Among building solutions, bricks are surely one of the most interesting, above all for their versatility. We mean with “bricks” that particular masonry that does not need any coating (for example, plaster), and it can be expressed in walls, columns, fences, arches. It is an amazing solution, that gives a particular character to the building itself.

For their particular use, the bricks used for this solutions can’t be the same used for usual building. You see them and they are the decorative part of the building. Therefore you must use high-quality material, with particular surface treatments (sandblasting, enamelling…) and the main feature should be their breathability, so to protect the building from humidity.
Moreover, as they are not coated with plaster, they have to be dealed in order to assure acustic/thermal insulation and protection from atmospheric agents, or simply to resist over time without alterations.

Manufacturing process

Brick manufacturing needs particular techniques. You should pay particular attention to the clay, that is the key element for the quality of the brick. Normally we have two kinds of bricks, according to the manufacturing technique:

• Printed: they are both hand-made or machine-made. Anyway, both have particular irregularities and the bricks are original and most wanted. Essentially, bricks are produced by mixing clay with water, forming the clay into the desired shape and drying and firing.
• Extrusion: only by industrial production. You cut the bricks from a huge clay block. After that you dry and fire the bricks.

The cooking time and the possible addition of metal material to the clay can give a different coloring to the brick, from red to brown. The bricks can also have a surface treatment with varnish or other products in order to increase the performances (for example water repellent). Once completed the wall or pillars with bricks, you can even paint them with varnish, so you get a less rustic work.
Concerning the manufacturing of pillars or columns, you can also use, instead of the classic rectangular bricks, special shapes of bricks, for example curved or semicircle.

Brick positioning patterns

We have different brick positioning patterns according to the applications. Basically, there are two patterns:

  • Stretcher: the long side of the bricks at sight
  • Header: the short side of the bricks at sight

These patterns can be combined in different ways, to get other patterns:

  • Dutch/flemish pattern: alternatively a header course and a stretcher/header course;
  • Gothic/polish pattern: alternatively a strecher and a header brick in any course;
  • Block/english pattern: header and stretcher courses alternatively;
  • Cross pattern: again header and stretcher courses alternatively;
  • Grid pattern: useful to ensure a good ventilation in the place where used. All the previous pattern can be used in this case.

Ideas for using bricks

Both “neutral” or painted, bricks can be used in many ways, internal and external.
Floor: you can create a rustic atmosphere with a bricks floor. Inside you can get a warm atmosphere (for example in a rumpus room), and outside you can place them in an arcade (in wood, maybe). Don’t forget they are long lasting and skidproof.
Walls: inside you can get a tipically newyorker style when matches with some particular industrial furniture. Or simply a classic country style. When painted in coloured varnish, bricks are surely more contemporary. Ouside they are surely a very interesting and most used solution.
Fences, columns, pillars: these are the most used solutions for bricks. You can combine with metallic materials, and you get a complete fence, very beautiful and sure. A particular use can be the realisation of pillars (even helical) or column, very interesting both aestetically than structurally.
Chimneys and stoves: in a rustic room, a chimney or a stove in bricks is a must. However, for this solution you need particular bricks in refractory clay, that can bear high temperatures.

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