What different types of bricks are there? Once commonly used for paving streets, bricks have long been a reliable and study construction material. Homes continue to be built on a regular basis with these durable objects, and certainly their exteriors can evoke a sense of longevity and refinement. There are several types of bricks used in construction, often selected depending on appearance and function. They may be commonly fashioned from the following: concrete, clay, calcium silicate, or specially shaped stone. They typically require mortar for stability, though in older construction one may easily find bricks-typically of the shaped stone variety-laid without mortar in such a way as to keep balance without a bonding agent.
Concrete is often used in types of bricks geared toward outdoor construction. One might find them in landscaping or outdoor patio design, though they may be used for building homes. Colors can vary depending on the levels and varieties of additional material added to the concrete mixture, such as iron oxide, which gives a characteristic reddish shade to the finished product. Often on the larger side, these types of bricks can be quite heavy, but they are particularly durable and offer excellent insulation when used to home construction.
When we talk about clay in terms of brick-making, what we truly mean is bricks put under a great deal of pressure (pressed), and consisting of a mixture of mud and water. These types of bricks are perhaps the most commonly used, and are specifically shaped under high temperatures to produce desired results. We frequently see them used for both exterior and interior design, and as such, they are considered particularly flexible construction materials. While not generally used for support of an entire structure, these types of bricks are frequently used as decorative facades. Like most types of bricks, these have the advantages of being a strong and eye-pleasing building option.
Calcium silicate, or in more familiar terms, sand-lime, is yet another mixture used in construction, often resulting from blending fly ash, quartz, sand, and lime with one another. Much like clay-based materials, calcium silicate bricks are pressed and carefully molded into a specific shape, but lack the characteristic red-brown color we typically associate with masonry. Indeed, they are often white in color and as such, can result in a rather stark appearance. Nevertheless, they are reliable building materials, and for those with more minimalistic tastes, can be quite appealing.
Stone bricks frequently involve stonecutting and expert masonry, and are not as commonly used as a contemporary building material. We frequently see them as ornamental decoration, or find them preserved from the time of building, such as in the case of low stacked-stone walls scattered throughout the countryside or historic neighborhoods. Unlike most types of bricks, this building style does not require a bonding agent such as mortar, but rather, relies on the skill of the bricklayer and the shape of the fitted bricks to maintain stability. The effects can be both rustic and charming, and the construction may be surprisingly durable. Of course, this level of durability is not quite comparable with modern mortar bonding, but nevertheless, when properly laid, they certainly stand the test of time. Some of the oldest structures in the world were laid using stone without any sort of mortar, relying purely on shape, weight, and clever construction to provide a structure that last throughout the ages.