Choosing correct mortar colour : Prologue
It was a cold spring night. Everybody in the mathews household was asleep. Well, everyone apart from Mrs Mathews.
She couldn’t sleep, her iPad in hand, she sat alone in the dark on her new Italian sofa and spent two long hours deciding which brick slips she would be using for her new feature wall.
Once decided, one by one and in fast pace items were added to her shopping cart. Just like that she had spent 2 hours deliberating over tile colour and only 3 minutes adding all the other accessories into her cart including her Pointing Mortar. The pace to which she chose the colour was astonishing, her fingers tapping away as if the decision meant nothing.
That night Mrs Mathews went to sleep happy knowing that she had purchased the materials for her new feature brick slip wall. Little did she know that the mortar colour she chose would change her interior designer aspirations forever etc.
Choosing the correct mortar colour is important.
‘OK’ I could have gone on and on with my little story but I think everybody reading this gets my point.
Why spend hundreds or even thousands of pounds on a fantastic product to let it down by not putting any true thought into the finished product.
Brick slips are a fantastic product, their realism and effectiveness can only be fully achieved if installed and appointed correctly and despite having a huge resounding impact on the look and appeal of a feature wall, the choice of mortar colour, is something that requires greater thought.
A yellow brick with a yellow pointing mortar colour will look like a great big block of yellow FACT… a yellow brick with a white mortar will look like a brick wall with definition.
What I am trying to say is compatibility between brick and mortar is the most important consideration in selecting your pointing mortar, a designers prerogative is that mortar colours that go above and beyond the standard natural or buff options, can be beneficial.
This being said it has always been my suggestion that if you are wanting to create the look of a wall, then make it look like a wall. Even with the best tradesman using the best pointing tools red mortar will look odd and out of place when used to point a yellow brick wall.
Make it real
Believability is key, spending money on a great brickslips product to have your eyes drawn to the joints in the wall rather than the product is what most installations scream out “please avoid”.
Whilst natural or buff coloured mortars like our historic natural white pointing mortar will blend in with the most common brick choices, matching the mortar exactly to the brick type can create a sleek, uniform effect. This works particularly well with modern and contemporary housing designs which continue to grow in popularity.
As a traditionalist unfortunately my opinion means very little to the creative individuals who see the world through a much more artistic and creative lense than myself.
I can understand the reasons for using contrasting and bold colours within the mortar joint and accept that there are exceptions.
Alternative mortar colours are seen much more often in commercial markets where architects have more forgiving budgets and greater creative freedom and artistic statements to make that allow them to consider the type of mortar being used.
As with interior trends, greys and dark tones like our light grey and dark grey mortars are starting to become more common in the mortar world. They are successful at turning simple brickwork into a statement by reinforcing the shadow effect of a joint, especially when used alongside a lighter brick tone.
Rewind back to the more daring colours mentioned previously such as shades of red and yellow, from an artistic point of view I can imagine that they provide a greater degree of creative freedom and I am sure this is essential for creating a building that will truly stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of its audience.
Be brave or be traditional the choice is yours.