We’ve been incorporating different types of bricks into houses and residential building projects for centuries. Brick homes are renowned for providing a classic look and durable structure.
The success of your building project heavily relies on choosing the right brick for your home’s needs. Continue reading to discover the different residential bricks types and tips for picking the perfect one.
Types of Brick Finishes Used in Residential Properties
Before we get into the specifics of the several types of bricks for houses, it helps to have an understanding of what makes them different in the first place.
Each brick type is made with different materials. The composition of these materials affects the brick’s:
- Weather resistance
Now, let’s dive into each brick type and their unique qualities.
Burnt Clay Bricks
Burnt clay bricks are the most popular type of brick in houses. Distinguishable by a reddish tint, it’s arguably the most classic type of brick.
These bricks are formed by pressing wet clay into rectangular molds and then drying them in kilns. They can be red or brown in color depending on where the clay was taken from.
This natural palette makes them one of the leading options when constructing brick siding or decorative walls. However, burnt clay bricks are often a bit more expensive than some other types because of their beauty and quality. Still, they’re highly sought after for the natural color, depth, and texture they provide to home design.
Sun Dried Bricks
Sun-dried bricks differ from most brick types because they are unbaked. The process of making these bricks lies in their name. They don’t go through a baking process but instead use the sun’s heat to harden. They’re commonly used in rural areas or temporary construction projects. Because they aren’t subjected to high baking temperatures, sun-dried bricks are not as strong and have lower fire and water resistance.
Fly Ash Bricks
Fly ash refers to the residue left over after large chunks of coal have been burned away. Because coal contains large amounts of calcium oxide, fly ash is often used as a fast-expanding material in materials like brick and cement. When mixed with water, it creates a quick-hardening material that can be molded into chunks of brick.
Fly ash bricks are very lightweight compared to other types of brick in houses and resistant to environmental factors like heat and moisture. While they’re easy to lay, they aren’t the strongest or most structurally sound, so you shouldn’t use them for your foundation.
Concrete bricks offer a rough and distressed look that’s becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Because they can be formed in a variety of different shapes, their diverse use works well anywhere in the home.
However, you might want to note that while concrete is a very stable material, it doesn’t hold up very well to intense pressure or weight. Because of concrete brick’s low durability, they’re most often used for aesthetic purposes or hidden brickwork.
Sand Lime Bricks
Also known as calcium silicate bricks, sand lime bricks are a bit more versatile in use as they’re made with sand rather than clay. This makes them significantly stronger than most other brick types. During the creation process, sand is mixed with lime powder and then molded under a high-pressure system to form the brick shape.
The drying and kilning steps aren’t necessary for these types of bricks due to the chemical reaction that occurs between the two materials. This reaction increases the strength of sand lime bricks, making them the perfect option for home foundations or exposed walls.
Fire bricks are used for areas of the home that need increased heat resistance, such as:
- Grilling areas
- Furnace rooms
These bricks can withstand temperatures of over several hundred degrees. These characteristics are advantageous to specific sections of your home by increasing your property’s overall resistance to fire.
Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Brick for Your House
Now that you know the basics of residential brick, it’s time to find the best one for you.
Brick isn’t an easy material to work with, and you want to ensure you’re taking the proper steps to fulfill your project vision.
Try these tips to help you navigate the decision-making process:
Consider the Function of the Brick
At the end of the day, if the brick isn’t performing an essential function for your home, there’s no point in having it.
This purpose could be aesthetics, protective durability, or insulation. However, in order to make the best decision, you need to decide which of these qualities are most important to you.
For those looking to improve their home’s aesthetic, burnt clay, sand lime, or concrete is your best bet. If you’d rather go for strength and durability, you’ll want something like fire brick.
Decide on Your Color Scheme
Make sure you’re considering the color palette when choosing a type of brick for your house, as this impacts your curb appeal.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Do you like the natural color of clay or the smooth gray of sand?
- Do you want consistent colors throughout the structure or a variety?
- What colors match your house the best?
As a helpful tip, picking something with complementary colors to the rest of your home will make your property look great and save you a lot of renovation work down the road.
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