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Brick Matching: Problems and Solutions

Brick SamplesWe can easily match all the common brick types. But the process is not always so straightforward. Occasionally bricks used on old homes, and sometimes on brand new homes, are either not available anymore or aren’t available to order in small quantities. In these cases, we have to look for the best possible match.

 

Here’s how we prioritize our search:

  1. Size – Masonry is so precise that bricks even 1/4″ off create huge problems. Usually joints will be too big or too small, and the improper bonds simply won’t work.
  2. Colour – Brick colour is more noticeable than texture. A brown brick in a red wall looks worse than a red flat brick in a red textured brick wall.
  3. Texture – Bricks have various textures (lines, bark, divots, sand finish, etc.) and matching bricks should have a similar exterior finish.

Click on the link below for some pictures of common brick types:

PICTURES OF COMMON BRICKS

We are able to get a close match in all three categories for almost all non-standard bricks. Most bricks seen in Ottawa are one of two sizes, called Ontario and Quebec. But other sizes are used as well:

Modular – 7 5/8″ – Only used on house built 1960’s or later
Quebec – 8″ – Used 1870’s – present
Ontario – 8 3/8″-  Used 1870’s – present
CSR – 9 3/16″ – Only used on houses built 1980’s or later
Max – 10″ – Only used on houses built 1980’s or later

All measurements are horizontally on the face of the brick, the longest aspect.

Typically the older bricks are more commonly available because there are fewer varieties and the types are more widespread. Modern brick manufacturers are making new kinds of brick every year so it’s getting harder to find suitable replacement bricks for newer building (1990’s – Present)

Brick Tinting

In certain cases we can moderately change the colour or hue of a brick in order to provide a closer match. We usually only do this for bricks that are in a prominent location, or on bricks where the match is perfect except for the colour.

 

The brick on the top has been tinted a darker red in order to match more closely.

 

 

The brick on the top of the bottom stack has been tinted yellow to match the wall better.