How to choose a brick
Bricks are a strong, durable and a popular choice for new home builders and renovators. However, with a broad range of great options available, choosing bricks may seem overwhelming!
Here are some tips to guide you through the process.
1. RESEARCH THE STYLE OF THE HOUSE
A brick’s colour, shape, size and texture will influence the overall look and feel of your house, so make sure you choose a brick that suits the design of your home. It’s worth gathering ideas from the internet, display homes, websites and magazines. When renovating, consider how new bricks will appear alongside existing materials. There are many options and combinations to choose from to achieve your design vision.
2. CONSIDER YOUR LOCATION
Bricks are graded to suit different environmental conditions. The location of your home will determine which grade you need. If you live near the coast or have high-saline soil, you may benefit from exposure grade bricks (EXP)*, they have heightened resistance to salt attack. General purpose (GP) grade bricks are suited to all other building types and locations.
3. ACHIEVE THE DESIRED LOOK THROUGH COLOUR, TEXTURE & SIZE
Add character with texture
Brick texture can add character, charm and individuality to a home. Bricks textures, from a smooth finish, which has a consistent surface and ceramic-like appearance with straight edges, to torn textures with a dragged or ripped appearance across the face for a weathered look. You can even get glazed bricks that have a shiny ceramic tile look for feature walls or beautiful handmade sandstock bricks that give your home an authentic raw beauty that no other material can achieve.
Create visual interest with size
Bricks are available in a range of dimensions. Decisions about size may depend on a range of factors, from the proportions of the house to the purpose of the bricks. Bricks are often used for decorative applications, such as features walls, window sills and fire places. Different sizes can be combined to create visual interest and depth.
4. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Don’t forget the details
When it comes to mortar (what binds bricks together) you need to consider the colour and finish, as both will have a striking impact on the look of your bricks. An off-white mortar between darker coloured bricks will add contrast and highlight the shape of each brick. Whereas the same mortar used on a lighter brick will soften the brickwork.
Common Mortar Colours:
- Natural or grey
- White or off white
- Cream or buff
With the mortar joint finish, you can choose round, ironed, flush or struck, depending on whether you want to hero or soften the brick work. For instance, a raked joint will create shadowing for contrast and interest. A Flush joint will minimise shadow with a flat look.
Laying it all together: Bond Pattern
A bond is the pattern in which bricks are laid. The most common bond is Stretcher Bond which consists of courses of full bricks where every course is offset half a brick from the course below. Stacked and Flemish are also popular and achieve an alternative look.
*EXP bricks are ideal for homes located up to one kilometre from a surf coast or 100 metres from a non-surf coast.