Mortar Colors For Stone – Brick and stone exterior houses look fantastic. They’re highly sought after on the real estate market because of their classic look and durability.
The demand for masonry homes is still evident as developers build houses with front-facing masonry work while the rest of the house is built with siding.
It’s evidence that, even after all these decades, brick and stone are still at the top style wide.
So much attention is given to refinishing brick and stone that mortar joints are almost an afterthought. However, the shade, texture, and color of mortar that goes between the bricks and stones have a huge impact on the look of a home’s exterior.
It can completely change the feel of an office, apartment building, or storefront.
Recent developments in the building industry mean that more options for mortar colors and customization are available than ever.
Homeowners and developers get to choose designs with greater flexibility that appeals to a wider buyer audience.
Mortar Colors For Stone – Choosing Mortar Shades
One of the biggest choices for mortar joints is whether to go light or dark. With light mortar joints, the stones or bricks are accentuated. The mortar fades into the background and eyes are drawn to the reds, pinks, and oranges of bricks.
In stone houses, owners appreciate how light mortar highlights the patterns and geometrical patterns of the stones. It’s a great option for people who invest a great deal in stones or brickwork. You want the focus on the exquisite masonry work.
Dark mortar shades, on the other hand, make a bold style statement that some owners love. With darker mortar colors, builders can create a visual effect on building exteriors that seems to deepen the depth of a wall.
There is more contrast between the wall base and the stone surfaces. Each stone or brick is more distinct with darker mortar colors.
Matching mortar is also an option for people seeking a neutral or simple design look. With neutral or almost matching mortar shades, surfaces look more even and finished. Design is more subtle and nuanced.
Mortar Colors and Tones
There’s no rulebook when it comes to choosing mortar colors. Most builders work with relatively conservative designs because they want to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
However, feel free to experiment with different designs for a look that’s completely yours.
Most mortar colors on the market are earthy colors that will go well with a variety of stone surfaces. You can find light tan or yellow mortar, darker greys, browns, and even reds.
Most people choose mortar colors based on the amount of contrast they want. Remember, the further you stray from the shade of stone or brickwork, the more contrast there will be on the surface.
As you increase in contrast, it accentuates individual stones more. It’s a fantastic look that’s very distinctive and it’s growing in popularity each year.
Approaching Variegated Rock Colors
We’ve laid out the basics for how different mortar colors affect the look of a masonry wall, but what about walls that have many different colors? What do you do if you’ve got a wide variety of stone colors to work with?
In recent years, variegated stones have grown in popularity. People love how stones change from red to sand-colored, to grey all on the same wall. It’s a lovely design look that looks beautiful during the fall as the leaves change colors.
Homeowners in drier climates like Arizona also get great results with variegated stonework.
Dealing with so many different colors in an exterior can make choosing a mortar color more challenging. The best rule of thumb is to choose a neutral mortar color that won’t draw attention away from the stones.
After all, you invested in variegated stones because you want to look at them. You also hope that other people will appreciate your build. Sticking with a neutral mortar color will keep the spotlight on the stones instead of mortar joints.
Harnessing Technology for the Future
Technology moves more slowly in masonry work, but that doesn’t mean masons are oblivious to the possibilities. Recently, masons and mortar producers across the United States have worked to use imaging technology to offer more mortar color choices.
With software, mortar companies can take a brick or stone sample and produce an exact or close to exact color match that can be used in the mortar joints. The result is a smooth, uniform finish that looks fantastic.
As more colors like gold, black, and yellow come to market, expect more development companies and property owners to take chances and add a little flair to building exteriors.
Companies have even started using naming conventions on mortar colors to appeal to high-end buyers. You can buy merlot, suede, Nantucket, and briarwood mortar colors.
Costs of Colored Mortar Compared to Traditional Mortars
If you’re looking to use colored mortar for your home or commercial property, expect higher costs. Adding pigments to mortar can cost around 20% more than a traditional grey.
Rarer colors can reach 100% higher or more depending on whether the amount of pigment needed will change the mortar base. Currently, greens and blues are some of the priciest mortar colors on the market.
Hopefully, as technology develops and demands for colored mortar increases, costs will come down and make colored options more available. Of course, the volume of mortar required to complete a job will also have a significant impact on price.
Temperature is Also a Consideration
Picking mortar colors is much different than choosing residential interior paint. You have to consider exposure to the sun and other weather conditions that can affect the shade of mortar colors over time.
Typically, mortar color won’t fade from being in the sun, but power washing mortar joints can erode past that then exposes mortar color to fading and breakdown. Ultimately, if mortar joints fade, it will change the face of your property and negate the exterior look you were going for in the first place.