Although brick is one of the oldest building materials used in construction, it continues to have increased use in modern times. Bricks have evolved with time, with new masonry products constantly being introduced into the construction marketplace to meet the changing needs of building owners and contractors.
If you intend to build a brick house, you may be overwhelmed by the numerous types of bricks available out there today. Check out these modern brick types to determine if they are suitable options for your residential construction needs.
While clay is the traditional choice of building material for brick masonry, the use of concrete bricks has risen over the years.
The growing popularity of concrete bricks is mainly associated with their higher compressive strength, which comes in handy in resisting Mother Nature's destructive forces. Concrete bricks also offer higher water resistance, as they have fewer air pockets than their clay cousins.
On the downside, they have a larger ecological footprint than clay bricks. Compared to ordinary clay bricks, concrete bricks require more primary ingredients (raw materials) to manufacture – cement, sand, aggregate, and water – and they do not last as long.
As the name implies, sand and lime are the primary ingredients for making these bricks. The sand and lime are mixed and molded under heat and pressure to create high-strength bricks. Aside from their high strength, sand-lime bricks give a beautiful and vibrant gray color that lends itself to decorative purposes.
That explains why these bricks work well for ornamental works in buildings.
A variation of burned clay bricks, these bricks are double-fired. The first firing process is for the manufacture of the bricks themselves. The second one is to add a glossy ceramic coating to the exterior surfaces of the bricks.
The double-firing process produces tough and resilient bricks that stand up well against most external elements. The ceramic layer incorporated into the exterior surfaces of the bricks makes buildings look aesthetically pleasing. It also helps make buildings more resistant to water damage.
Understanding your building material options is essential for making the correct decisions for your brick masonry project. While the above-highlighted types of bricks are excellent options, they may not work well in every situation.
Contact a masonry contractor today to learn more about the various brick types available on the market to increase your chance of choosing the best bricks for your needs.