There are multiple types of brick to use for masonry, and each has its own advantages and potential drawbacks. It is helpful to become familiar with the many types of brick that are available to determine which type best suits your needs. Having an understanding of the types of brick also helps determine how often brick restoration is necessary to ensure long-term reliability.
Whether you have construction plans or are interested in learning the type of brick used in your home, you can learn about each of the most common types below. The following is an in-depth overview of burnt clay bricks, concrete bricks, engineering bricks, fly ash bricks, sand-lime bricks and sun-dried bricks.
Four Classes of Burnt Brick
Clay bricks can be broken into two categories — burnt clay bricks and unburnt clay bricks. However, burnt bricks are more commonly used for construction purposes. There are four different classes of burnt clay bricks, which dictate the overall quality of the strength, appearance and shape of the brick. The four classes are:
- First-class bricks
- Second-class bricks
- Third-class bricks
- Fourth-class bricks
First-class bricks are the best quality. They have a smooth surface and well-defined edges, and they work well for permanent constructions. Second-class bricks also have good strength and durability, but they are not as smooth and do not have quality edges the same way first-class bricks do.
Third-class bricks are much rougher, and they do not hold up as well when exposed to water and bad weather long-term. They are commonly used for temporary structures. Fourth-class bricks are most often recycled and rarely used for construction purposes.
Concrete bricks are a popular alternative to burnt clay bricks. Concrete bricks are made using cement, sand, coarse aggregates and water. Many construction crews find them easier to manufacture as they can do so at the construction site.
Concrete bricks can be pigmented during production to achieve the ideal color. This gives them an excellent color as well as superior strength that is provided by the concrete. They also block heat and noise and resist water well. The only drawback is that the color may fade sooner than it would with clay bricks.
Engineering bricks are made using incredibly high temperatures. Subsequently, they have a high density, are durable and are heat and water-resistant. Engineering bricks are commonly used for basement construction as they are resistant to moisture and water damage. They are also commonly used in civil engineering projects, such as sewers and manholes. They are not the most aesthetically pleasing type of brick, so they are not used as often as clay bricks or concrete bricks for exterior walls on residential homes.
Fly Ash Bricks
Fly ash bricks are one of the most underrated types of brick. Fly ash bricks are made using fly ash and water, and are the most similar to concrete bricks. They are incredibly resistant to weather, and they offer superior frost prevention, fire insulation and resistance to water penetration. In addition, fly ash bricks have a smooth surface. For areas that may be vulnerable to water pressure, cold temperatures or risk of fire, fly ash bricks are a durable and safe solution.
Sand Lime Bricks
Sand lime bricks, often referred to as calcium silicate bricks, are used for construction purposes and masonry works. They consist of sand, lime and fly ash bonded through a detailed chemical process. This creates brick that is very strong, durable and that can bear a lot of weight without cracking or becoming damaged. Sand lime bricks are not the most attractive, but they are very reliable. They can also effectively resist water, wind and heat over long periods of time.
Sun-dried bricks, which are often called unburnt clay bricks, are exactly what they sound like — they are clay bricks that are dried by sun exposure. They are not typically used for permanent construction as they do not have reliable strength long-term. However, they are a less expensive and convenient alternative for structures that only need to stand temporarily. Since they are softer and not as resistant, they also are not as durable when exposed to bad weather.
Contact Masonry Restoration Experts
Get in touch with our masonry restoration experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration to learn more about the different types of brick and brick restoration processes. We are glad to answer any questions or concerns you may have and help you decide which type of brick is right for your next commercial project. We also offer brick restoration and fire and waterproofing services. Our dedicated team has years of experience in the industry, and we pride ourselves on providing excellent service in a timely manner. Feel free to reach out to us via phone or email any time.