Brick Types and Characteristics

What brick types for construction are there? Do you know the characteristics of bricks? If we talk about types of bricks, we have to refer to a wide variety, taking multiple aspects into account.

Among its characteristics, we can mention the use that the brick will have, its measurements, its geometric shape, its resistance, if they are solid bricks or hollow bricks, their manufacturing method, the type of material from which they are made, if they are going to be wall bricks, floor bricks, ceiling bricks, decorative bricks, chimney bricks, bricks…, bricks…, bricks…

types of bricks

There are thousands of ways to analyze the bricks, and we will see them here (almost) all. Go for it!!

facade with bricks

What is a Brick?

A brick is a ceramic piece made from clay fired at high temperatures. The origin of bricks dates back more than 10,000 years. 

Since then it has been evolving, improving more and more its production techniques and quality control. Its production has gone from being a rudimentary and artisanal process to becoming a highly technical production process, which currently manages to guarantee very high quality and resistance bricks.

How is a Brick made?

Its manufacturing process includes molding the clay and burning it in ovens, allowing the creation of solid perforated blocks, floor and roof tiles, tiles and other forms. In the firing process for making bricks, temperatures can reach over 1,200 degrees Celcius.

How is a Homemade Brick made?

A homemade brick is based on the same fundamentals of traditional brick making. Depending on the type of clay used, a proportion of sand and cement must be added, in order to guarantee the cohesion of the mixture. 

Taking into account the more or less artisan technique, the characteristics of the earth or clay used and the quality control, it would be necessary to add certain proportions of sand and cement.

how to make a brick

Craft Brick

The handmade brick is manufactured with manual procedures. The kneading or molding is done by hand. Handmade bricks usually present variations in their measurements as well as in their compressive strength.

How to make a homemade brick

Semi-Artisanal Brick

Semi-Industrial Brick: It is the brick manufactured by combining manual procedures and elementary machinery during the molding process. The semi-industrial brick is characterized by its smooth surfaces. The molding process could be done by extrusion.

Industrial Brick

They are bricks manufactured in factories, with high levels of quality control, with the use of machinery in all its processes. The paste is made up of highly crushed and sieved clays that must be less than one millimeter.

brick production
brick production

It is also possible to make quite exact mixtures of clays with different colors and binding characteristics, to achieve certain types of bricks, such as facing bricks.

industrial production of bricks

During the manufacturing process of industrial bricks, the percentages of humidity in the mixture are controlled and the percentages of air are significantly reduced, before moving on to the pressing or extruding phase. 

During the drying process, the temperature is also controlled at various levels in 2 or 3 phases, to reduce as much as possible the appearance of possible cracks.

industrial production of bricks

Subsequently, the bricks are placed in the kiln, to raise the temperature to maximum levels, which reach 1150 degrees Celcius, for a period of about 4 hours, considerably reducing its porosity and increasing its resistance to compression.

The brick produced industrially presents high quality, resistance and uniformity.

Brick Uses

A large volume of buildings and houses are built with bricks, so its use has helped solve and build millions of homes around the world. Its characteristic and eye-catching color and texture, especially when used in full view, mark the design of many jewels of Ancient Architecture and MODERN ARCHITECTURE.

We can find bricks placed on the floor, sidewalks and patios, bricks for ceilings, brick walls and partitions, as well as columns made of bricks and reinforced concrete. They can also be used as formwork, facade veneers, lattices, window and door trims, chimneys, and much more.

brick wall
Old wall of solid bricks, with loss of lining mortar

Characteristics of Ceramic Bricks

Ceramic brick has a variety of characteristics that make it ideal for home construction. Among these characteristics are its low production cost, linked to its versatility to solve a wide range of construction requirements. Let’s see its advantages and disadvantages…

Advantages of Brick for Construction

  • High resistance to compression forces. They are ideal for load-bearing walls.
  • They are versatile, as they can be used for load-bearing walls as well as dividing walls or interior walls of houses, roofs, formwork, foundations, sanitary registers, etc.
  • They allow various wall thicknesses (7cm, 12cm, 25cm, 32cm, etc.), with the same type of brick, for example, common brick, 250 x 120 x 65 mm. This will depend on the WAYS TO PLACE BRICKS IN WALL .
  • Brick walls can be faced or laid with decorative exposed brick, depending on the design intent, the quality of the brick, and the quality of the workmanship.
  • Fired clay bricks have a long useful life, being able to exceed 100 years without requiring practically any maintenance.
  • The use of bricks allows a variety and aesthetic richness for the architectural work. This will depend on the creativity of the designer and the quality of execution and workmanship.
  • They are water-repellent, since once the clay mixture is vitrified and glazed, they tend to retain very little water inside.
  • They resist low temperatures without losing their physical properties.
  • They resist high temperatures without hardly changing their physical-mechanical behavior (fire retardant).
  • They have a high level of thermal insulation.
  • Low conductor of electricity.

Disadvantages of Brick for construction

  • Low resistance to tensile forces.
  • Building with bricks can cause a low level of productivity or little speed in the execution of the work, since the placement of the brick pieces is done entirely manually and requires care.
  • It requires specialized labor, masons experienced in laying bricks, especially if they are facing bricks.

Ceramic Brick Price

Ceramic bricks are cheap, easy to find, have good resistance, good thermal inertia, and do not require such specialized labor to manufacture. In this publication, BRICKS, BEST SALE PRICES , we approach the different sales prices of bricks in different countries.

However, if the installation is done near high heat sources, ordinary brick will eventually crack and break. In this case, refractory bricks are the most suitable. But how do they work?

room with exposed brick wall

Parts of a Brick

What are the parts of a brick? The brick has 3 fundamental measures and is made up of different parts, among which are the faces and the holes.

Measurements of a Brick


Although there are several types of bricks that can have different lengths, the length of a common brick will always be less than 290 millimeters. The most common length that a brick can have is 230 to 250 mm and it is the standard length of a common brick.


The width of a common brick is usually in the order of 11.5 to 12 centimeters (115 – 120 mm). This does not mean that a brick wall is going to be of that width, since there are several ways to place the bricks in a wall, depending on the function it is going to have.


The thickness of a common brick is usually in the order of 6 to 7 centimeters (60 – 70 mm), with 65 mm being the standard measure most used in its manufacture. It is the smallest measure that the brick has.

measures of a brick

Holes in a brick

Some types of bricks have holes, in different amounts, which give them certain qualities, such as greater lightness, greater insulation, etc. The holes in a brick usually take up more than 30% of its volume and are located on the face or edge of the brick.

hollow bricks
Brick with 12 holes. You can also observe the cracks or grooves, on one of its outer faces
perforated bricks
Perforated brick

Other types of bricks may have perforations that do not exceed 20% of their volume. The perforations usually have an approximate area of ​​2cm², each perforation.


They are small grooves, grooves or projections that some types of bricks have, with the aim of increasing their grip with the mix.

Faces of a Brick

The faces of a brick are the ones that will be stuck together by mixing, in the process of building a wall or building another element that requires bricks. Any face of a brick can be used for placement. This will depend on the placement technique used to build or erect a wall.


It is the larger face of the brick.


It’s the middle face.


It is the minor face.

common brick

Knowing all the dimensions of a brick, it will be easier for you to know HOW MANY BRICKS TO A PALLET. Also you can use the BRICK WALL CALCULATOR.

Shapes of a Brick

The bricks in general have a parallelepiped shape, prisms with a rectangular base. However, there are brick manufacturers that offer various solutions and types of bricks for construction. For example, you can manufacture bricks for corners, bricks with rounded edges, among other shapes, which would allow solving different needs within a work of architecture or for a certain construction element.

different shapes of bricks
brick shapes

Brick Types

Clay Fired Bricks

Brick obtained by molding, drying and firing at a high temperature of a clayey paste.

Hollow Bricks

Hollow bricks are provided with holes arranged in the longitudinal direction of the brick. They have more than 10% of their volume with voids.

hollow bricks

Perforated Bricks

Bricks with holes or perforations arranged in the vertical direction of the brick.

Perforated solid brick, 230 x 90 x 65 mm
building perforated brick wall
Brick wall laid to cite

Common Bricks

As its name indicates, it is a common brick, made from clay and water, with the standard measurements of 25cm x 12cm x 6.5cm. It can be solid type brick or hollow type brick.

solid brick

How Much does a Common Brick Weigh?

A common 250 x 120 x 65 mm brick weighs around 2 kg, depending on the number of perforations, internal porosity, etc.

How Resistant is a Common brick?

It depends on the quality of the clay with which it has been produced, the quality of its production, its shape and the function for which it is designed.

For common bricks, the characteristic resistance (resistance that the brick is considered to have) should be at least 100 kg/cm², for solid and perforated bricks used in load-bearing walls. However, in industrially manufactured bricks, they reach much more resistance.

For common bricks used in dividing walls, the characteristic resistance (resistance that is considered before its production, that the brick will have), should be around 50 kg/cm².

Solid Bricks

As previously mentioned, solid bricks do not have holes, and are characterized by their high resistance to compression efforts. They are mainly used for load-bearing walls and floors that require high resistance.

solid bricks

Facing Brick

It is an industrially manufactured brick with a high quality finish and can have high compressive strength. Its exterior finish can be porous or very smooth. No lining required.

decorative bricks

Lightened Block Type Bricks

As its name indicates, these are blocks made of clay that have holes. The difference between a lightened clay block and a brick is given by their respective sizes. The blocks have a length equal to or greater than 30 centimeters.

Brick for Floor

They are bricks of high quality and resistance, capable of withstanding great compression and wear efforts, changes in temperature and humidity.

brick floor
Patio Floor of a House, in Tenjo, Colombia. Arch. Rogelio Salmona . Year 1990.

Deck Bricks

Likewise, they are bricks of high quality and resistance, capable of withstanding great compression and wear stresses, changes in temperature and humidity, as they are placed as part of the roof structure of a building. They can be hollow bricks or solid bricks and their shape is that of a parallelepiped or prism with a rectangular base.

covered with bricks

Roof Bricks

They are thinner bricks, and their function is to waterproof and thermally and acoustically insulate the roof of a building. They must also be high quality bricks, to resist daily changes in temperature and humidity. 

It is convenient that they are bricks with holes and of little thickness, facilitating acoustic insulation and reducing the load on the building structure. In some countries they are called rasillas.

Rasillas warehouse

Decorative Brick

Decorative brick is any brick that has a good finish, suitable for decorating an interior or exterior space. There are decorative bricks specially designed and manufactured to decorate, with certain aesthetic characteristics, with characteristic textures and colors.

decorative bricks

It should also be said that decorative bricks are called 3D printed sheets that imitate brick or stone.

stone imitation

Refractory Bricks

Refractory bricks are made of clay, which mainly contains alumina and silica, elements capable of withstanding high temperatures. They are usually composed of special aggregates such as vermiculite and refractory clay, which makes them even more resistant.

The type of refractory brick is used to line boilers, steel pots, grills, rotary kilns in cement factories, where these must be adhered to each other with refractory earth and cement, improving the firmness of the bonding.

refractory bricks

Minimum Thickness of a Brick Wall

The minimum thickness of a brick wall depends on the way the bricks are laid and the dimensions of the bricks used. This minimum thickness can be 50 to 65 mm (5 to 6.5 centimeters) for interior partitions without plaster. For exterior walls the minimum thickness must be 120 mm.

Summary of Brick Types

NameMeasurements (mm)Weight (kg)U/m²
Common massif250x120x652.852
Hollow Common240x115x652.650
Solid Pressed240x115x672.850
Hollow Glasses240x115x682.149
Roof Bricks250x120x281.1112
Simple hole240x115x601.155
Double gap240x115x701.449

Examples of Construction with Bricks

precast concrete with bricks
bricks in columns

Ideas of Facades with Bricks

bricks in lattice
brick facade
brick building

You may also be interested in knowing HOW MANY BAGS OF CEMENT PER SQM OF BRICK WALL, is needed.

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