Whereas new brick is primarily used for all modern masonry work, buying used or antique brick adds a charming, aesthetic touch as well as a historical quality to your project. Used brick can sometimes save you money on material costs, but not always. Antique brick might not be cheaper due to the fact that is recaptured from its original location and resold. There are numerous home renovation businesses that sell antique restored brick, and there may be quite the markup given the amount of work it takes to locate, disassemble and transport used brick. Still, used brick can sometimes be found for a low price. If you know where to look, you might be able to find it in free piles or remodeling centers.
Where Used Brick comes from
Used and antique brick that you purchase from resellers is often found from old mills, factories and other structures that were built as long as a century ago. It is a testament to the strength of brick that the materials are still intact. When the brick was originally installed, the material inputs were much more natural than they are today. This not only authenticates them as antiques, but it also all but guarantees that they are quality made.
Reclaimed brick often is marketed and sold according to its original location such as Chicago brick. It means the brick was historically located in a particular region before being reclaimed. Such titles add cost to used brick, though, especially if the brick came from a famous building.
Why there is a Market for Used Brick
Brick homes, factories and mills that are more than a century old were not originally built to modern code. As cities modernize, the brick structures are demolished and new materials are used to build in their place. Somewhere along the line someone realized that there was a market to sell these old bricks. Antique bricks give your garden or home a certain look. While it’s not recommended that you use antique, reclaimed brick for load-bearing walls, it can be installed just like new brick as an aesthetic feature. Its historical quality along with its aged look lend character to practically any space, especially if you want to achieve a rustic design.
Projects for Used, Antique Brick
Although antique brick should not be laid for load bearing purposes, it can easily be mortared over an existing wall to give a room an antique look. Whether it’s a billiard room, a basement bar or cigar den, antique brick takes the inhabitants of a room back to a historical time. In the garden, antique brick is perfect for edging or a charming border wall. Antique brick can create, somewhat counterintuitively, modern ruins in your landscape. In other words, you are designing a landscape that is purposely meant to resemble something from a bygone era.
New brick is what it is: strong, capable and new looking. Antique, reclaimed brick, on the other hand, has upon it the stamp of the past. Whether it was salvaged from a crumbling river mill in the Midwest or an old hotel in New York, antique brick brings a lot of character and historical charm to your living space or landscaping.