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What color are most bricks?

Brick color is an important consideration when selecting bricks for construction and design projects. The color of bricks can impact the overall aesthetic of a building and also plays a role in structural integrity. So what is the most common brick color? Let’s take a look at some key facts and statistics on brick color popularity.

The Most Popular Brick Colors

According to industry surveys, the most popular brick colors are:

  • Red – Ranging from orange-red to deep burgundy, red bricks are the most common. They account for around 60% of the brick market.
  • Brown – Earth tones like brown, tan, and bronze make up around 15% of brick sales.
  • Grey – From light grey to charcoal, grey bricks account for 10% of the market share.
  • White – Stark white or cream colored bricks take up around 5% of brick sales.
  • Yellow – Pale yellow bricks cover around 5% of the brick market as well.
  • Black – True black bricks are less common at only about 3% of sales.

So as you can see, red is by far the most popular brick color. Brown, grey, white, and yellow bricks are also fairly common. Black bricks are more rare and tend to be used more for accent purposes.

Regional Differences in Brick Colors

Brick popularity can also vary by region. Here are some notable regional brick color preferences:

  • Northeastern US – Grey and brown bricks are more popular in New England.
  • Midwest US – Red bricks rule in much of the midwest, especially Ohio.
  • Southern US – Tan and brown tones do well in hot southern areas.
  • Western US – Varied colors are common, but white is popular in places like Texas.
  • Northwestern US – Grey bricks frequent Pacific Northwest modern architecture.
  • UK – Brick variation is common, but reds and browns are most typical.

So while red bricks dominate nationally, regional architectural styles and climates can influence local brick choices.

Factors Influencing Brick Color

What makes bricks red, brown, grey, or other colors? Here are some of the key factors that determine brick color:

  • Clay composition – The minerals present in the clay during firing impact brick hue.
  • Temperature – Higher kiln temperatures produce darker bricks.
  • Oxidation – More oxidation makes redder bricks, less makes greyer/browner bricks.
  • Impurities – Compounds like iron oxide tint bricks red, lime makes them tan.
  • Coatings – Paints or glazes are sometimes applied for color.

Modern brickmakers can exercise great control over the color process by carefully selecting clays, monitoring kiln temperatures, and tweaking oxidation levels.

The Benefits of Common Brick Colors

Now that we know the most popular brick color options, let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of each:

Red Brick Benefits

  • Timeless and classic appearance
  • Matches a variety of architectural styles
  • Earthy natural clay color
  • Provides design warmth
  • Creates rich, dramatic contrasts

Grey Brick Benefits

  • Modern, clean, and sophisticated look
  • Ideal for contemporary architecture
  • Muted and versatile neutral hue
  • Reflective surface lightens spaces
  • Matches a range of colors well

Brown Brick Benefits

  • Warm, welcoming earth tone
  • Complements greens and browns
  • Distinctive but still neutral
  • Ideal for Craftsman and rustic styles
  • Richer than tan or beige

As we can see, common brick colors each have their own advantages that make them suitable for different applications and designs.

Unusual and Specialty Brick Colors

Beyond the most common bricks, there are also many specialty brick colors used for accent purposes. These include:

  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Black
  • White

Specialty bricks provide unique character to projects. However, their rarity makes them more expensive than conventional red, brown and grey bricks.

Do Bricks Fade Over Time?

Brick color is designed to be long-lasting, but can bricks fade or change color over decades of exposure to sun, rain, and other elements?

While brick color is quite stable, some subtle fading can occur over time, usually over the course of many years. Here are some factors that play a role:

  • Sun exposure – UV rays can slowly lighten and mute dark brick colors.
  • Pollution – Acid rain and dirt can subtly modify brick appearance.
  • Efflorescence – White chalky deposits form on bricks, usually temporarily.
  • Weathering – Erosion and cleaning methods impact color over time.
  • Sealants – Topical sealers help bricks maintain their original color.

Overall, quality bricks should maintain their color reasonably well for decades before any noticeable fading takes place. Periodic cleaning and resealing can help prolong their original hue.

Choosing Complementary Colors for Brick

When incorporating brick into a design or construction project, it’s important to select complementary colors that enhance the brickwork. Here are some recommended pairings for common brick types:

Brick Color Complementary Colors
Red Grey, tan, brown, green, white, black
Brown Red, green, cream, tan, white
Grey White, black, red, yellow, brown
White Grey, red, green, blue, brown

Coordinating brick color with trim, roofing, landscaping, and other exterior elements creates an attractive, holistic aesthetic.


In summary, while many brick colors are available, red remains the most popular, accounting for around 60% of bricks sold. Regionally, grey and brown bricks gain favor in certain areas of the U.S. Clay composition, kiln temperatures, and oxidation levels all contribute to brick color. Fading can occur but is typically minimal over decades. Complementary colors should be chosen to enhance the chosen brickwork. Now equipped with knowledge on brick color options and trends, designers can make informed selections for their masonry visions.