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Red brick is a timeless choice for a home, but what may be more of a head-scratcher is which color mortar to pair with this exterior. The choice of mortar can change the look of your brick by miles, so it's vitally important to know which hues pair the best with it, as well as what look and style they will create. We've done the research to give you guidance on this decision.
Red brick can be paired with:
- White mortar for a cheery look.
- Gray mortar for a vintage look.
- Red mortar for a uniform look.
- Cream or beige mortar for a stately look.
Now you know the colors of mortar that go best with red brick, but maybe seeing some examples would help you visualize your project. Keep reading to learn more.
Mortar Colors For A Red Brick House
White mortar brings out the cool tones in brick, and if the brick has any color variation, this could result in a whitewashed appearance. This home's red brick with white mortar gives a bright and cheery feel, which we absolutely love.
White mortar also can provide a deep contrast if paired with uniform red or deep red brick. An example is this home, on which the homeowners have given striking contrast and rich color by choosing to pair white mortar with the all-over red brick.
Gray is the natural color of mortar and was, at one time, the only color available to home builders. Perhaps this is why the tone matched with red brick can bring feelings of nostalgia. We are used to seeing it on dated homes.
The thought of your home appearing dated may not be ideal to you, but if done correctly, we believe that gray mortar with red brick can give a home antique character rather than grunge obsolescence.
See this red brick with gray mortar. It makes one feel as if they've been taken back to the olden days, and as much as our culture enjoys everything vintage, this could be an exterior that one is greatly complimented on. We think this could be a beautiful choice for a home paired with antique sconces, knockers, and other accessories.
Red mortar creates a uniform look, which may be something you are looking for if you require subtlety on your home's exterior. This could perhaps be the case if your home's exterior is too busy and needs less contrast in an area to provide some calm.
There must be enough other features on the home to provide contrast, though. A fine example is this home, on which the white trim surrounding the many windows, white gutters, well-placed white bricks, and gray stone all offer enough dissimilarity to make it work.
The danger with red mortar is causing too much of a uniform look. This home, for instance, has a red brick with red mortar. In addition, the doors have been painted red. This results in a far too commercial look, lacking the character and individuality a family home needs.
Cream Or Beige Mortar
Lighter colors such as cream and beige mortar have long been popular with brick. These are rather safe colors that give just enough dimension without being too stark.
These hues also allow the brick to be truest to its natural color, not over accentuating dark or bright colors in the brick. All of this results in a strong, stately look. There is contrast but subtle contrast.
Consider this home. What first draws your eye are the round-topped windows, the thick banisters, and the grand entrance. The brick adds to the character of the home, but it is not the focus of it. The color of mortar gives class and elegance to the brick.
Choosing The Correct Type Of Mortar
Maybe you're going to tackle this brick project yourself. Choosing the correct type of mortar for your project is just as essential as the correct color. There are two major types of mortar on the market for home building and projects, type N and type S.
Type N mortar is a medium-strength mortar made from 1 part portland cement, 1 part lime, and 6 parts sand. This mortar is medium strength and appropriate for all general uses.
It can be used for above-earth grade, interior, and exterior load-bearing building projects. This includes walls, fireplaces, chimneys, and more. It is also impervious to heat and severe weather, making it a great choice for a home's exterior use.
Type S mortar is made with 2 parts portland cement, 1 part hydrated lime, and 9 parts sand. It has greater strength than Type N mortar. To compare, Type N mortar may be mixed with 750 pounds per square inch (psi) while type S mortar is mixed to withstand a minimum of 1800 psi.
Because of this, type S mortar is the choice for all at or below grade building projects. These may include foundations, sewers, patios, or walkways. This is because the brick needs to be able to hold against soil, wind, and seismic pressure.
How To Create Colorful Mortar
Tint Mortar Mix
If this is a new building project, or if you will be removing old mortar and adding new mortar, you may consider mortar pigment to add to your new mortar mix. You simply mix one canister or bag to the suggested amount of mortar mix. Then apply the mortar as normal.
You can stain existing mortar using a masonry stain kit. The manufacturer should help you create the color you desire.
Using a trim paintbrush, you will want to apply the stain to the lines of mortar. Try to do so in long, full strokes. Be careful of drips and smearing.
Apply Acid To Mortar
Another option to change the color of the existing mortar is by applying muriatic acid. However, this is only an option if you only wish to lighten the color of the mortar.
Simply apply the acid to the lines of mortar using a small paintbrush and leave it on for five minutes. Then, remove the acid. If it has lightened the color to your liking, you're done! However, if you would like it to be lighter, it may take a few more applications. You will have to wait a few days between each time.
Yes, you can paint the existing mortar! This may seem like the easiest option, and it can be if done correctly. Firstly, you will want to make sure that your mortar has been set. If it's new mortar, this means leaving it be for at least 28 days. If it's older mortar, there's no need for this step.
Secondly, you must use an acrylic primer for mortar. This will help remedy the porousness of the material and allow the paint to go on smoother.
Thirdly, you can apply the paint. Once again, we recommend using a trim paintbrush and carefully going along the lines of the mortar, being careful of drips and smears. Be quick to wipe up your mistakes.
Should Trim Match The Mortar Color?
This is a matter of preference. While matching your trim and mortar color is certainly an option, it is not necessary. Actually, we believe choosing different colors for each can actually add dimension and character to a home.
For example, this brick home features beige mortar and gray trim. This does not clash. In fact, the two colors blend quite well together and help create an earthy, homey look.
On the other hand, many times matching mortar and woodwork can be quite beautiful and striking. A case in point is this home with white mortar and white trim.
A red brick home will always carry a statement of class and strength. Selecting the correct mortar color for you simply depends on your style and preferences. White, red, gray, and cream or beige are all excellent color choices to pair with red brick. What's most important is choosing a color palette that will make you feel at home when you come up the driveway.
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