Types Of Bricks

Types Of Bricks Used In Construction

In this post, you’re going to learn about different types of bricks.

If you need to:

  • Choose the right type of bricks for a selected work.
  • Select the bricks for various types of projects.
  • Learn the details of various bricks.

Then you’ll love this post.

In fact, various kinds of bricks would confuse me before.

Then I started to learn about different types of bricks.

And, this post is a result of that.

So, let’s dive right in.

Different Types Of Bricks Used In Construction

Types Of Bricks Used In Construction

As you know, Brick is a common building material.

They are used in various types of projects for different purposes.

But one thing is sure…

“There are no definite types of bricks.”

They can be categorized in various ways using different criteria.

And, this thing will confuse you to learn about the types of bricks.

To eliminate this confusion, First, begin to learn about the types of bricks…

Based On Raw Materials And Manufacturing Processes

And, you’ll find almost all types of bricks under this category.

So let’s see…

1. Sun-Dried Clay Bricks

These bricks are also called unburnt bricks.

And, They are the most ancient bricks.

The raw materials of these are clay and sand.

As the name says, these are dried in sunlight instead of burning.

Things That You Need To Know…

About these bricks are:

  • The compressive strength is very low.
  • It has low water resistance.

So, you can’t use these bricks in places exposed to heavy rain.

  • It also has less fire resistance
Best Uses:
  • For temporary structures. Such as village houses, enclosures, etc.
  • Can be used to build garden beds for planting vegetables, flowers, and other plants.
  • These bricks are often used to build outdoor ovens for baking bread, pizza, and other foods. They provide excellent insulation and retain heat well.

2. Burnt Clay Bricks:

As its name says, burnt clay bricks are manufactured by burning in fire instead of sun-drying.

So far, these are the most used bricks in Bangladesh.

And, in regions where raw materials of these bricks are available.

And the raw materials of these bricks are clay or mud.

If you talk about the quality, then these are superior to sun-dried bricks.

But, due to manufacturing defects or limitations, the quality of these bricks varies.

So, based on the quality these type of bricks are four kinds:

  • First-class bricks
  • Second-class bricks
  • Third-class bricks, and
  • Fourth-class bricks

Let’s discuss these four kinds one by one…

First Class Bricks:

These are the superior quality bricks among the burnt bricks.

But how do you recognize them?

If you find the bricks…

  • Well burnt
  • Standard in size
  • Have no efflorescence
  • Uniform color and shape
  • Regular texture

And

  • Sharp edges

…then they are first class.

You can also perform some simple on-site tests to check:

Nail Test:

For this test, try to mark a brick surface with a nail or a coin.

If that doesn’t leave any mark or scratch on the surface, this is the 1st class brick.

Height Test:

To perform this test, hold two bricks on both hands in a T-shape.

And, leave them on the ground from five feet high.

If the bricks aren’t 1st class they’ll be broken.

Sound Test:

For this test, strike two bricks with one another.

Or with a hammer.

If the bricks are 1st class, you’ll hear a metallic sound.

Some Technical Things To Know About First-Class Bricks:

  • The absorption capacity: less than 10%.
  • Crushing strength: 245 – 280 kg/cm2

Best Uses:

  • Making walls of houses.
  • In buildings exposed to a corrosive environment.
Second Class Bricks:

These are also burnt-clay bricks.

And, these bricks’ quality is inferior to 1st class.

How To Recognize This Type Of Bricks?

They are…

  • Well burnt like the 1st class bricks.

But slightly overburnt and under-burnt bricks are found in the stack of this type.

  • Standard size
  • Have no efflorescence
  • Uniform color and shape.

But you’ll find some color and shape variance in them.

  • Regular textured

And

  • Sharp edges

Some Technical Things To Know About 2nd Class Bricks:

  • The absorption capacity: 10% – 15%
  • Crushing strength: 154 – 175 kg/cm2

Best Uses:

  • For the construction of a single-storeyed building.
  • For temporary structures that are sustainable not more than 15 years.
Third Class Bricks:

The quality of this type of bricks is inferior to 2nd class.

How do you recognize them?

These bricks:

  • Are under-burnt or over burnt
  • Are irregular in shape and size
  • Have extensive efflorescence
  • Have light and soft reddish color
  • Have irregular texture

And

  • The edges aren’t so sharp.

Results of on-site tests:

  • Finger-Nail Test:

Third-class bricks will leave nail marks on their surfaces.

  • Height Test:

These bricks will be broken down.

  • Sound Test:

They’ll produce dull or blunt sounds in this test.

Some Technical Things To Know About This Type Of Brick:

  • The absorption capacity: 15% – 20%.
  • Crushing strength: 105 – 140 kg/cm2

Best Uses:

  • For temporary structures
  • Instead of unburnt bricks.
  • In the structures which aren’t exposed to rain or water.
Fourth Class Bricks:

These are very poor-quality bricks.

I don’t think this type of brick is produced purposefully.

They are produced because of overheating during production.

That’s why, they are:

  • Brittle, and
  • Jagged surfaced

Best Uses:

These bricks are best used as coarse aggregate of concrete.

3. Concrete Bricks:

The construction world is now leaning towards the use of this type of brick.

Because:

  • They are environmentally friendly. The raw materials of these bricks are cement, sand, aggregate, and water. So no burning issues are involved.
  • They can be produced in sizes as required.
  • Different colors of bricks can be produced using pigments.
  • It is possible to reduce the use of mortar due to the correct size of these bricks.

These bricks are:

  • Durable
  • Fire-resistant, and
  • Provide good insulation

For these reasons, they are becoming popular in the construction world.

Concrete Block - A Type of Bricks

Important Things To Know About This Brick:

Strength: You can produce concrete bricks of different strengths.

And it mostly depends on the mix of ingredients used as well as the curing process.

Weight: The weight of these bricks is relatively heavy.

So, you’ll need special equipment for transporting and installation.

Repairing: The good thing is, these bricks don’t require much maintenance.

Best Uses:

  • For building foundations because of their strength and durability.
  • For retaining walls and load-bearing structures.
  • As decorative elements.
  • Due to its fire resistance and insulation capabilities, it is best used in chimneys and fireplaces.
  • Because of its strength, durability, and low cost, these bricks are perfect for warehouses and factories.
  • As decorative and architectural elements.

4. Engineering Bricks

This type of brick is made from high-quality clay.

That’s why they are very strong and durable.

There are several types of engineering bricks used in civil construction.

Mainly, Different types are designed for different environmental conditions.

Such as:

Class A Engineering Bricks:

Among other types of engineering bricks, these are the most strongest and durable.

And, the minimum compressive strength of these is 18000 Psi.

Best Uses For:

  • Bridge construction,
  • Retaining walls, and
  • Other load-bearing structures.
Class B Engineering Bricks:

This type isn’t as strong as the previous type.

But it has a minimum compressive strength of 10000 psi.

Best Uses:

  • In foundations, and
  • Other underground structures of moderate load.
Acid-Resistant Bricks:

This type of brick is specifically designed to provide resistance to acidic substances.

Best Uses:

In the construction of…

  • Water treatment plants,
  • Chemical plants, and
  • Other industrial structures.
Frost-Resistant Bricks:

These bricks are designed to withstand freeze-thaw cycles.

Best Uses:

These are commonly used in areas with a high risk of frost damage.

Fire Bricks:

This type of brick is specially designed to withstand high temperatures.

That’s why they can be used in:

  • Fireplaces,
  • Klins, and
  • Other high heat applications.

You’ll find the following characteristics in fire bricks –

  • High-temperature resistance: Upto 1500°C.

And, they are able to withstand this high temperature without melting.

And, they are also resistant to thermal shock and erosion from high-heat Exposure.

  • Insulating properties: Reduce heat transfer. And, thus increase energy efficiency.
  • Fireproof: these bricks don’t ignite or contribute to the spread of fire.
  • Chemical resistance: To a range of chemicals including acid and alkali.

So they are suitable for use in harsh environments.

5. Fly Ash Bricks

This type of brick is made from fly ash.

Fly ash is a byproduct of coal-fired plants.

The size and shape of these bricks are the same as the conventional clay bricks.

And, they are also used in a similar way.

But, fly ash bricks have some benefits. Such as:

  • Lightweight: Fly ash bricks are lighter than conventional clay bricks.

That’s why they are easy to handle and transport.

  • Cost Effective: This type of brick is cheaper to produce.

So, it became a cost-effective alternative to conventional clay bricks.

  • Improved Durability: Fly ash bricks are less porous than conventional clay bricks. It makes them more resistant to moisture and weathering.
  • Thermal Insulation: These bricks can help to reduce energy costs in buildings because of their thermal insulation properties.
  • Environment-Friendly: As this type of brick is made from fly ash, it reduces the amount of waste produced by power plants.

And thus it reduces the environmental impact of brick production.

  • High Strength: Fly ash bricks have high compressive strength.

And, it is used in load-bearing walls and other structures.

6. Sand Lime Bricks

This type of bricks is also known as calcium silicate bricks.

The raw materials of this type are sand, lime, and water.

These bricks can also be used as alternatives to conventional clay bricks.

Some of the benefits of this type of brick are:

  • Environment friendly
  • Thermal resistance
  • Fire resistance
  • High strength
  • Improved durability, and
  • Aesthetically pleasing.

7. Glazed Bricks

These bricks are typically made from clay.

But concrete and glass can also be used.

Mainly, glazed brick is a type of ceramic brick.

It has a smooth, glossy, and often colored coating on the surface.

A mixture of ceramic materials and glass are fused onto the surface of the bricks at high temperature to make them glazed.

In construction, this glaze provides some benefits. Such as –

  • Increase resistance to moisture, stains, and scratches,
  • Make the bricks easier to clean and maintain,
  • Increase aesthetic looks,
  • Add color and texture to a building’s interior or exterior surface.

Best Uses:

Due to the availability of various sizes, shapes, and finishes, glazed bricks can be used for a wide range of applications. Such as –

  • In bathrooms and kitchens,
  • For Facades,
  • Fireplaces,
  • In commercial spaces,
  • For historical restoration.

Here I want to say one thing…

As the glazed bricks are costly, you may not want to use them in large projects with tight budgets.

But they can add significant value in terms of aesthetic appeal and durability.

These are mainly the types of bricks.

In fact, you’ll somehow find all the brick types in the above classification.

But bricks can be classified depending on various other criteria.

I’ll discuss those below. So that you aren’t confused when you hear a different name for bricks.

Types Of Bricks Based On Manufacturing Process

Bricks can be made using different manufacturing methods.

Based on that, bricks are classified in the following ways:

1. Extruded Bricks

These bricks are made by forcing a mixture of clay or other raw materials through a die to create a long, uniform shape.

After that, They are cut into individual bricks and dried.

2. Molded Bricks

Raw materials of this type of bricks are pressed into a mold to create a specific shape.

After that, they are dried and fired in a kiln.

3. Dry Pressed Bricks

These bricks are made by pressing a mixture of raw materials into a mold under high pressure.

They are then dried and fired in a kiln.

4. Soft-Mud Bricks

Soft-mud bricks are made by molding clay or raw materials into a rough shape by hand or with a mold.

They are then dried and fired in a kiln.

5. Hard-Mud Bricks

Hard-mud bricks are made by molding clay or other raw materials into a specific shape and then pressing them into a mold.

After that, they are dried and fired in a kiln.

These are just a few of the most common types of bricks based on the manufacturing process, and there are many other variations and combinations of processes that can be used to make bricks.

Based On Size

Bricks come in different sizes. Based on this, bricks are following types-

1. Standard Bricks

These bricks are also known as modular bricks.

Normally, they are rectangular in shape and have a standardized size.

We mostly used clay bricks in our projects with a common size of 9½” x 4½” x 2¾”.

2. Jumbo Bricks

These bricks are larger than standard bricks.

3. Roman Bricks

Roman bricks are longer and flatter than standard bricks.

4. Norman Bricks

Norman bricks are similar in shape to Roman bricks but are slightly thicker.

5. Queen Bricks

Queen bricks are smaller than standard bricks.

6. King Bricks

King bricks are larger than standard bricks.

Types Of Bricks Based On Use And Application

Bricks are also categorized based on their usage and application. Such as –

1. Common Bricks

These are standard bricks.

They are used for general construction purposes. Such as wall construction.

Typically these bricks are made from clay.

2. Facing Bricks:

This type of brick is used for decorative purposes.

These bricks are more expensive than common bricks.

This type has the lowest compressive strength than other types of engineering bricks.

But they have…

  • Color variance, and
  • Texture variance.

That’s why facing bricks are used for the external facing of buildings.

3. Paving Bricks

These bricks are also known as pavers.

Specifically, they are designed for use in paving applications.

Typically these bricks are thicker and stronger than regular bricks.

And, they are designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, vehicle traffic, and exposure to the elements.

Paving bricks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a versatile choice for a wide range of paving projects.

Common shapes include rectangular, square, and interlocking bricks, while common sizes range from small, thin pavers for intricate designs, to larger, thicker pavers for heavier-duty applications.

Paving bricks can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete, clay, and natural stone. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, durability, and aesthetic appeal, so the choice of material will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the project.

Overall, paving bricks are a durable and attractive option for a wide range of outdoor paving projects, including patios, driveways, walkways, and pool decks. They offer a long-lasting solution that is easy to maintain and can add value and curb appeal to any property.

Based On Shape

There are several types of bricks based on shape. Here are some of the most common types:

1. Rectangular Bricks

These are the most common types of brick.

And, it has a rectangular shape with sharp edges.

2. Square Bricks

These bricks have a square shape with sharp edges.

Generally, they are used in various architectural projects.

3. Bullnose Bricks

These bricks are commonly used for decorative purposes.

They have rounded edges on one or more sides, giving them a softer appearance.

4. Zigzag Bricks

These bricks have a zigzag pattern on the top and are used for decorative purposes.

5. Hollow Bricks

These bricks are lightweight and have a hollow center. They are used in construction for their insulating properties.

6. Interlocking Bricks

These bricks have a unique design that allows them to interlock with one another, providing greater stability in construction.

7. Cored Bricks

Cored bricks have holes in them to reduce their weight and improve their insulation properties.

They can come in various sizes and shapes.

These are the most common types of bricks based on shapes.

There may be some other types of bricks in this category.

8. Perforated Bricks

This type of brick has:

  • Holes through the brick body,
  • The holes are either cylindrical or square or any other shape
  • These holes are evenly spaced throughout the brick.

And, these bricks are made from clay, sand, or concrete.

Some of the good reasons to use these bricks are:

  • They provide better ventilation and air circulation.
  • They help to reduce humidity and prevent moisture buildup in walls.
  • Lightweight

Best Uses:

  • Load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls
  • Decorative purposes

Conclusion

As you can see from the above discussion, there are no hard and fast rules for categorizing bricks.

In fact, one type of brick can belong to several categories.

Your Turn:

Do you know any other types of bricks that I overlooked in this post?

Please share your opinion in the comments below.

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