Do natural white bricks exist?

topmanSeptember 28, 2012

Hello!

I have been doing a lot of research but were not able to find any good pictures of white brick home as inspiration and would like to seek some helpful advices here!

We will be doing mainly bricks on our new home exterior, with some stone accents on the front porch. Ideally, we would like to do a color combo similar to this.

http://www.houzz.com/photos/163464/Exterior-traditional-exterior-minneapolis. However, we will not be doing stucco and it doesn't seem like there are any natural bricks (non-painted) that can give us that shade of white or even light grey color on exterior. We have come across a product called indiana limestone which gives a natural stone look in white/light grey but it will cost a lot more than bricks. We have seen brick company websites showcasing white bricks but they are usually just very light brown products and do not give the same color tone as "white stucco" or indiana limestone.

If any of you know any information in regards to this that can be shared with me, that will be great!

Thanks!

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john_wc

Here is your image for easy viewing:

Traditional Exterior design by Minneapolis General Contractor Stonewood, LLC

This home has painted white brick. White brick is produced but around here painted brick is fairly popular. Belden seems to offer white brick. Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Belden white brick

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:26PM
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gaonmymind

Be aware that white bricks can turn yellow over time. Also you could do a mortar wash or lime wash to get a similar look.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 6:29PM
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nini804

I wanted a white brick house, and since everyone and their grandmother looks aghast when you say you want to paint brick, I looked for brick that was white. All I found were either very commercial looking bricks or bricks that were light colored, but most had pinkish or taupish tones to them. Finally, I just said, screw it...there are gorgeous painted brick homes here in the SE in older, leafy neighborhoods...and homeowners I talked to had no significant maintenance problems with the painted brick. We painted our brick on our new build and I am SO glad we did. We think it looks wonderful and it is so different and refreshing in our small, custom home neighborhood which is filled with craftsman, English country and French country homes.

I agree with Gaonmymind that lime wash might be a good idea for you...it might have more of that stone look.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 8:55PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I was just watching and old Sarah's House and they stained the brick rather than paint it, letting it look a lot more like natural brick.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:39PM
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athensmomof3

I haven't seen a pretty white brick that exists as is. Not to mention, when you paint brick, you probably want to do a flush mortar joint to keep it from looking choppy. The second house posted above was renovated by my architect and is owned by Suzanne Kasler, a big time designer in Atlanta. She did paint her brick, and her house was inspiration for us painting our brick also. We used a greige color on the brick (Farrow and Ball Stony Ground) and a darker greige (Farrow and Ball Mouseback) on the shutters. Our builder tells us we won't ever have to repaint. I love the painted brick though - it added instant age to our house, and it looks like it has been here for years even though it is brand new.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:45PM
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rrah

topman-Indiana limestone doesn't "give" a natural stone look. It is a natural stone quarried and milled in the southern parts of Indiana.

It's used throughout the country on college campuses and commercial and government buildings. The Pentagon, the Empire State building, the Lincoln memorial, Rockefeller Center, the Tribune Tower are a few examples of the stone being used. Thousands of homes in IN are built using Indiana Limestone.

There are slight color differences, depending upon the specific quarry, but in general it is a grayish, white stone. Some stones may develop a beige/yellow hue over many decades. I have limestone keystones, sills, and other accents on my house.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 7:10AM
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topman

Thanks john_wc! That first picture you posted seems to be stucco to me? I do love the look of that house and have actually saved an image on my Houzz.

@ nini804, did you end up painting your house white? If so, do you mind sharing a photo of the exterior? I think I am going through exactly what you went through previously. Trying to avoid painting bricks and looking for bricks that are WHITE! I have attached a photo of a house that used white bricks (not painted), that's the closest I could find.

@athensmomof3 , do you know how often we need to maintain a painted brick home and what the associated cost would be on average?

Thanks for everyone's comments.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 2:30PM
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bcool

We went through the same thing. We looked at every sample of white brick at our local brickyard, but none were right. We thought about painting the brick and staining the brick. Eventually, we found bricks made by the stone company Arriscraft.

We ordered samples, but, because no one in our area has ever used it, we were not able to see them on a house. The used to have a Cotton color that sounds like what you are look for, but they no longer make it. We ordered the bricks in the Linen color. Warning: They are not cheap.

They're in, but not on the house yet. I'll post a photo when they start going up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arriscraft Tumbled Estate Brick

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 5:55PM
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athensmomof3

We painted our bricks by using a masonry primer (Loxon by SW) and two coats of SW Duration. We love it! Both our builder and the paint store said we would never have to repaint. My sister lives in a brick house which was painted 12 years ago and it still looks fabulous, so I believed them. It made a huge difference in how our house looks and it is exactly what we wanted - made it look like it had been there forever, in a good way.

Before paint:

After paint:

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:24PM
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nini804

Hey Topman, we did paint our brick. I'll try to find a before paint pic to post like Athens did! I am not sure the painting process our builder used, but they had done a painted brick home in another neighborhood in our town about 10 years ago that has not needed repainting yet. It still looks great, so that gives me hope! :)

Ok, before paint! (Note the ugly grey mortar! It was so much cheaper than the taupe we used with the brick on our porch floor!)

After:

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:03PM
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athensmomof3

Beautiful nini - we too used the ugly gray mortar:) And cheap bricks . . .

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 7:16AM
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nini804

Oh yeah...our bricks were some leftover from a huge job that they'd made too many...I was tempted to put a sign out front during the build that said "don't worry, we are painting this!" :)

You must be loving your new home....it is stunning!! (and hey, how bout them dawgs? :) Scared for that game today, though...)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:00AM
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bcool

Athens & Nini, love your houses. In fact, photos of each of them led us down the path of considering painting. Unfortunately, we didn't have an overrun of bricks and the cost got us close to the Arriscraft (which is actually a stone cut into the shape of a brick).

We met a lot of really nice Georgia fans last month up here in Missouri. Good luck today!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:40PM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

You might want to check out Belden Brick (linked below)

Also Cunningham Brick Company - http://www.cunninghambrick.com/architecturalbrick.aspx?catID=5

Here is a link that might be useful: Belden Brick - whites

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 5:21PM
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topman

thank you everyone!

@ bevangel, I also saw that website when I was researching, thanks! Just hope there are more photos of homes that were built with those white bricks!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:47PM
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veronicascott

yeah. They exists. If you can't afford to, then paint it white. :)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 3:59AM
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topman

We contacted a few companies and were happy that we found a couple of white brick options. =) Going to see some samples.

Just curious, can you easily tell if the bricks are painted or not (especially for white bricks)?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:50AM
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topman

Hello bcool! Just wondering if your bricks are up and if you can share some photos! :) Do you mind sharing the price range they quoted you for your white bricks? Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:43PM
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john_wc

Athens, is your builder related to Bob Marett?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 12:05AM
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bcool

Topman, no not yet. Progress has been s-l-o-w. They should be going up in a couple of weeks. I don't remember the price, but I'll find it. They were certainly expensive.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 2:55AM
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topman

I got my quotes in. Builder explained that I would probably need 40-45,000 bricks on the house. Brick guy quoted Arriscraft bricks at $7xx per 1000 bricks vs all other regular bricks we looked at are around $250-300 per 1000 bricks. To go with painted bricks, it will probably be around $5000 for the paint job on top of regular brick price.

Now I wonder if it's worth it investing in the more expensive bricks. It's about $15-20K total. It probably won't increase the home value by much in a case like this right? Do brick quality affect a house value?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:46AM
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bcool

I don't think you'll get "credit" from an appraiser for a more expensive stone or brick. Likewise, I doubt any potential buyer will even know the difference. The painted brick will probably be a more polarizing factor for future buyers, but you're not building for them.

That's a good price on Arriscraft, and the prices on the other bricks - if they are the shape and texture you want after they are painted - are really good. Make sure you mock up some and paint / stain them. The only ones we liked pushed our price up at or near the Arriscraft.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:40AM
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athensmomof3

I prefer the look of painted brick over colored brick, but that is a personal opinion. We paid 250/1000 for the Boral Asbury and painted them. They have a very nice texture for painting and the house looks like it has been here forever. We did a flush mortar joint, which looks great with the painted brick. We also were able to use the less expensive gray mortar vs the more expensive ivory buff because we were painting. We used the ivory buff on our back patio and screened porch with a tumbled brick (Old Savannah by Cherokee).

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:59AM
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topman

Thanks bcool and thanks for sharing your thoughts athensmomof3. We are still going back and forth between painted and non-painted bricks. The thing about colored bricks that we like is that we can use a different color on the mortar and the mortar is more defined but if we paint over bricks, the brick and mortar will both be painted the same color. Is this correct?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 11:16PM
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athensmomof3

Yes and that is what I like about it! If this is not the look you are going for, then you won't like the uniformity of painted brick. I am a very simple girl and wanted a very simple house ;)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 11:46PM
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buildiva22

There's this home in my in law's neighborhood using very light color bricks, looking almost white in photo. What do you all think about this? We are not starting our build until later next year but am just trying to collect ideas at this point.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 9:50AM
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