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      Brick Color Matching

      Ted Kelly | August 2, 2019

      As a natural product brick has a lot of variability. Additionally manufacturing methods, material sourcing, and even weathering can all make a perfect match very difficult.

      While matching a brick can be a bit of an art, there are ways to get extremely close. Finding the right match requires a great eye, but with the right technique you can usually get pretty close.

      Texture matching of brick

      Best Strategies

      If at all possible do these things as you look to match the new brick to existing brick

      • Bring in Several Bricks (5-6)- our stores have brick in stock and samples from an array of manufacturer. Putting your brick next to the real brick avoids issues with light, moisture, etc.
      • Measure- use a ruler, this can often quickly narrow down the selection
        • Dimensions of the brick
        • Dimensions of the mortar joints
        • Size of new brick structure (length, width, height, etc)
      Comparison of color versions (raw, natural, white balance) of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) on Mars

      Each of these images would get your 3 very different brick if we had to match them as you tried to recreate a Mars look. (Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

      Good Strategies

      Should get you a really good match

      • Take a Picture
        • Wide- you want to capture the blend, most brick structures, actually consist of several colors
        • Color – Digital pictures don’t quite capture what the eye sees. You often need to use color and temperature references in the image (color balance)
        • Moisture- Bricks darken when wet, and needs to be accounted for when matching a picture
        • Lighting- Color in a picture changes dramatically (morning sun, noon sun, shade, artificial lighting, etc.). Take the picture in the ones you most want to see.
      • Samples- Our showrooms have sample for brick lines we carry. Additionally we can direct ship samples right to your home or office. Putting the samples right next to the brick you are trying to match avoids many issues
      • Rebuilding- If fully rebuilding the old brick it’s possible to blend new and old to create a new homogeneous brick structure
      • Invite an Expert- For large jobs a salesperson can come out to your site and offer an expert opinion

      Fine Strategies

      Will get you close

      • Stain the Brick- Avoid the hassle of exactly  matching a color, and use stain on both old and new bricks to get a single look. Stains can be impacted by the underlying brick’s color, and also require more maintenance than natural brick.
      • Manufacturer Websites- Most manufacturer’s websites have color images. These images are taken under ideal, and tightly controlled conditions

      Bad Strategies

      Please do not do this

      • Memory– There are 100+ shades of red clay bricks. Getting the right match requires more effort, particularly if the new brick will be put next to the old brick.
      • Name Alone- Matching the brand/name will get you close. Brick is still a natural product that will vary based on production factors and environmental conditions.

      Comparison of installed brick with the sample. Product variation can be due to both manufacturing and environmental conditions.

      ———-

      The final brick match is actually a blend of 3 different types of bricks.

      The qualified brick and masonry sales representatives at Ernest Maier, Gomoljak, Parker Block, & Skyline Brick are always ready to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

      VP of MasonryTed Kelly

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