MORTAR COLOUR IS AN OFTEN OVERLOOKED AND UNDERESTIMATED ASPECT OF THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS WHEN DESIGNING YOUR BEAUTIFUL BRICK HOME. NOT ONLY IS MORTAR IMPORTANT AS A STRUCTURAL ELEMENT IN A BRICK HOME, BUT IT ADDS TO THE CONTRAST AND INTRICACY OF THE FAÇADE, AND CAN CHANGE THE OVERALL LOOK OF YOUR HOME.
Mortar is a bonding agent which hardens on building materials such as bricks to bind the materials and form the timeless brick wall that we are so familiar with. Mortar is produced by mixing a binding material such as cement or lime, with a fine aggregate such as sand or surki, and water. Critical to ‘good mortar’ is its adhesion to building materials such as bricks, and water resistance, meaning that the mortar should have the capacity to prevent water penetration. However, in modern design there is so much more to mortar than its inherent functional properties.
Mortar possesses aesthetic appeal and an ability to contrast with face brick that is crucial to achieving the beautiful brick façade that is so often strived for when building a home. It is important to consider that mortar comes in many different colours. Mortar joints can also vary from flushed, to ironed, rolled, and raked as well. If contrast is not what you desire, mortar can also be custom tinted to match the colour of your bricks which then creates a subtle contrast of texture, rather than more widely recognised colour contrast.
To simplify, we have broken down some of the more common mortar colours and how these can be used to get the most out of your brick façade.
The most common of the mortar colours, “natural” or grey works well with the majority of brick colours due to its simplicity. Natural mortar is also a great option when wanting a home that blends in with the natural surroundings.
Being a natural cement colour, grey mortar is a more economical choice and is often a standard inclusion when designing your home with a large builder.
Natural mortar colour is beautifully paired with Black and Tan from our Smooth range. An example of a beautifully modern project utilising “natural” or grey mortar can be explored in the Tjuringa House case study.
Off-white mortar is rapidly growing in popularity due to its ability to emphasise the true colour of the brick.
With a darker brick such as Morada Nero, off-white mortar acts as a distinct contrast and adds intricacy to the brickwork. With mortar making up approximately 20 per cent of a brick wall, this contrast can be a real feature of your overall façade.
When building with lighter or white brick such as Morada Blanco, off-white mortar blends with the brick to create consistent, yet textured façade detail.
Charcoal, black, and even dark greys are emerging as popular choices for mortar colour. Particularly in commercial construction, these darker mortar colours can create a sense of modern sophistication when paired with a dark or black brick.
Comparatively, these darker mortar colours also present an opportunity for a contrasting façade in a very different way to the façade contrasts that most are familiar with. Pairing the charcoal, black, or dark grey mortar with a light or white brick is a very modern and intriguing way to make your front façade stand out with street appeal.
Ideal when building with a cream or brown coloured brick, these mortar colours are perfect for colour matching mortar and brick to create a seamless colour throughout the façade. Whilst they are not ordinarily used to contribute to a contrast in colour, they do offer a textural contrast which allows a façade to maintain a consistent colour throughout without appearing dull or boring.
This same affect can be achieved with any brick colour, as mortar can be custom tinted to match the colour of your bricks. For example, try pairing Red from our Smooth range with a custom tinted red mortar for a very dramatic warm earth façade effect.
To visualise the entire range of PGH Bricks & Pavers on offer, with multiple mortar colour options, visit the interactive and customisable Visualiser on our website.
For more information, or help choosing the right brick and mortar for your project, get in touch with one of our friendly PGH staff here or call 13 15 79.