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Monday 26 April 2010

Brick matching

How to match your bricks? First and foremost, bricks are made from clay, and the clay deposit that the brick came from can become depleted and / or the characteristics of the clay may change as the quarry is extended. Alternatively, the brick company the original bricks came from may have gone out of business, or the brick itself may have gone out of style. Brick styles change over time.

It is possible that you may get lucky and find perfectly matching bricks at your local brick merchant. The chances are the task will be a bit more difficult though. Unfortunately, there is no national database of brick colors and textures, although goes some of the way, but that does not mean that you have to settle for mis-matched bricks.

The first thing that you should do is take some high resolution pictures of the original bricks, as matching from memory is impossible. You should E mail copies of these photos to brickmakers and specialist brick merchant in your area. Try to remember what year you bought the original bricks, and who you bought them from, as the more information you give the brick merchants, the better the chance of them being able to help you. A always let the brick people know the dimensions as Imperial size bricks typically 73mm depth may not be readily available but some handmade brick companies should be able to make them for you

If no-one can find you an exact match of your bricks, then find ones that at least match the color. Finding bricks that are a very close color match is definitely possible with a little looking around. Matching bricks by color is much preferable to matching bricks by texture. You can see texture differences when you stand close to a brick surface, but rarely can you see differences when you stand back 50 or 100 feet. Color mis-matches stand out from any distance.

Once you have found some potential matches, get some samples and take them back to your home for a proper evaluation. Then, be sure to stand back at least 10 feet when judging the quality of the match, as your eyes can sometimes play tricks on you when you look at the bricks up close. Ask a few other people for their opinions on which is the best match, and note down their answers.Remember its not just the bricks you’re hoping to match but also the mortar, texture colour and pointing

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