Bricks are one of the most prized building materials on the market. People value them as both an attractive and incredibly sturdy material that adds value to the rest of the home.
But not all bricks are the same. In fact, the types of brick you use on your house can have a big difference both on the ROI and the overall functionality of your investment.
No matter the brick project, you want to get things right. In this article, our aim is to help you do that. Read on to learn about various brick types.
What Are The Different Classifications of Bricks?
There are many different classification categories that go into distinguishing the various types of bricks. Below, we take a sweeping look at some of the most important considerations you need to be aware of.
Brick quality gradings are divided into three categories: first, second, and third-class bricks.
First-class bricks are what you might consider standard. Red, rectangular, and shaped exactly the way that you are used to.
Second class features the same size, but with different colors. Absorption capacity has to be between 10-15% to fall into this category.
Third-class bricks are not uniform in size or color. Their absorption capacity is greater than 15% but less than 20%, and it is possible to make an indentation in them with your fingernail.
Manufacturing methods can also have a big difference in the types of brick you are dealing with. The main methods are extruded, molded, and dry pressed.
Extruded bricks are created by forcing water and clay into a steel mold. This method is usually used in construction projects with lower budgets.
Molded bricks are shaped into their mold by hand rather than by machine. They typically take six weeks to make.
Finally, dry-pressed bricks. This is what many consider the traditional method. Clay is compressed into the brick molds.
Bricks can also be burnt or unburnt. Burnt bricks are essentially baked in a kiln, making them more durable. All three classes described above are burnt.
Over burnt bricks are sturdier, but without uniform shape, and are often used to build foundations.
Different types of brick also have their own unique uses.
For example, facing bricks are designed to be aesthetically pleasing. They feature a rich red color and are of a uniform shape. A brick façade can increase a home’s value by up to 6%.
Backing brick is strictly architectural. It is very sturdy but lacks any cosmetic considerations because no one ever sees it.
Types of brick are also distinguished by their weather-bearing capacity.
Severe weather-grade brick types are designed for regions that are covered in snow for much of the year. They are specifically made to resist wear and tear brought on by a relentless freeze/thaw cycle.
Moderate weather grade brick types are made for tropical conditions where winds and storms might be constant.
No grade types of brick do not have any weather-resistant features and must be used in mild climates.
What Are Bricks Made Of?
Now that we’ve covered the broad strokes of different brick types, it’s time to acquaint ourselves with what bricks are made of. Clay is the basic primary ingredient, but there are many variables that can make a big difference in how that clay performs.
Burnt Clay Bricks vs Sun-Dried Bricks
Burnt clay bricks are cooked in a kiln, while sun-dried bricks, sometimes called adobe, are dried out in the sun. Burnt bricks are considered significantly more durable.
Concrete Bricks vs Engineering Bricks
Engineering bricks are made of clay and typically feature several holes in the center. They are noted for being considerably stronger than concrete bricks.
Sand Lime Bricks and Fly Ash Bricks
Sand lime bricks consist of approximately 92% sand and 8% lime. They bind together through a combination of high temperatures and pressure.
Sand lime bricks are valued for the fact that they require very little mortar to stick together. However, they cannot resist water or high temperatures.
Fly ash is made of ash and cement. The development process is thought to be harmful to the environment. Consequently, there is a push to limit use and development.
Firebricks are designed to withstand high temperatures and are frequently used in furnaces and kilns.
How to Know Which Type of Brick to Use
Choosing amongst the different types of brick is a matter of selecting what works best for your project.
Many types of brick are used in home construction. While burnt clay is probably the most popular, fly ash, and concrete bricks also get used. A good professional will know how to choose the right material.
Chimneys, Grills, and Fire Pits
Firebricks need to be used for chimneys, grills, and fire pits because they are specifically designed to withstand high temperatures.
Basements and Load Bearing Walls
Engineering bricks and sand lime bricks are both good for basements as they are highly durable and resistant to subterranean conditions.
Foundations and Outdoor Walls
Concrete is often used for foundations and outdoor spots because it is very sturdy and resistant to shifts in the soil.
So Which Is The Best Brick?
What types of brick are the best? It really depends on the job. An experienced professional will help make your decision much easier. Remember: bricks are nothing to skimp on. Go for quality where it counts.
Need help figuring out the right brick for your home? Reach out to us today to chat about your needs and to get a free custom quote.