Clay Brick FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the size of bricks?

There is a rough arithmetical relationship of length to width of 2:1 and length to height of 3:1 in the standard or Imperial brick

The standard size is 222mm long x 106mm wide x 73mm high.

Other sizes include:

Length

Width

Height

222

90

73

222

40

73

222

90

114

222

140

114

190

90

90

290

90

90

 

 

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Different types of Bricks

FBS – FACE BRICK STANDARD
Clay bricks that are selected or produced for their durability and uniformity of size and shape.

NFP – NON-FACING PLASTERED
Clay bricks suitable for general building work that is to be plastered

FBX – FACE BRICK EXTRA
Clay bricks that are selected or produced for their durability and high degree of  uniformity of size, shape and colour

NFX – NON-FACING EXTRA
Clay bricks suitable for use, plastered or unplastered, for general building work where durability rather than aesthetics is the key selection criteria:

  • below damp-proof course or
  • under damp conditions or
  • below ground level

FBA – FACE BRICK AESTHETIC
Clay bricks that are selected or produced for their durability and aesthetic effect deriving from non-uniformity of size, shape or colour.

E – ENGINEERING UNITS
Masonry units produced for structural or load-bearing purposes in face or non-face work, where the manufacturer suppliers clay bricks to an agreed compressive strength. An engineering unit is designated by the addition of the letter E followed by a number equal to the nominal compressive strength in megapascals eg FBSE21.

PA – CLAY PAVERS (1:1, 2:1 OR 3:1)
Clay pavers that are selected or produced for their durability and for a high degree of uniformity in size and shape, and that have dimensions such that the ratio of work size length to work size is approximately 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1.

PB – CLAY PAVERS
Clay pavers that are selected or produced for their durability and for their uniformity in size and shape.

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How many bricks in a wall?

Single skin 106mm wide: approx. 52 bricks per m2

Double skin 222mm wide: approx. 104 bricks per m2

Approximately 52-56 bricks per square metre – single leaf imperial. We suggest that you include 5-10% for waste and breakages – 10% if you are loading and unloading manually.

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Bricks: Weight and Transport loads

One clay brick weighs: 3 kg

1000 clay bricks weigh: more than 3 tonne

Load for 1 Ton Bakkie: Less than 250 bricks

Packed bricks: one pallet = 500 bricks

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Brickwork Finishes

Brickwork demands little in the way of finishes, providing an aesthetically pleasing and maintenance free structure with little effort. However, numerous finishes are available to provide usual and interesting effects:

  • Plaster & paint
  • Bagwash & paint
  • PVA paint
  • Varnishes and brick dressing (facebrick)

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Clay Brick Maintenance

Cleaning new face brickwork

Mortar smears and deposits should be cleaned by hand with a hard scrubbing brush using water and possibly a commercial mortar cleaner as work progresses.

  • For light coloured bricks which are likely to contain vanadium salts, do not use hydrochloric or muriatic acid for cleaning as they will fix the salts, make them insoluble and difficult to clean.
  • Do early trials to ensure chemical compatibility with materials being used. Ensure that all proper safety precautions are taken when using chemicals. When diluting concentrated acid, always pour acid into water and never vice-versa.
  • Identify the nature of masonry to be cleaned and the type of stain to be removed before deciding on the cleaning method. Try method on a small area of wall. Protect metalwork, building materials and plants from chemical liquids, sprays and fumes.
  • Do not clean brickwork exposed to hot sunlight
  • Do not use wire brushes or other abrasives on brick faces.

LIME BLOOM STAINING

Lime bloom staining originates from common cement in mortar and concrete structures. It is released into solution in the early life of a wall and dries out on the surface of the brick as an insoluable salt that is difficult and expensive to remove. You must prevent saturation in the first 24 hours and then protect form rain for the next week.

OLDER BRICKWORK

Incorrect cleaning can cause worse stains than natural dirt. As cleaning techniques differ for different types of masonry and stain, identify the kind of brick and the nature of the stain before commencing any cleaning. Get recommendations from your local brick supplier.

Thoroughly saturate brickwork before and wash after applicaiton of chemicals.

When using chemicals such as acid based solvents for removing mortar, allow the cemical to react for 5-10 minutes, then wash down thoroughly with clean water.

When the stain is localised, most cleaning liquids can be applied as a poultice by thickening with talc or powdered chalk.

EFFLORESCENCE

Efflorescence is caused by salts present in the brick, sand or cement. These are deposited on the surface of the brick in a dry, crystallised form.

The best cure is prevention. Good detailing that minimises the ingress of water into the brickwork is the most important step to minimise efflorescence. Protect bricks from ground water, and stack bricks separately from other materials.

After the fact, our recommendation is to allow the efflorescence to form and dry out over 4-6 months. Brush off dry, or wash of with water using a hard bristle brush. If unsuccessful, refer to a cleaning specialist. Do NOT use hydrochloric acid.

MOSS

Application of ammonium sulphate or weed killer, in accordance with directions results in removal or moss or unwanted plant growth.

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