Types of Brick, Brick Types from our Connecticut brick company
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For millennia, brick have been produced regionally worldwide in various local non-standardized sizes. No matter where or how the brick was produced and what size it was, they always had one thing in common, they were laid by one mason picking up one brick at a time. Today brick are produced to more standardized sizes with some regional sizes still available. For the most part, though, the old rule still applies; brick is laid one at a time by one craftsman.
Today’s brick is produced in two basic methods, moulded brick and extruded brick. Both types of brick have the same physical makeup and do not differ in quality or weather ability. Each has its own visual appeal and worth in the marketplace. No matter what type of brick you select, there is a variety of sizes, colors, textures, shapes, and thin brick available in the same material for you to utilize on your project.
The more traditional method of brick manufacturing is soft mud moulding, which includes sand struck moulded brick, waterstruck brick, and handmade sanded brick.
- Sand struck moulded brick can usually be identified by the presence of sand on five of its six surfaces. Sand struck brick typically also have an indentation (or frog) on one bed; sometimes with identification moulded into the frog. As a rule, sand struck moulded brick also tend to be more irregular in size and texture than extruded brick, which is considered a desirable feature of moulded brick.
- Waterstruck brick give the appearance of being two hundred years old on the day they are produced. Very soft wet clay is pressed into moulds wetted with water and sodium silicate. The troweling effect given to each brick during the moulding process creates a textural effect and a patina after firing that is unachievable by any other brick making process.
- Handmade sanded brick is crafted one by one by hand and then fired with coal to provide the colors and textures identical to those seen hundreds of years ago. Hand moulding creates distinctive folds, finger marks, and other surface irregularities which make each handmade brick unique.
The more modern and popular method of brick manufacturing is stiff mud extrusion; types include dieskin (smooth), wirecut, and glazed. Extruded brick is produced when low moisture clay is extruded under pressure through a die to produce the distinct brick shape. Different textures can be applied to extruded brick during manufacturing process, such as light or heavy sand, wirecut, rolled edges, or glazes. Extruded brick tend to be more regular in size and texture than sand moulded or handmade brick. A defining characteristic of extruded brick is the core holes running through the bed. Despite rumors, core holes are there only to lighten the brick and aid in drying the clay before firing and does not assist or take away from the structural strength of the brick.