How long, fake red brick color will you continue to abuse our patience?

Go ahead and call me a color snob, but we just have to retire this ugly red tinted concrete color from our landscapes. I don’t think this color has a name so let’s just roll with the hip kids and give it a hashtag: #FakeBrickRed. While we’re at it let’s go ahead and start the movement to #StopFakeBrickRed.

#FakeBrickRed has its ancestry in the unholy family of fake masonry products, chunks of concrete that try to masquerade as something they are not. Real bricks are made by firing a combination of sand, clay, lime, iron oxide and magnesia. The iron oxide and lime give bricks their distinctive red hues. Fake bricks are simply molded concrete with a bit of tint added in to hide the gray. Fake bricks are related to their ugly cousins, the cinder block or concrete masonry unit, ironically the construction material of choice for the big box stores that peddle #FakeBrickRed. #FakeBrickRed was probably arrived at by some unholy combination of market research and raw materials accounting back during the lowest point in architectural history, the 1950s and 60s.

IMG_2259Unfortunately for us all, #FakeBrickRed has metastasized from the masonry department and spread throughout the Big Box Store. Why were these wood products #FakeBrickRed?

Image source: Wikipedia.

Image source: Wikipedia.

And why, for the love of Zeus, does mulch end up this color?

Yes, there may be more urgent hashtags to agitate about such as #envelopegate and #FewerFeatures. But things that try to look like other things always end up looking like, well, things that try to look like other things. #StopFakeBrickRed!





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  1. I would have to argue that the 1980s produced the worst architecture ever – concrete with brightly coloured metal tubing.. shame, architecture, shame.

    • You may be right. That post-modern 80s stuff sure isn’t aging well. Then there’s the 70s . . .

    • The 60’s did not produce the best home architecture either. The few homes around here that were built in that decade and reflect the 60’s aesthetic take nearly forever to sell.

  2. I might be mistaken, but this color has a name : terracotta ?

    It’s italian, according to wiki, and it’s been our there for ever…

    Now the brick with the unfamous name isn’t born this way, so I think it’s a sad attempt to give a european touch to a back yard. Or a house.

  3. I like it. My mom’s house is painted it and looks nice, IMHO. Way better than concrete gray! Hope Kelly is doing better. Hoping all is well with you both, and this annoyance ceases to bother you so!

  4. This does not bother me as much as the ‘terracotta’ and brown RUBBER type mulch. That can’t be good for the soil when the hot sun starts to break it down.

  5. The home we bought 18 months ago came with a patio between the house and garage made of this awful fake brick stuff. Every winter more and more of it just dissolves, leaving gaping holes, which turn it into a tripping hazard. It’s almost breathtaking how badly this stuff ages; it just can’t hold up through Vermont winters. We are going to have it all ripped out this summer and replaced with good old dependable New England bluestone, which will outlast us.

  6. Ha ha! Yes! This is a horrible color and never looks good with anything. The mulch is especially bad. No bark in nature is this color. Why in the heck would people want their landscaping to look like that?!

  7. While we are at it can we please do away with rubber mulch. Not only does it come in this absurd color it does not break down, thus nurturing the soil. Never mind the leaching of heavy metals that might be present in the raw material as well.

  8. I’ve never liked the red mulch color too and I’d rather have the real bricks than that fake red brick.

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