Nature’s color palette is a wonder to behold and this has never been truer than with brick. The finished colors of the clay - mined from the ground and then fired in kilns to become brick - have delighted builders and home designers for centuries. Over its 128 years of manufacturing these rich hued building units, Acme Brick has consistently added new colors to this most natural construction material - brick.
According to Mat Tramel, Corporate Laboratory Manager for Acme Brick, there are dozens of “body” colors of the company’s brick, ranging from snow white to very deep black and everything in between. ”This diversity of colors has greatly expanded over the years as a response to market demands,” he said. “We are continually able to add more colors. The natural color of the clay can be slightly adjusted with a variety of new technologies at the plant resulting in hundreds of different colors. If you think about it, Acme Brick is really in the color business."
The Hottest Brick Color Designs
Home design is very much like fashion design. Different styles and colors come and go, depending on the tastes of homeowners. The manufacturers who belong to the industry trade group, the Brick Industry Association, see a trend toward softer subtler colors in the preferences of current homeowners.
According to a recent survey, the group reported that the top residential color choices include whites, grays, tans, and buffs (a light yellow-brown color) – in line with younger homebuyers’ preferences for lighter exteriors made from natural materials and modern design over boxy architecture.
The 2019 survey also noted that increasingly popular metallic glazes, including clear glazes and colors such as greens and blacks, have been rising in demand. Sleek metallic finishes that shimmer with light rays can help create a striking feature wall or backsplash.
This survey notes that the latest design trends feature "historic modern" elements, including bellcast eaves and flying trellises inspired by 16th century French architect Philbert de l’Orme. Trends also include arched doorways that mimic classic barrel vaulting used by the Romans and revived with the Renaissance.
There is a trend toward Tudor Revival where certain texturing with the brick results in casting multiple shadow accents in the daytime. This creates a beautiful “impasto” appearance – the look an artist achieves by applying paint in thick layers on a canvas such that the strokes are visible.
The latest brick trends also include creating interesting textures by corbelling – where random bricks jut out of walls.
Pavers are especially popular for kitchens and mudrooms, and colors lean toward grays and blacks, with grays working especially well with stone and other building materials. Pavers are also being increasingly used both indoors and out.
Finally, interior thin brick continues to be popular for kitchens, especially as a backsplash, living room accent walls and other interior applications such as entryways and laundry rooms.
How Home Style Guides Brick Color Selection
Today’s home buyers have a vast array of styles from which to choose - from Modern to Farmhouse, to Industrial Loft and others. As a residential sales representative for Acme Brick, Jonathan Douglas spends a lot of time talking to home builders, interior designers and future home buyers. He has first-hand experience with the advantages of having multiple colors of brick for all of these groups.
“The wide range of brick color choices enable builders and designers to achieve the look that home buyers want,” he said. “The style of home plays a part in the color selection as well as the trends at the time. For example, a modern look started with white then went to gray; now it is trending towards black. As for a traditional look, we trend towards brown brick, and farmhouse is either painted or lighter colors.
“Some colors are also more popular than others in a given geographical area. In most cases, this color preference depends on the availability of that brick color in the area.”
Mat Tramel adds, “We are constantly testing and developing new colors based on the market changes and annual forecasts. We also take pride in being able to match colors from past production for match jobs and add-ons.”
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