Uses For Bricks
If you’re wondering what to do with old bricks leftover from landscaping revamp or other home improvement projects, do not throw them away. There are many uses for bricks, painted or natural, that can add a lovely touch of color to your outdoor or indoor spaces.
If you don’t have your own stock of leftover bricks, there are places where you can find and reuse old bricks. You might locate a pile of old bricks left from a neighbor’s remodeling project, at local construction sites, or from a brick salvage yard.
You can make good use of different types of bricks, including red brick, concrete bricks, sun-dried clay bricks, and firebricks. Firebricks are typically used to construct fireplaces and firewalls because they are highly resistant to heat and fire.
These projects are also an opportunity to get rid of bricks that happen to be piled in your yard or shed. Piles of bricks can damage your lawn and give pests a place to live. Here, we explore the many creative ways to put old brick to good use with unique landscape beautification projects.
11 Different Ways To Use Bricks For A New Project
Now let’s dive into 11 different ways that you can update your property with brick projects!
Outdoor DIY Landscaping Projects
1. Build a birdbath
Who doesn’t enjoy the sweet sound of birds chirping through windows? A birdbath is an excellent way to add a pop of color to a bare lawn area. Simply construct a square pedestal made of multi-colored red brick. Then top it off with a large, shallow clay or ceramic bowl to hold water.
Spice up this natural yard feature with a few clay planters or a flower bed of your favorite blooming plants. This way, you can enjoy the birds throughout the warm seasons. You can even choose to skip the layers of grout between bricks if you do not have children or pets. The weight of the bricks should be enough to keep your birdbath standing.
2. Install a fire pit
Recreate a traditional cozy campfire by building your own fire pit using firebricks. Instead of digging the pit into the ground, build it above ground using fire-resistant bricks or stone bricks that are rated for high temperatures.
You will find plenty of online instructions for this DIY project. Just make sure you build the fire pit on level ground, away from anything combustible or flammable, and consider adding a preformed fire pit bowl at the bottom to hold the flammable material.
3. A garden bench and garden path
This is certainly one of the best uses for bricks outdoors. A simple stone walkway with a sturdy garden bench is a great way to use larger stone pavers and red bricks left over from a patio install. Once you’ve cleared a lane for your garden path, simply add a ground-level amount of sand as a base for the stone pavers.
While a garden path can be built using red brick, larger limestone pavers or other natural stones in different shapes, textures, and sizes will result in a brick path or a garden bench that is also visually exciting.
4. Make garden markers
So, what to do with just a few bricks left over from a landscape redo? Well, use the red bricks for flower beds or garden markers for your herbs, veggies, succulent garden, or even your wildflower meadow. You can easily freehand the names of each plant on a brick using paint or a permanent marker.
For a more stylish flair, use various stencils and a can of spray paint to mark each brick with the plant name. You’ll never have to worry about your plant markers blowing again!
5. Create a tree ring
Brick tree rings serve multiple purposes, including landscape decoration. A pile of old bricks circled around a tree can be used to stabilize mulch and protect the roots of young trees. When mulch stays in place underneath trees, you’ll have healthier trees because water and nutrients will more easily drain to the benefit of the tree roots.
A wider diameter and higher brick tree surround filled with good soil make for instant raised beds to plant a lovely raised garden bed. Just make sure your raised garden has good drainage by using a base of organic material like compost, leaves, grass clippings, or wood chips.
6. Build an outdoor fireplace
Custom build your own outdoor fireplace for cozy nights and weekend barbecues. The entire family can enjoy an outdoor fireplace for making classic S’mores, meat or veggie Kabobs, and roasted hot dogs.
Stacked stone is an excellent choice for this project, as you can see in this HGTV tutorial on How to Build an Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace. This project may not be a DIY project if you’re not skilled in the tools and techniques required for brick building material. You may need a professional.
7. Create a brick waterfall
Water cascading over a staggered stone or brick wall can make for soothing and colorful yard art. This project can also be completed using a wide variety of large rocks or irregular flat pavers from a dismantled pathway.
If you’re not handy with connecting tubing from your home’s water supply to a waterfall pump, then you might want to consider a professional service provider like Batchelder & Collins who are experts in decorative hardscapes.
Interior uses for bricks
8. Brick bookends
Clean a few concrete masonry or clay bricks with a steel brush. Select bricks that are smooth, have solid corners and sides for standing and do not have bits of mortar still attached.
Decorate each set of bricks with paint, decoupage, glitter, fabric, or even magazine images.
9. Brick accent wall
A brick wall instantly transforms a room into one with Old World flair that is reminiscent of an Italian villa.
Depending on the type of brick or stone used, an exposed brick wall can help create a contemporary, vintage, industrial, or shabby chic interior. For a timeless appeal, used aged clay bricks with a variety of natural colors and textures.
10. Brick candleholders
This is a quick way to put a couple of nice and clean bricks with pre-drilled holes to use. Simply find some nice tall candlesticks or short candle teacups that fit the holes, and you have an instant brick candleholder.
11. Brick doorstop
Finally, why buy a doorstop when a good brick will do the job just fine? First, wrap the brick with a soft material like cotton cloth or adhesive-backed vinyl. Then, simply decorate the bricks with any style or pattern of fabric or other material to fit your home’s decor.
DIY Projects vs. Professional Hardscapes and Brick Decor
Hardscaping is just the opposite of landscaping. It is all those hard outdoor surfaces that are both functional and decorative. These include paved driveways and paths, along with your stone bed edging, raised beds made of bricks, and your backyard patio or deck.
Anytime your hardscaping affects the home’s water drainage patterns, foundation, or large areas of your landscape, you should certainly consider a professional. Hardscaping jobs that should be completed by masonry professionals include:
extensive stone paths and patios
larger fire pits, brick ponds and waterfalls
brick retaining walls
outdoor kitchen surfaces
The beauty of hardscapes is that they are both low maintenance and decorative. An investment in hard surfaces for entertainment, play, or work tasks will typically deliver a return on investment of up to 150%.
All these projects demand either structural strength, bricks engineered for heat, or the laying of bricks evenly to prevent trip and fall accidents.
Why Should I Use Leftover Bricks?
A good reason why homeowners repurpose old brickwork is that they can save lots of money. Also, finding good uses for bricks is an environmentally-friendly thing to do. Recycling old masonry helps reduce the need for more landfill space. Also, if more people reused old bricks, then there is less brick manufacturing. Anytime factory processes are reduced, you save energy, conserve water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Leftover bricks can be good motivation for new DIY projects that allow you to repurpose something old to create something new. Old brick is a great material because it gets better and better with age. Similar to the way old bronze items develop a lovely patina, old bricks will weather into nuanced and different patterns of faded tones.
Many projects will actually turn out more attractive if you use old or distressed clay or concrete brick versus newly fired brick. Family members sitting around the red brick fire pit you built or walking along your newly paved brick path will know that these bricks have history, a history that is connected with a previous home, road, or structure.
Why Choose Bachelder & Collins for Masonry and Hardscape?
Choose Bachelder & Collins for our unmatched customer satisfaction. Not only will we help you select the perfect brick or stone materials, but we will also partner with homeowners throughout the lifetime of the project to make sure you can enjoy your hardscaped surfaces for many years to come.
Homeowners are discovering the beauty of mixed materials home decor that includes wood, stone veneer, concrete, brick, and other natural materials to create a one-of-kind decorative statement.
Contact Batchelder & Collins today to discover how we can help transform your landscape into a modern or traditional hardscape that is both functional and beautiful.