29 Finding the perfect match

Jason Hughes, managing director at Imperial Bricks, looks at the growing popularity of handmade, colour matched bricks for new build, period buildings and interiors

ture. It’s much more than the universally- known red brick – new-builds, refurbish- ment and extension projects are paying more attention than ever to colour, size, texture, style and application. Glazed and crackled bricks, used for feature walls or kitchen splashbacks, are increasing in popularity, as are lime washed bricks for a softer look. Brick ‘slips’, cut from the face of the brick, are also increasingly popular in the UK. They can be used both for external facades (timber frame construction and cladding of existing exteriors) and for decorative use on internal feature walls. There’s a thriving market for traditional handmade bricks – used to create an authentic period look or a contemporary ‘imperfect’ urban finish, to highlight modern fittings. There has been a rise in specifications from architects and develop- ers who want to differentiate their projects,


ne of the oldest building materials, the humble brick, is experiencing a fresh resurgence within architec-

while stockists are reporting more enquiries from contractors and self-builders. There’s still a demand for reclaimed

bricks, but these are hard to come by in any quantity, expensive and a relatively lucra- tive target for thieves. Age – and transportation – take their toll. There is no standardised testing, so builders typically report 20 per cent wastage. ‘Kiln-fresh’ handmade bricks are a viable alternative – still a premium product but much more cost-effective, CE marked, fully frost-resis- tant and available on reasonable lead times. Architect Richard Lomas, of Lomas Architecture, comments: “Getting the colour and size of brick in the quantities we need is an important factor. Working across the north of England, we use many different styles and colours. Obtaining samples and choosing the closest match can be difficult, so the opportunity to source as many new handmade bricks as we need, knowing they will be exactly what we want, is a real advantage.”


Lansdowne Gardens, a residential project in London SW8, features 68 mm Reclamation Yellow Stock, as a perfect match to original brickwork

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