To the unsuspecting eye, bricks appear to be just bricks – rectangular, usually reddish in color, mostly rough, but always very solid. In essence, bricks are solid blocks of hardened clay dried and fired in the manufacturing process. Their use dates back thousands of years due to their exceptional strength and durability.
However, if you look closely at construction projects, you will notice that bricks differ in terms of their properties (i.e., raw materials used, shape, texture, color). Some bricks are thin, while others are formed with round angles and are quite light in weight.
Different Types of Bricks Used in Construction Projects
Let’s break down the types of bricks so you’ll understand just how versatile they can be.
1. Burnt Clay Bricks
As the most common type of bricks, burnt clay bricks are used not only in modern building constructions but also in many of the world’s historic structures. They are manufactured by pressing wet clay into molds and then drying and burning them in kilns.
There are several types of burnt clay bricks, each with its own distinct identity. First-class bricks are called high-quality bricks since they are free of chips, cracks, and defects. Second-class bricks are of average quality, with minor irregularities in shape, size, or color. Third-class bricks have noticeable defects in shape, which is why they are deemed low-quality. Fourth-class bricks are darkly colored as a result of over-burning, and because they are unsuitable for use as whole bricks in construction, they are used in broken form.
2. Sand Lime Bricks
These types of bricks are made by mixing sand, lime, and fly ash, with the possible addition of color pigment to give the bricks a more varied appearance. Common pigments of sand lime bricks that brick masons use include black, grey, green, red, brown, and yellow. Unlike other types of bricks, sand lime bricks are more uniform in color and texture, and they require less plaster to hold them together. Because of their high compressive strength, they are a preferred choice for load-bearing walls.
3. Concrete Bricks
Brick masonry contractors create these types of bricks by pouring concrete into custom molds, formed into a variety of shapes such as octagons, triangles, and squares to achieve the aesthetic desired. As these bricks are made from solid concrete, they are commonly used to make facades
and fences. Concrete bricks can be utilized in practically any building due to their durability, with the exception of underground construction due to their porous nature.
4. Fly Ash Bricks
Fly ash bricks are durable construction materials made from a mixture of fly ash and clay that has been burnt at extremely high temperatures. While these bricks have exceptionally great compressive strength, the manufacturing process, which contains toxic metals, can be harmful to human health and the environment. Fly ash bricks are widely used by masonry contractors when constructing pillars, structural walls, or foundations.
5. Engineering Bricks
These are clay-based bricks with high compressive strength and density, as well as resistance to water and chemicals and a low absorption capacity. These properties ensure that they will not leak, break, or crumble, making them perfect for use in the construction of sewers, manholes, underground tunnels, and basement foundations.
Looking for the finest masonry services in South Shore, MA?
Masonry Contractors of South Shore, MA is one of the leading residential and commercial masonry contractors, providing services ranging from building to repair and maintenance. We specialize in patios and walkways installation, flooring and tiles, landscaping projects, and the construction and repair of fireplaces, chimneys, and ovens.
So, if you need help deciding which type of brick to use in your next construction project, call us today at 617-944-5565 to get a free quote on the services you need.