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Bricks aren’t just for the Land of Oz

With today's focus on green homes and sustainability, brick fits right in.

For many people, when they think bricks, they think the color yellow. Who could forget Dorothy’s stroll down the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz, after all?

Fortunately, if yellow isn’t your color, you can still make use of bricks in your home or business. In fact, many home and business owners are finding that brick offers a one-of-a-kind twist to their modern design.

From the clay of the earth

Despite what you may remember from grade school, bricks weren’t popularized by the three little pigs, although it did serve them well up against the big, bad wolf.

No, bricks have been used for thousands of years by ancient civilizations the world over.

From China and the Middle-East to ancient Greece, builders were quick to catch on to the benefits of creating blocks from the clay of the earth.

According to the Brick Industry Association (BIA), brick is made from clay and shale, then fired in a kiln. This causes the minerals in the brick to fuse together, creating a a hardy building block.

While bricks used to be formed through air-drying and can be made from different materials, such as sand and lime, firing is now the most common way of forming them.

“Fired clay brick has been used as a primary building material in North America since before the United States became an independent nation,” the BIA states.

“Because of brick’s incredible longevity, one can still see many of America’s early, colonial, brick structures – ranging from Virginia’s St. Luke’s Church (est. 1632) and Boston’s State House (circa 1713) to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall (1732-1753).”

Now, brick is making a big comeback with the interior design set.

A blast from the past

Take one look at the latest design blogs and you’re sure to see a growing trend in using exposed brick in modern homes and businesses.

While it used to be that property owners would reach for the white paint to cover up brick walls, more and more, people are opting to use them as unique feature walls that can make a room come alive like a blast from the past.

Brick walls can fit many different types of design schemes, but often go best with materials like hardwood floors. Both bring to mind classic design aesthetics and add a touch of understated history to modern buildings.

Additionally, with today’s focus on green homes and sustainability, brick fits right in.

Going green with red bricks

Who would have thought the red bricks inside and outside your property could help you go green?

“Most builders and their customers know that genuine clay brick is an outstanding building material,” the BIA states.

“Because of its thermal mass properties, brick has the inherent ability to absorb and retain heat to release at a later date, resulting in less energy required to heat and cool homes. Unlike other
materials, brick is supremely durable, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) allots brick masonry a 100-year life.”

Another positive is that brick is made from natural materials, which can make it healthier for occupants than man-made materials containing harsh chemicals.

And while brick is definitely sturdy, it pays to ensure your brick has the right surface protection.

Making it last

Brick is hard and dense, but it can also be very porous, meaning it can be easily penetrated by water and oil.

In order to avoid stains, water ingress and efflorescence, your best bet is to use a high-quality impregnating sealer that will help your brick last the test of time. This is especially important if your brick is located in an entertaining area or outside, two locations that can make it more vulnerable to damage.

STAIN-PROOF Original is one quality product that will help keep your brick protected and looking great. Another option if you’re hoping to enrich the color of your brick is INTENSIFIA. Not only will this product add protection to your brick, it will also bring out its natural beauty through enhanced colors.

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