Finding New Bricks to Match Your Old Ones
Every now and again, there is a need to repair or extend brick walls. In some cases, a person is looking for just a brick or two to make a repair, in other cases a lot are needed; for example, if an extension is being built. Finding bricks to match those used in the original structure is, obviously, desirable, as otherwise the finished result looks unprofessional. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to do this. A brick type and style can become unavailable for a couple of reasons. One reason is that the clay deposit that was used for the original bricks may have been depleted. The other reason is that the original style of brick used may have ‘gone out of fashion’, so to speak, and has been discontinued. Though you may think that bricks have little style to them, it is actually quite common for subtle, fashionable changes to be made to them over time.
In some cases, you can get lucky and find a brick at your local brick merchant that is a perfect match, or one that is so close that from a short distance you cannot see a noticeable difference. The chances are the task will be a bit more difficult though. If there was a national database of brick colors and textures, then this would not be too difficult but, alas, there is not. Your first plan should be to take color photographs of the original bricks used with a good quality camera so that you capture the true color of your brick. Mail these photographs to brick distributors who will be more than happy to help you if they can. Try to remember what year you bought the original bricks, and who you bought them from, as the more information you give the brick merchants, the better the chance of them being able to help you.
If perfect brick matching is not an option, then a color match is the next best thing. Finding bricks that are a very close color match is definitely possible with a little looking around. Matching bricks by color is much preferable to matching bricks by texture. You should not ignore texture altogether, but bear in mind that differences in brick textures cannot be seen from a distance. Color mis-matches stand out from any distance. Do not rush the brick matching process. Take your time and get some samples that you can take back to your home. Up close, you will, of course, always be able to see some differences; what is important is how visible differences are from a distance of over 10 feet. Ask for a second, and even a third, opinion too.