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Monday, October 12, 2015


If there's one thing I've learned in our many years of updating the various houses we've lived in, it's that each project ALWAYS has a snag and never goes quite as planned.

We've had several of those snags in our patio makeover, but here's the latest.  We want a brick fireplace, and there will also be a brick half-wall that runs from the edge of the fireplace to the house.  

I used my very crude editing skills to give you an idea where we're headed, 

except that wall will be a pierced brick pattern like this one-

We're ready to proceed with the fireplace, so I took our brick to the local Acme showroom.  When I pulled it out to show the sales lady, she frowned and said "That's not our brick."  I dug another one out of my bag that clearly showed the Acme stamp, she said "Hmmm," and proceeded to do a bit of research on the computer.  

Well, of course, they no longer make our brick.  We live in OKC, which has an Acme plant about a mile from our house where bricks are made of good ol' Oklahoma clay, but the brick on our home was made in Kansas.  Over 20 years ago.  And that plant shut down about 12 years ago.  Womp womp... no matching brick for us.  Acme doesn't even make the same size brick that ours is anymore.
I looked at what was available now in the showroom, and none of the options knocked my socks off as a close enough match.  I also tried a local salvage stone shop, and they didn't have a match.  After checking one more brick store, I came home with these two options:

Not perfect.  1- They aren't the same size as our brick, but that doesn't matter so much to me.  I'm hoping that won't be too noticeable.  And 2- The color is off.  I think the darker ones might work, but there is absolutely no variation in the color like there is in the brick of our home.  

I'm headed back today to look again and see if they have another option that's somewhere in between the two colors.  My plan is to use a majority of the dark brick, but mix in another color (hopefully the in-between one) or two and mix them all up to give some variation in the color.  I also plan to talk to the brick mason to see if he can do a washed look with the mortar on some of the brick as he installs.  And, I've also considered doing some paint touch ups when it's finished if I need to tweak any of the color at that point.   A few friends have suggested just going with a stone fireplace, but I really have had my heart set on brick (and I haven't researched it at all, but I'm thinking stone would be more expensive, right?). 

Surely I'm not the only one that's had this problem.  Any other suggestions for a solution?  We'll see what I come up with today, wish me luck in the search!  

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