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A practical approach to selecting brick

A Practical Approach to Selecting Brick

Selecting brick for your new home is a process with plenty of options. Ask yourself this question, “am I detail oriented?” If your answer is no, then hire a design expert. If you are and want to create a unique personal style in your brick home, we can help.  It is also a good idea to spend a good amount of time with your builder and the distributor.

At first sight, you might be unaware of the range of colors you can achieve within the brick itself. Brick is molded from earth materials: clay, soil, and water—with modern formulating and firing techniques, produce a product that’s almost as precisely colored as paint formulations in whites, reds, browns, and blacks that all have their own unique tones and shades.


For example, you might see a little blue in some white brick. 

And red brick is often complemented with black touches or more orange shades.

Also, each individual brick within a run is unique. Masons carefully lay the brick run to make the individual bricks work together to achieve the overall blended color.
Each individual brick contributes to the overall color of the façade.

Custom Chesapeake Pearl ST-5 Shapes for steps

Then there’s the mortar

mortar will take up approximately 22% of the wall. Mortar will make a difference on how your brick appears.Did you know the mortar that makes up approximately 20% of the color of a brick façade? There is a wide spectrum of standard and custom mortar colors.

Chesapeake Pearl Wall with Gray and white mortar

Chesapeake Pearl is one of the Pine Hall Brick Authentic Tumbled brick. Note the chips and irregularities that give it a timeworn look. Remember too, that the mortar application between the bricks gives you other design options, and can make a noticeable difference in appearance of brick in the wall.

Brick texture varies from sharp, clean edges and smooth faces to intentionally chipped and scraped brick for a weathered effect.

Add in all the other exterior parts that make your new home beautiful, from wood trim, stone accents, gables, and even the roof.  Now you can see just how vast your palette can be.


Read more about Old Hampton here.

Get out and look


So where do you begin? 

Get in your car.

Selecting brick is a personal and creative process:

Go look at brick homes and see what colors you prefer. Look online. Build a Pinterest board of your favorite examples. Be sure to visit our Pinterest page too; it’s chock full of brick examples and matching pavers.

selecting-brick-lets-you-get-creativeIf you’re really creative, sit down with some watercolor and dream up a home on paper. Gather paint swatch cards. If you’ve chosen a roof color (some designers suggest that’s the place to start) ask your builder for shingle samples.


Then, pack it all up and go to the brick showroom of either a brick manufacturer or a distributor. Show them what you like.

The showroom will have samples, usually glued to boards that you can borrow.

If you’re working with a designer, ask if they have a computer system that will let you upload a photo of your house plan and digitally select different brick combinations.

Pine Hall Brick has a free Design Guide.  Start your search by requesting our Design Guide brochure for ideas on how to get started. Click here for our Free Design Guide!

Use our Design Guide to help select all materials of your dream home!

Take your time and get exactly what you want

Narrow your brick choices down from dozens to a handful.

Then, get back in your car.

You’ll want to drive by homes that use your favorite choices. Your manufacturer, dealer or builder can give you addresses. You probably can’t make your selection in the showroom or with photos. Why? First of all, there are all the variables mentioned above that work together to create the overall look.

Second, there’s sunlight. You’ll want to see your chosen brick in broad daylight, and maybe morning and twilight. 

What makes brick homes so beautiful is the way the product catches and reflects the light. You might find your choice is perfect, or you might find that your third choice is actually the best.

Yes, selecting brick is going to take some time, so start early in the process. But you’ll be glad you did and you can take tons of pride in the final results. And, with a little patience, you can achieve a look that you’ll love for generations.

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