What bricks should you use for your project?
Whether you’re planning a home extension, constructing a wall, or fixing a damaged fireplace, the type of brick you select is crucial. But with so many options available, how do you know what bricks to use for your project? Let’s explore the different types of bricks available and guide you to the best choice for your project.
Understanding the Basics of Bricks
The Constituents of a Brick
Bricks are traditionally made from clay or shale and are either machine moulded or hand-formed, then fired in a kiln to harden them. The constituents, moulding process, and firing time affect a brick’s colour, strength, and texture.
Why the Right Brick Matters
Choosing the right brick is not just about aesthetics. Here’s why:
- Durability: The correct brick can withstand years of wear and tear, requiring less maintenance and repair.
- Insulation: Certain bricks have thermal properties, ensuring your home stays warm in winter and cool in summer.
- Resale Value: A well-chosen brick can elevate the look of your property and potentially increase its market value.
Types of Bricks and Their Uses
Knowing the types of bricks available can guide you to the perfect match for your project.
- Common Bricks – Commonly referred to as builders’ bricks, these are typically used for internal constructions where their appearance isn’t a top priority.
- Facing Bricks – If aesthetics are your priority, then facing bricks are your go-to. They come in various colours and finishes and are designed for external walls.
- Engineering Bricks – Known for their impressive strength and low water absorption, engineering bricks are ideal for retaining walls and groundwork.
- Firebricks – Made to withstand high temperatures, firebricks are perfect for lining fireplaces or building pizza ovens.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Bricks
When making your brick decision, several factors come into play. Firstly, consider the purpose of your project: is it for a visible area or a structural foundation? This will determine if aesthetics or strength takes precedence. Budget is another key consideration; while it’s essential not to compromise on quality, the cost can dictate your choices, as some brick types might be more expensive than others.
Maintenance is a further consideration; think about the level of upkeep you’re prepared for, given that some bricks may weather over time while others stay mostly unchanged. It’s also vital to ensure the bricks you opt for have consistent colouring if you’re aiming for a uniform appearance.
Furthermore, take into account the specific size and shape requirements of your project, as bricks come in varied dimensions. Lastly, always check the availability of your chosen bricks, especially if you’re on a tight schedule.
The Appeal of Reclaimed Bricks
Reclaimed bricks offer both aesthetic and environmental advantages:
- Vintage Look: They provide a rustic, timeless appearance that new bricks might not achieve.
- Eco-Friendly: Using reclaimed bricks means less demand for new materials, reducing the environmental footprint.
- History: There’s something special about using bricks that have a story, potentially being centuries old.
Choosing the right brick for your project can make all the difference, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. Every project is unique, and understanding the diverse range of bricks available will ensure you make an informed decision. If you’re considering reclaimed bricks or are unsure of the best fit for your project, consult with experts in the field. At London Reclaimed Bricks Merchants, we offer a vast variety of both new and reclaimed bricks, ensuring you find the perfect match for your vision.