen. Olingen Thin brick is lightweight and the average wall will easily support Olingen.
 
How Strong Is Olingen Once It Is Installed?
Old Mill Brick has had independent laboratories conduct numerous tests on Olingen. In "shear tests" or pull out tests, Olingen will stay adhered to most surfaces up to a 2,000 lb pull per brick (130 psi) when adhering Olingen directions are followed correctly.
Compression strengths range from 8,000 to 10,000 lbs psi making Olingen 200% stronger than concrete or cast brick.
 
After the Brick Is Cut Into Thin Brick, What Happens with the Remaining Material?
Once a full piece of brick is cut into thin brick, the remainder of the brick is recycled into new brick. Olingen is an entirely “green” and “sustainable” product.
 
I Am Interested In Becoming a Dealer?
Please contact our corporate headquarters at +86(573) 87937180