Your Color Options in Natural Brick
Brick is one of the best building materials. When properly installed, it is nearly indestructible. It resists rot, mold, pest infestation and all types of weather conditions.
It is also naturally beautiful, imparting a look of classic elegance to any setting and blending with any style.
What colors are available in natural brick? You can find a brick that has various shadings of pink, red, tan, yellow and cream.
How Bricks Are Made
The process of making bricks is fairly straightforward. The processor uses a mixture of sand, clay and other minerals mixed with water to form a paste. The paste is molded into a brick shape. Firing at high temperature turns the clay into a solid block called a brick.
Every brick contains the following elements:
- Silica or sand: Sand and clay are the main ingredients of brick.
- Alumina or clay: Good bricks contain at least 50% to 60% clay.
- Lime: A small amount of lime helps fuse the clay and sand together during firing.
- Iron oxide: This makes bricks strong and also gives them their reddish color.
- Magnesia: This helps bricks retain their shape.
True brick should not contain:
- Excessive amounts of lime or magnesium.
- Iron pyrites.
- Organic materials.
The different colors in natural bricks come from the mineral content of the clay. Clay colors can have regional differences. Adding higher concentrations of other minerals also produces different colors.
Clay gives brick the classic red color that can range in tone from scarlet to deep burgundy. The longer the clay is heated, the darker the red tone becomes. Darker brick tends to have a more uniform tone.
The best composition of brick elements usually yields deep red brick. If you want a unified look and a lasting structure, choose dark red brick for your building project.
Pink brick results from clay that has high amounts of iron. The iron adds a white cast to the clay that makes it pale. Natural pink brick can range from nearly white to brick that has variegated shades of blush and brownish pink. You can create a visually arresting display with a mix of pink tones.
Beige or Brown
Bricks with high levels of lime can come out in various shades of brown, beige or tan. These can be very elegant, but it’s important to make sure you are getting well-made bricks. Adding too much lime can weaken the brick’s structure. Get your bricks from a trusted masonry to ensure they are durable enough for your project.
Some clay is naturally high in alumina. This produces brick that is a pale yellow color. In the 1800s, Milwaukee became famous for its cream-colored bricks that earned the city the nickname “Cream City.” Cream brick is very attractive, but it is not as durable as a red brick.
Professional bricklayers don’t just pile random bricks onto a structure and start slapping on the mortar. They use a process called brick blending to ensure that they evenly spread out the different brick tones. This creates a balanced, attractive pattern of varying colors and tones.
Choose Lasting Beauty
When you choose brick for your project, you’re choosing a natural product that is made to last. Choose shades and colors that you’ll enjoy for many years.
We provide expert guidance on brick selection in addition to professional installation and maintenance of all your masonry projects. If you have questions about our natural brick colors, contact Capital Masonry today.