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7 Top tips for brick selection

by Ofentse Sefolo
7 Top tips for brick selection

The durability, low maintenance and endless options can make the selection of the best brick options a difficult task. Deciding on a suitable facing brick for a new build or renovation, a person has a choice of hundreds of colours and different textures, patterns, sizes and effects, each adding its own individuality to the facade. We look at the seven key considerations that can make deciding easier:

1. Colour
The colour of the bricks is a key factor as it can determine the overall look of the building’s facade, which makes it one of the key considerations as it often sets the tone for the overall design and personality of the building. The latest trends include bricks in solid matt black as well as bricks with added pigment that helps to create a feeling of luxury with its added luminosity.

2. Surface textures
The technique used to produce facing bricks will largely determine the texture of the bricks. This texture will give the project its very own character. The grains of hand-form, the fine lines of water-struck or the sleek form of wire-cut facing bricks will all provide a dramatically different effect on the aesthetic of the facade. If texture and interest is needed, brick can be an ideal material to instantly achieve this look.

3. Size
The size largely determines the perception of the facade as a brick facade. The larger the size of the bricks, the larger the quantity of bricks in relation to the joint. Facing bricks are available in numerous sizes, and here the budget and overall design will be key considerations to decide on the ideal facing brick size.

4. Pattern
The way in which a brick is laid, or the pattern, also has a big influence on the look of the facade. A well-considered brickwork pattern can lend extra aesthetics and character. Patterns could be a half-brick pattern, stacked pattern, block pattern or random pattern – the options are as wide as one’s imagination. Add special character or an extra creative twist to the facade by opting for a custom pattern.

5. Joint colour
Do you prefer traditional brickwork over a bonded effect? Then the joint will play an important role in the end result. Depending on the brick size of choice, the facade could be as much as 10% to 20% joint, which is why the colour of the joint will be a key consideration.

6. The type of joint
The shape of the joint can also influence the look of a facade. In addition to the height of the joint, its depth is also important. The deeper the joint, the more it will disappear into the background. The result is an interplay of shadow between the joint and facing brick, which is making the colour of the brick more projected.

7. Joint-free brickwork
Should a sleek brick facade be required, a joint could be a disruptive factor. More and more clients are choosing joint-free facades. There are three ways of achieving joint-free brickwork:
• Bricklaying with thin mortar.
• Bonding facing bricks.
• Traditional brickwork with zero mortar.

Brick has proven to be a popular choice for years. With more colour ways and more energy efficient technology, it becomes an increasingly exciting and cost-effective solutions for architects, developers and quantity surveyors.

For more information on the brick and brickwork options, please visit your local supplier.

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