Interesting Facts About Bricks

As a bricklayer and stonemason, we are passionate about everything to do with brick and stone. Here are three interesting facts about bricks you may not have known.

Not All Bricks Are The Same

Did you know there are different types of bricks? Most are made from a mix of shale and clay but there are different categories of bricks used for a range of structures. These include:

  • Water-repellant bricks ( a water repellent seal is applied to help them withstand the elements)
  • Decorative bricks
  • Fire bricks (able to withstand high temperatures and used for fireplaces, kilns and furnaces)
  • Paving bricks (used for roads and walkways)
  • Common bricks (used underground or when appearance isn’t important)
  • Textured bricks (wire-cut and torn face)

Texture can also be added to bricks by applying coatings or making impressions with a machine.

Distressed and uneven textures (similar to those seen in handmade brick) can be recreated using a mechanical process known as tumbling. Bricks are tumbled down a ramp either before or after firing to get them a ‘no two are the same’ look. 

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Bricks Come In Different Colours

Bricks get their different colours from the chemicals and minerals in the raw materials used to make them. For example, red bricks get their colour from iron oxide. Yellow or white bricks tend to have more lime in them. Bricks fired at a higher temperature tend to be darker but brick manufacturers can alter the colour and texture as required. For example, additives can be blended into the clay mixture to create colour through the brick body. Adding a sand coating or ceramic slurry to the face of the brick will create a different surface colour.

Thermal Comfort and More

Bricks are incredibly energy efficient. They reduce the amount of heating and cooling required in your home as they absorb sunlight during the day and release energy at night (known as high thermal mass). Bricks also help create a stable internal air temperature for a more comfortable and controlled environment. Other benefits of bricks include:

  • Low maintenance
  • Excellent sound insulation
  • High compressive strength
  • Non-toxic
  • Excellent fire resistance
  • Durable and moisture resistant 
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Your Local Stonemason

J&W Brick & Stone is your local stonemason and bricklayer. We are able to help with all types of underpinning, plastering, stonework, brickwork, house extensions and repairs. Contact us today.