The Ultimate Guide to Bricks and Blocks Before Buying

Bricks & Blocks:

Brick is a small block of burnt clay, which is commonly used for building walls and pavements. They are the first alternative to stones in construction and people started using bricks since ancient times about 5,000 years ago, from the Indus Valley Civilization itself.

There are different types in bricks like Red bricks, Fly ash bricks, Concrete blocks, AAC blocks, and Fireclay bricks.

The sizes of common building bricks are 190x90x90 mm and 190x90x40 mm. The brick size may vary if we include the mortar joints.

Difference between Bricks & Blocks?

          Bricks are fired and blocks are not fired, they are chemically cured rather than fired. Blocks are available in different sizes and shapes, while bricks are available only in standard sizes.

Types of Bricks:

Fire Clay Bricks: They are also known as Refractory bricks and made from heat-resistant materials like Alumina, Magnesia, Silica and Bauxite. They can withstand high temperatures up to 1300°C and used for kilns, lining furnaces, fireplaces, and fireboxes.

Fire Clay Bricks

Fly Ash Bricks: These bricks are made from the waste materials, which is obtained from the burning of coal in Powerhouses and Industries. Researchers found that the mixing of fly ash and lime with clay makes a good combination to make bricks, thereby solved the problem of disposal of waste materials and also resulted in stronger and more uniform bricks.

Fly Ash Bricks

Red Bricks: Red bricks are the most traditional ones using in India for traditional architectures, government buildings, universities, and sports stadiums. They are extremely versatile and available in different textures.

Red Bricks

Concrete bricks: Concrete bricks are also known as Concrete Blocks, and they are usually made up of cement, sand and lightweight aggregates formed in molds and then cured. They are manufactured in various colors and patterns and usually colored with iron oxide pigment at the surface.

Concrete Bricks

Sand-Lime Bricks: Sand lime bricks are made out of lime instead of cement and uses selected amount of sand, casts in molds and cured. They are usually known as white bricks with good acoustic insulation, good heat, and humidity accumulation with excellent fire resistance properties.

Sand Lime Bricks

Hollow Bricks: These bricks are light and provide good insulation and are used to construct walls and partitions. There are three types of hollow bricks:

Type A - Blocks with both faces keyed for plastering.

Type B - Blocks with both faces smoothened for use without plastering.

Type C - Blocks with one face keyed and one face smooth.

Hollow Bricks

Properties of Good Quality Bricks:

  •  They should be uniform and bright in color.
  •  They should possess sharp and right-angled corners with plane faces.
  •  Bricks should be fine, dense, and uniform in texture.
  •  Good bricks are fire-resistant.
  •  Crushing Strength should be as high as possible.
  •  Hollow and Light-weight bricks provide good sound insulation.
  •  They should have low thermal conductivity.

Testing of Bricks:

Uniformity in Size: A good brick should have plane surfaces with sharp and right-angled corners.

Uniformity in Color: A good brick should have a uniform color.

Structure test: Brick should be free from holes and lumps and has a homogeneous, compact structure.

Sound test: Sound should not be dull; they should produce a metallic sound, when two bricks are struck against each other.

Efflorescence test: Bricks should not show white patches when soaked in water for 24 hours, as they indicate the presence of sulphates of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

Absorption test: Water absorption should not be more than 15 percent after immersing in water for 24 hours.


Check Out: The Ultimate Guide to Types of Bricks