Building materials don't get much sturdier than bricks, which makes brick masonry a favorite career and pastime among masonry enthusiasts. Brick masonry has always been a popular method of construction and home improvement, and it is widely used for a vast assortment of projects. This article will explore the basics of brick masonry, so if you've ever kicked around the idea of tackling it on your own, you'd do well to read on.
When it comes to building materials, bricks have a reputation for their solidarity and resilience, which is why brick houses can be considerably more expensive than wooden homes. Adding to their appeal, bricks require virtually no maintenance, making paint jobs a thing of the past for the residents of brick houses. Furthermore, brick buildings generally have good insulation and do a fantastic job of standing up to fire. While brick homes may come with relatively steep price tags, people who own them are likely to save a great deal of money on upkeep in the long run. So the next time someone asks, "Why bricks?" simply answer, "Why not?"
Although bricks are capable of supporting massive amounts of weight, they are fairly susceptible to shaking and stretching, hence the need for structural reinforcement. Steel beams, in conjunction with insulation boards and fiberglass batts, are the most common type of reinforcement used in brick masonry. It is important to remember that while bricks are among the most durable types of construction material, sufficient reinforcement is required to utilize their full potential. With the proper reinforcement, brick buildings can remain flawlessly intact for centuries. Is it any wonder the vast majority of historically preserved structures are composed of brick?
Types of Bricks
Before getting started on any masonry project involving bricks, it is important to select the right type of brick for your project. Building brick is perhaps the most common type of brick currently available and is often used in the construction of homes. Face brick is generally used to build walls. Fire brick, with its resilience towards heat, is used almost exclusively in boiler rooms and fireplaces. Glazed brick, which is easily cleanable, is used to build highly sanitary facilities such as hospitals. Don't forget--bricks may be extremely durable, but the stability and integrity of a building is largely dependent upon the type of brick used in its construction. Thus, when selecting the proper brick, it is imperative that you make an informed decision.
And there you have it. If you've ever wanted to try your hand at brick masonry, you have all the basic knowledge required to get started. With the right type of brick, the proper reinforcement and a cursory understanding of masonry, you should be well on your way to tackling brick-related projects head on. Whether you're looking to repair an old chimney or even construct a home, you'll find that bricks can be a mason's best friend.