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Building Products January 2018

EXTERNAL ENVELOPE can also be mixed to ensure there’s no noticeable difference between old and new. Experts in colour matching can visit the site, to take photographs or samples so they can recommend the best way to achieve the perfect blend. Often, they can solve the problem with multiple applications, but if that isn’t the answer, they will mix a bespoke colour. Once applied, in as many layers as necessary, the tint is a permanent solution which doesn’t affect the breathability of the brick. The principle was seen in action in an episode of Grand Designs. A new wall had been built in a factory to home conversion, and it was the wrong colour. There was a real possibility the planners would insist it was demolished, at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds. But the bricks were painted to match the old London yellow stock walls, and planning permission was granted retrospectively. Choosing the right colour applies to the mortar too. There are a few rules to follow when using handmade bricks, and most builders are aware of the importance of using lime mortar. Whether it’s 24 BUILDING PRODUCTS | JANUARY 2018 for restoration, renovation, and extension or a new build, it’s essential to use a mortar that is softer than the brick. But it’s also necessary to match the colour – bright white mortar is an eyesore in a dignified, aged building! But, as with bricks, regionally matched mortar and tinting are both available now to make an exact match. And mortar colour can be used to create dramatic effects in modern buildings too – black mortar with white glazed brick, or warm grey with a London yellow stock can be very striking. The size of brick is as important as the colour. Regional variations range from the slim 2” Tudor, the 2.5” Georgian used across Middle England, the Home Counties and East Anglia to the 3” common and wirecut in the North. But there are many exceptions and variations. In Cheshire traditional bricks were 2⅝”, <<< Continued from page 23 and the supply of genuine reclaims is practically exhausted. London yellow stock is common in the capital; yellow in tone with overburns, they are 2¾” inches and are most commonly seen on older houses. The difference in measurement might sound insignificant but a mismatch of two or three millimetres makes a huge difference to the appearance of a building. So new handmade bricks are being made to meet the demand for the correct size, texture and finish. But handmade bricks are not only about This year, we expect to see long, linear bricks grow in popularity matching the past. We’re seeing them used in the latest cutting-edge architecture, and products are being developed to reflect the demand. Industrial style glazed whites are popular, and blacks and greys are being used in modern buildings, inside and out. The monochromatic, industrial-look kitchen, with white internal brick slips and black work surfaces, was a popular trend in 2017. Manufacturers are coming up with new finishes, sizes and textures which lend themselves to modern designs. This year, we expect to see long, linear bricks grow in popularity. Development in cities and towns has to blend in with the surroundings, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a pale imitation of historic buildings. Clean lines and exciting designs, built in the right materials, will become the classics of the future. The opportunities are almost unlimited when it comes to modern bricks – especially when they are made the traditional way. www.imperialbricks.co.uk


Building Products January 2018
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