In case you haven’t already guessed from the title, this week we wanted to do an article about bricks. Now when you search for the keyword “bricks” online, there are a variety of things that pop up in the search results. Ranging from the brick boards on Pinterest all the way to the do-it-yourself backyard projects using bricks. Bricks can be used in so many different ways around a home ranging from a simple and easy project to a complete house built of bricks. No matter how you use bricks, they offer a quality solution that never goes out of style. Not to mention the fact that they are affordable when compared to other comparable materials such as stone.
While you can find tradesman that are professional bricklayers, it doesn’t take a professional to be able to install professional looking brick projects around the home. Whether you are looking to do a brick project indoors or outdoors, there are a range of simple to complex projects that you (or a professional bricklayer) can do.
Common places for bricks in the great outdoors are seen as a retaining wall, raised flower beds, mailbox enclosures, accents to the front of the home, walkways, brick patios and the list goes on. Creative brick layouts (think herringbone, basket-weaved, arched, etc.) all offer a unique take on a simple brick project. Some brick projects may be more complex in nature such as a brick wall that requires the use of mortar. Most experts will say that the do-it-yourselfer may want to refer to a professional bricklayer for any brick wall that is over 4 feet in height. If you have ever watched a professional bricklayer, then you realize that there is an art that goes into the trade. While you may be able to make a brick project look good, the other side of the coin is if it is structurally sound.
The great thing about bricks is that they can transform an entire space. Rich color tones and textures have a way of adding character to a home. While many homeowners enjoy the natural beauty that bricks present, other homeowners desire to give brick fireplaces and other brick features a facelift by painting them. Often times, painting bricks can really modernize and lighten up a space. The downfall to painting bricks is that if you ever desire to remove the paint then it can be an extremely tedious task.
Is a Brick Just a Brick?
The beauty of bricks is that they are all unique. While they do come in standard sizes, they do offer a range of color choices, texture and weather-resistance.
The mortar that is used with brick projects is generally made up of four parts of sand to only one part water. The addition of plasticizer will make the mixture easier to work with. Special tools are also required for a project. For example, when using mortar a trowel will be needed. A string line and level are also critical in helping to keep wall construction straight and level. Professional bricklayers also realize the importance of patterning. The bond is the pattern of laying bricks. As an example, the running bond is a brick pattern that is commonly found.
Homeowners need to weigh out the pros and cons of brick when comparing the medium to other materials such as stone or concrete. Brick can be an extremely affordable option for many uses around the home, both indoor and out.