When building a home or commercial structure, you may not consider mortar color to have as drastic of an impact as you think it will until you see it in person. Beyond bonding bricks together, mortar is every bit a design element as the brick.
Mortar colors make up roughly 18-24% of a brick’s wall space, meaning that 1/5th of your brick veneer will be mortar color alone. Take a look below at some of our comparisons ranging across three popular brick colors: Red Brick, White Brick and Gray/Black Brick. Click or tap on the images to get a closer look.
*NOTE: The mortar colors shown below are not a color match and should only be used as a reference to color selection and contrasting effects.
You can see that the same color brick with different mortar colors can create a drastically different look to a brick veneer. You also may note that the color of the brick can be accentuated by the mortar itself. For example, if you use a gray brick with a gray mortar vs a buff mortar, you will either draw attention to the grays in the brick or the buffs and brown undertones that may be across the face of the brick.
The best way to bring out the color you desire most in your brick is by properly mixing the right color mortar with the right color sand. Mortar colors are affected by the type and color of sand used in the mixing process. So, if you are looking for a dark, bold mortar, your sand base should also be a dark base for your mortar color selection. Looking for a soft white finish? Pairing the whitest sand with the lightest mortar coloring will help achieve the best monochromatic look you desire.
One great example of how mortar can be used creatively is The Foundry Cinema and Bowl in Winter Park, Colorado. The developers of this property wanted the building to have the look and feel of an aged warehouse and were able to achieve that with different colors of mortar.
Since many warehouses were not built in the same time period, The Foundry was able to achieve a similar look using three different colors of mortar with the same brick. The mortar colors used in this project are gray, white and black, and the application is intentionally imperfect in places to add to the authenticity of an older building.
Looking to add texture or a clean look to your brick space? Consider the jointing style you will use. Feature a “Grapevine” joint for added texture or a “Concave” for a smoother final appearance. Adding thin brick to your floors? Perhaps you want a “Flush” joint. Different mortar colors and jointing create different looks and effects, so take time to find what works best for your brick design.