The earliest discovered bricks, made from shaped mud, were found in Mesopotamia’s historical region dating back to 7500 BC. These were sun-dried clay bricks. The methods and even the raw materials from which bricks are manufactured have changed over the years. Nowadays, many types of bricks are used in masonry construction and even civil engineering projects.

This article will talk about the different types of bricks and the recommended use for masonry projects and home construction & renovation projects.

Best Types of Bricks

  1. Sun-Dried Clay Bricks
  2. Burnt Clay Bricks
  3. Concrete Bricks
  4. Engineering Bricks
  5. Fly Ash Bricks
  6. Sand Lime Bricks

6 Most Common Types of Bricks: Classified by Raw Materials & Manufacturing Process

Bricks are ancient building materials. To this day, many types of bricks are crucial in masonry construction. Bricks come in many raw materials and types that include sun-dried clay bricks, burnt clay bricks, fly ash bricks, concrete bricks, engineering bricks, and sand-lime bricks.

There are three common types of bricks, which are sun-dried, fired bricks, and chemically set bricks. Each class is manufactured differently.

Sun-Dried Clay Bricks

Manufacturing Sun-Dried Clay Bricks

Sun-dried clay bricks are the most ancient type of brick used in the historical Tigris region. These are one of the less durable types of bricks.

These bricks are also known as unburnt clay bricks or mud bricks. And masons use them for building temporary structures.

Why are these bricks used temporarily? They are not a strong building material since they have less water and fire resistance.

Since they lack strength and durability, these bricks are not used in modern construction and civil engineering projects.

Burnt Clay Bricks

Mason Building Wall with Burnt Clay Bricks

Burnt clay bricks are known as common bricks. I wonder why that is? Well, they are heavily used in home construction, masonry, and many civil engineering projects.

Everyday use for these bricks includes masonry walls, foundations, columns, retaining walls, etc.

Burnt clay bricks are created by pressing wet clay into molds left to dry in the sun. Then, these sun-dried bricks are burnt in a big kiln.

This is an ancient building material. The earliest evidence of burnt clay bricks dates back to 4400 BC in the Chinese Neolithic settlement of Chengtoushan.

Additionally, this type of brick is further divided into classes—first, second, third, and fourth.

They are classified like that in terms of quality. So, first-class bricks have a standard shape, sharp edges, and smoother finish.

Second-class bricks also have good strength and durability. They don’t have a smooth surface, and well-defined edges as first-class bricks do. And in the subsequent burn clay brick classes, the quality is turned down up a notch.

Concrete Bricks

Concrete Blocks at Construction Site

This is one of the most popular types of bricks. These bricks are manufactured using cement, sand, coarse aggregates, and water.

One of the most significant advantages of using concrete bricks is that skilled construction crews can easily manufacture them.

Building contractors can manufacture concrete blocks in custom sizes at their construction sites to favor their building projects.

You can use these concrete blocks to build fences, outdoor masonry features, and facades. You have to be careful about the way you design and build these concrete structures. Why? They always create a bold aesthetic presence.

Engineering Bricks

Engineering bricks are specifically designed for civil engineering projects.

Manufacturers create these bricks at incredibly high temperatures. That’s why they have high compressive strength and are impervious to water and resistant to frost.

These bricks are used mainly for their physical properties. They are not as aesthetically pleasing as clay or concrete bricks. But since engineering bricks have a good load-bearing capacity and are durable, they are more expensive than other types of bricks.

The properties of engineering bricks make them ideal for basement constructions, damp proof courses, sewers, manholes & retaining walls.

Fly Ash Bricks

Fly Ash Bricks Drying at Manufacturing Site

Fly ash bricks or fly ash clay bricks, are created from a mixture of fly ash and clay fired at about 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many building contractors underrate these bricks. But we are here to make them justice. Read slowly the following benefits of using them in your construction projects.

Fly ash bricks have a smoother finish. Thus, you don’t have to plaster it to look appealing.

This type of brick is resistant to water, frost & fire. So, fly ash bricks are a reliable solution for areas that are vulnerable to water pressure, cold temperatures, and the risk of fire.

Fly Ash Brick Are Ideal for Building:

  • Foundations
  • Basements
  • Pillars
  • Structural walls

Sand Lime Bricks

Worker Installing Sand Lime Bricks

Sand lime bricks or calcium silicate bricks are made by mixing sand, fly ash, and lime.

This is one of the most reliable building materials in the market. Building contractors used sand lime bricks in many masonry works and load-bearing structures.

As a building contractor, we recommend sand lime bricks because they offer the following benefits:

  • They are durable and have a good load-bearing capacity.
  • You can customize the color of the bricks by adding pigment.
  • These bricks have a smoother surface, which doesn’t require plastering.
  • Good acoustic insulation, which repels outdoor noise contamination.
  • Excellent fire resistance.
  • They can also effectively resist water and frost.

Common Uses for Sand Lime Bricks Include:

  • Structural foundations and walls
  • Exposed brick walls and pillars
  • Ornamental uses

Choose the Best Type of Brick for Your Construction Project!

Now that you know the physical properties, benefits, disadvantages, and uses of the different types of bricks, you can now pick the ideal type for your construction project.

Whether you are building a new house, you’ll need some bricks for the foundation. The ideal type will be fly ash bricks. Or if you need to erect walls, you should pick burnt clay bricks or concrete bricks. In case that you need to build a strong and effective retaining wall, you should buy engineering bricks.

So, depending on your project needs, your budget, and your taste, you can easily find the ideal building material from the different types of bricks.

Hope you found this article useful. If your doubts weren’t clarified and you still don’t know which building material to use, make sure to ask your favorite building contractor.