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Decorative bricks in and around the home

When most of us think of a brick, we tend to think of a red lump of fired earth that is used to build houses. Not very inspiring, but practical nonetheless!

Of course bricks are used as the primary construction material for permanent buildings in the United Kingdom, but they can be utilised for so much more than outside walls. Bricks can be used to great effect in the garden to make paths, barbecues and retaining walls, but when the creative juices are allowed to flow freely, some amazing results can be realised.

Not just a brick wall!

If we use bricks decoratively, we can really change the look of any building. Bricks comes in many colours and sizes, so if we vary the colour, size, placement and location when building a brick wall, we will create some very interesting finishes to our building projects. Another thing we could consider doing to change the monotony of a standard brick wall is to change the way we make the mortar joints.

By laying different colours and textures of bricks at different courses, we can almost paint a picture with the bricks. There really is no limit to your creativity!

Painting bricks

Bricks can look great, but some people want to add a further splash of colour to their home by painting the exterior bricks. However, it's not just a case of breaking out the paint tray and roller, there are some important factors to think about before you put paint to brick.

If you paint your exterior brickwork, you should aim to repaint it every three to five years. The overall quality of your brick should determine whether you paint it in the first place. Brick that is chipping, deteriorating, covered in mould or in a generally poor condition is always a bad canvas for paint. This is because paint blocks the natural pores in the bricks surface, which can cause existing problems to become even worse over time. When water seeps in through the mortar, it also seeps into the brick through the inside, and if the surface of the brick is clogged with paint, the moisture simply will not evaporate. This will cause the paint to chip off in a relatively short period of time.

You will also need to remember that removing paint from bricks is a very difficult process. You will have to use chemicals, and even these will rarely take off every last trace of paint. So think long and hard before you attempt to make your brickwork more decorative with paint as if you don't like the look, you may well be stuck with it for good.

Interior bricks to enhance the decor of your house

An example of decorative brickwork on an interior wall

It's not just the exterior that can be enhanced with imaginative use of bricks, the interior of any home can benefit from artistic and thoughtful brick placement.

Building a brick interior wall between one room and another is perhaps the most frequently used method. The interior brick wall is often employed where there would normally have been two separate rooms that have had the dividing wall removed.

Having a decorative brick feature like an archway or series of them, offers the room an open feeling. It is not quite open plan because you retain a form of separateness to the rooms, but the brickwork defines rather than divides the two rooms.

A good example is the dining room and kitchen. The chances are that there will be a run of cupboards and worksurface in the kitchen, and instead of having a solid brick wall behind, you have an open arch or brick clad lintel that incorporates the kitchen into the dining room. This way you are still able to keep young children and pets from entering the kitchen area for safety or hygiene reasons but are still able to maintain contact with other occupants of the house or visitors. This is particularly useful when hosting dinner parties, as you can keep chatting to your guests even when you are cooking.

Mixing it up a little with your bricks

Being surrounded by bare brick walls can be a little too much, much in the same way as regular plastered walls that are all the same colour and texture. This is why so many people are now opting for a single feature wall to display exposed bare brick whilst leaving the rest of the room as decorated plaster covered brick. This is just an extreme version of having a single wall covered in a particular wall paper. A single bare brick wall can really bring out the beauty of a fireplace or even a treasured piece of artwork that is to be hung there.

Even the exterior bricks can look amazing

By alternating textures and colours of bricks, a wall can become pretty striking to look at, but you don't have to stop there.

By changing the way bricks are laid can have a major impact on the finished building too. Laying bricks in a Herringbone pattern can look interesting and maybe having some bricks protruding from the rest of the wall, like a sort of climbing wall is also an inventive way of breaking from the norm.

So if you would like to discuss the possibilities of new and innovative ways of using bricks, why not give us a call at ET Bricks. No matter what the building project is, we can guide you through it step by step.


t: 01708 200 304

t: 01708 200 304