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What are some basic brick colors?

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Quick Answer

Basic brick colors include the familiar reddish-brown to light cream, yellow, blue, gray or pink. The color depends on the temperature at which the clay is fired, and what the clay is made of. Clay that is abundant in iron, for example, produces a pinkish brick, while clay high in lime produces light-colored bricks.

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Some bricks are named after their places of origin, such as Staffordshire Blue Brick. Interestingly, this brick is made out of the red clay that's found in the area of Staffordshire, England. Its blue color is caused by firing it at high temperatures in a low-oxygen reducing kiln. This treatment also makes the brick very hard, tough and non-porous.

Salmon brick is a pinkish brick that is softer than usual. This is because it was under-heated. These bricks are not appropriate for exteriors and deteriorate when they're exposed to decades of harsh weather. Time also robs them of their pink color and makes them visually indistinguishable from tougher bricks.

Cream City brick was produced in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from the mid 19th to the early 20th century. The brick was so prevalent in construction that it gave Milwaukee its nickname of "Cream City." As its name implies, this brick's color ranged from cream to yellow.

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