Building Your Own Tiled Braai
How to build your own tiled braai
The only thing better than a braai is a braai you’ve built yourself. Let the good times roll with this timeless classic that is simple, stylish and effective. If you want to find out how to tile an existing braai, simply scroll down to the second half of this article.
BUILDING THE BRAAI
You will need:
- All-purpose cement
- Clean building sand
- 19mm concrete stone
- NPF clay bricks
- Brickforce (75mm and 150mm)
- 6 pre-cast lintels(140 x 75 x 1500mm)
- 24 firebricks (115 x 220mm)
- Fire Clay
- Building Trowel
- Plaster Trowel
- Spirit Level
- Try Square
- Builders line or string
- 100mm nails
- Tape Measure
*Product prices may vary according to size and region.
Measure and mark the foundation on your build area.
Excavate the soil to 230mm deep and level all round.
Tap nails at 230 mm into the walls of the excavation to mark the height of the concrete. Use a spirit level to ensure it’s level.
Mix the concrete 1:3:5 (one part cement, three parts sand and five parts stone). Pour it into the hole and level it off to the height of the nails. Tamp the concrete with your spade to release the air bubbles. Allow the concrete to set.
Mark out the braai walls on the concrete. Tap nails into the concrete and mark with builder’s line. Use a try square to ensure your corners are true right angles.
Map out your bricks to get an idea of their arrangement. The idea is to use full bricks and to cut as few as possible. The side walls need to be two bricks thick (230mm) and the back wall a single brick thick (115mm).
Mix cement 1:6 (one part cement to six parts sand). Lay a 10mm bed of cement under each brick. Tamp with the builder’s trowel and use the spirit level to ensure the bricks are laid level.
Roll out the Brickforce and place it on every third course. The 75mm is for the single wall and the 150mm for the side walls.
‘Bag’ the walls using a sponge and water to remove excess cement and clean the bricks.
Once your walls are 680mm high, lay a bed of cement and place the lintels on top. This will be your work surface.
Fill the grooves in the lintels with cement.
Build the braai enclosure 690 x 830mm, laying three courses of bricks.
Finish the surface with a 25mm topping of cement and smooth with a plastering trowel. Allow to dry completely.
To lay the fire bricks, mark the centre of the braai enclosure and lay your bricks to be sure of the pattern.
Mix the clay according to the instructions on the packaging. Spread a 5mm layer of fire clay onto the surface and lay the bricks on top. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap the bricks into place. Then make sure everything sits level using a spirit level or offcut piece of wood. Allow to dry thoroughly before grouting with fire clay.
TILING THE BRAAI
You will need:
- Hermes tiles
- Tiling cement
- Tile grout
- Tile cutter
- Tape measure
- Grooved tiling trowel
- Rubber mallet
- Spirit level or offcut plank
Measure and mark the centre of the front of the area you want to tile. Then lay out your tiles to be sure of the pattern. Aim to keep the full tiles on the edge.
Mark and cut the tiles as required.
Mix tiling cement according to the instructions on the packaging. Spread a generous layer (5mm) of tiling cement onto the surface - do small sections at a time.
Place your tiles onto the cement layer and gently tap in place with a rubber mallet. Use a spirit level or offcut piece of plank to ensure the tiles are level and even. Allow to dry thoroughly.
For the grouting, mix your grout according to the instructions on the packaging. Spread the grout on the tiles, working it into the gaps using a squeegee. Then wipe off the excess with a damp cloth.
Fire bricks are available in Western Cape stores. Should you wish you purchase fire bricks at stores outside of the Western Cape, please allow for a 6-week waiting period.