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13 May 2024 Erin
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Brickology 101: Choosing the right brick for your project!

Selecting the perfect brick for your project can feel daunting, especially if you need help determining where to begin. That's where we step in. Today's blog post will guide you through essential factors when choosing your brick. Picking the perfect brick is key, with many different factors, such as the aesthetics, the time frame, the durability, and, of course, the cost.

Let's start by going back to basics. When choosing a brick, you have two main options manufactured in the UK: concrete or clay. Both concrete and clay bricks are fundamental building materials, each with pros and cons.

Concrete bricks are made by combining cementitious binder, fine aggregates and water, this mix is pressed in to a mould, de-moulded and sent to a controlled curing chamber, on a continuous cycle. A common perception of concrete facing bricks, is one of dull grey hues, in a weighty solid format; however, recent developments have expanded the variety available, including a full pallet of colourfast colours, various finishes and frogged and perforated formats, that enhance both their aesthetic and physical appeal. Concrete bricks can now be manufactured to match the appearances of clay bricks and natural stone, offering greater design flexibility. Beyond their improved visual appeal, concrete bricks are also renowned for their strength, durability, and resistance to fire. They provide excellent load-bearing capacity, making them ideal for structural applications. Concrete bricks exhibit superior resistance to weathering, pests, and rot, ensuring a long-lasting building material that can withstand harsh environmental conditions. Concrete bricks also have a high thermal mass.

Clay bricks, on the other hand, are made from natural clay that is shaped and then fired in a kiln at high temperatures. They can come in various colours, from the classic red/orange to the more modern grey/white. Clay bricks are valued for their aesthetic appeal, thermal insulation, and sustainability. Moreover, clay bricks are renowned for their exceptional durability, which makes them capable of withstanding the test of time and harsh weather conditions. Their robust nature ensures that structures built with clay bricks maintain their integrity and aesthetic charm for generations. This durability makes clay bricks a reliable choice for exterior and interior applications, providing long-term value and minimizing the need for frequent maintenance or replacement.

Both concrete and clay have unique characteristics, and there is no right or wrong answer when choosing one over the other. It all comes down to what is best for you and your build!

When choosing your brick, you may have to consider some key factors, such as aesthetics, cost, environment, and logistical aspects.

Let's start by looking at cost. The cost of bricks can have a significant impact on your project. Bricks represent a substantial portion of the expense in build, both clay and concrete bricks offer a broad range in price depending on the aesthetic or performance with concrete bricks being typically lower in cost for the equivalent finish and specification. Going for a higher-cost brick can directly affect the overall budget and may lead to changes in design or other material choices, whereas choosing a lower-cost brick may compromise aesthetics. At Brick and Stone, we are here to help you make the right choice for you, meaning that we will give you a range of products based on your aesthetic wishes and budget requirements, assisting you in nailing down the ideal product for you.

While the environment may not be at the top of your list of factors to consider, it is an aspect that needs to be considered from a technical standpoint. Different types of bricks react differently to weather elements such as rain, frost, heat, and humidity. Selecting bricks with appropriate weather-resistant properties can extend the lifespan of the building, reduce maintenance costs, and enhance its resilience against harsh environmental conditions. Sustainability is likely high on the list of prioritise for your scheme and we can offer sustainable solutions for your brick facades. Our teams brains are bursting with wisdom, ready to tackle every angle and guide you towards smart choices.

At Brick and Stone, we work with various UK and European production partners, meaning that your bricks could be coming from all over the UK and Europe, and depending on this, you may come across a lengthy wait. Having a clear idea of the timeframe for your project is crucial when selecting bricks for several reasons. Firstly, the availability of certain types of bricks may vary depending on production schedules, demand, and supply chain logistics. Knowing your project timeline allows you to plan ahead and ensure that the desired bricks are available when needed, avoiding construction delays. Additionally, some brick manufacturers may have lead times for custom orders or speciality bricks, so understanding your project schedule lets you place orders promptly.

Lastly, let's focus on aesthetics, a pivotal aspect of any construction project, whether it's a personal dream project or the beginning of a new site. Bricks come in many different colours, textures, etc., so paying attention to factors such as these, along with the size and pattern of the bricks, allows for customization and creative expression. The world of brick offers a kaleidoscope of colours, ranging from the classic earthy reds and browns to vibrant blues and greens, and contemporary greys, creams and whites, allowing for endless possibilities in architectural design, so no matter what, Whether you have a specific project in mind or just a general idea, rest assured that there is bound to be a product that perfectly suits your needs. Not only are there many colour options, but brick comes in various textures. For example, if you want a more rustic look, you could go for a tumbled brick, which is rough around the edges, giving it the appearance that it has been there for years. In contrast, a smooth textured brick can provide a more structured feel to your build.

Considering the bricks' aesthetics and compatibility with the surrounding area is essential for ensuring that the building project harmonizes with its environment and achieves the desired visual appeal. Bricks play a significant role in defining a structure's facade and overall character, making them a crucial element in architectural design. By selecting bricks that complement the surrounding landscape, architectural style, and neighbouring buildings, you can ensure that your project looks visually appealing and enhances the overall quality and character of the built environment.

Before you embark on your brick journey, remember to chat it out with your architect and developer to nail down the perfect brick for your project!

Feeling overwhelmed? Fear not! We've got your back. Our squad is bursting with wisdom to make your life easier. Sit back, relax, and let us steer you towards the ideal choice based on all our earlier chats. No more stress - just focus on dreaming up that perfect build!

If you would like to talk to a member of our team about any of the above or anything else brick-related, don't be afraid to call us at 028 9083 0038 or email us at We would be happy to discuss anything; it's what we do!

13 May 2024 Erin

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