Faux bricks mostly made of concrete are right into the fashion nowadays for building walls, pavements, floors and paths. They are not only strong and durable, but also add a tinge of fashion and style to your interiors. Conventional bricks are expensive and demands regular maintenance unlike these faux bricks. You can also design them on your own at home by using wooden blocks. Concrete bricks can be colored using concrete color available in the market. You can also make multicolored bricks for a mosaic finish by using multiple colors. Making faux bricks at home is quite easy but make sure you wait until the concrete cures completely before applying them on any structure.
Difficulty level. Moderate (may require expertise in a few areas)
Time required. You can make 10 bricks in about one hour. But the maximum time required for this project is for curing the concrete. The average time required for concrete to cure is about 10-15 days to ensure that it becomes durable and strong.
- Pre-mixed concrete
- Brick mold (you can design your own brick mold by nailing up smooth wooden blocks)
- Mold release
- Powdered concrete color
- Sponge or cloth
- Hand gloves
- Thin sheet of plastic
Estimated cost. The average cost to make 20 average sized bricks will be around $4.
- Put on the goggles and hand gloves before you start this project. It is because concrete dust or concrete powder can be infectious and irritate your eyes, skin or trachea. It is thus better to take these safety measures.
- First of all, fill up a large bucket or tub with the concrete premix enough to fill all your molds. Next, add the powdered concrete color to the premix. Add as many colors as you want, if you want a mosaic effect. Keep in mind that once you add water, you will not be able to adjust the color combination any more.
- Read the packing instructions of the concrete premix carefully and add the suitable amount of water to the premix to make it stiff. Make sure you do not add excess water which will make the concrete runny or loose.
- Now it is time to get the molds ready. Apply a thin layer of mold release (you can alternately use vegetable oil as a mold release) on the inner surface of the molds using the sponge. Do not pour excess of mold release. Wipe off any trace of excess oil.
- Fill up the molds with the prepared mixture of concrete. Tap the molds hard on the ground and shake them very well to get rid of water bubbles or air bubbles in the wet mixture, if any.
- Cover up the molds with the plastic sheet to retain the moisture within and keep them away from direct sunlight for at least a day.
- After 24 hours, hold the molds upside down to release the bricks. If the bricks still stick to the mold, try tapping down near the base of the mold. If you have applied the mold release properly, this step will not be a problem to you.
- Again cover the bricks with plastic sheet and let them cure for at least 10 days. It is better, if you refer to the packing instructions of the premixed concrete.
- Make sure that the bricks are always moist during the curing period. Sprinkle some water daily with a garden sprinkler which will help in strengthening of the concrete.
- Keep the molds on a flat surface, when letting them settle down.
- Do not mix a lot of colors in a particular mold. This may make the colors intermix and ruin the look of the faux brick.
- You can use these bricks preferably for floors and pavements. For building walls with faux bricks, it is suggested that you use ready made silicone molds with interlocking patterns on them.
Possible risks involved
- Drying and curing of concrete are two different processes. They should not be confused to be the same thing. A concrete block may get dry within 9 hours, if kept in direct sunlight but it actually will take around a week to cure that is, become hard and durable.
- Concrete either in the liquid form or powder form can arouse irritation in any form for individuals who are prone to infections and allergy. Thus it is suggested to put on safety measures such as a dust mask, hand gloves, goggles, etc. which will protect the sensitive areas of your body.
A lot of fuel is burnt to bake bricks. This is what makes it so expensive. Compared to that, faux concrete bricks are almost pollution free in making, which makes it a greener option for the civil engineers.
Apart from being Eco-friendly, the faux bricks imparts an enduring beauty to your walls, floor or garden lawn. Finally, the most important fact is that you can make them for yourself so easily.