Once you decide to work with bricks, the next step is figuring out what kind of brick to use in your project. Some types of bricks are built for strength, while others are designed mostly for their appeal to the eye. But finding the right one for your needs can get tricky.

And, while bricks may seem modest and simple, when deployed properly, they can be downright glamorous. To find out about different types of bricks and how you can use them, read on.

little toy house made of red bricks

Basic Types of Bricks

There are almost as many ways of classifying bricks as there are different types of bricks. But if you classify them based on where they go, you need only remember two: facing bricks and backing bricks.

  • Facing bricks are used on the outside of buildings, which means they have to be durable enough to endure rain, storms, and other unfavorable weather conditions.
  • Backing bricks, however, are placed behind facing bricks. So, while facing bricks must be at least mildly pleasant to look at, no one cares what backing bricks look like.

If you’re talking to someone about the types of bricks used in construction, there’s a good chance they’ll classify the bricks they use based on raw materials. In that case, you should know five basic types.

Burnt Clay Bricks

Burnt clay bricks are made by placing molded clay into a kiln and firing it up.

These bricks are kind of like white bread: They’re versatile and can be used in a lot of different ways, even if they’re not the most exciting bricks in the world. Because they’re so popular and widely used, talking about types of brick masonry without mentioning burnt clay can be a challenge.

There are four classes of burnt clay brick, with first-class offering the best quality and most strength. High-grade burnt clay bricks don’t have any noticeable flaws, but they’re also going to cost you more money.

Searching for a versatile clay brick for your patio? Try red paved bricks for a high-class look that never goes out of style.

Concrete Bricks

Looking for a solid brick for your fence or facade? If so, consider concrete bricks. The quality isn’t top-notch, but they’re good at blocking heat and reducing sound.

Concrete bricks aren’t often a popular choice, probably because they offer such a bold aesthetic. But, if you really want this brick without the gray color, you can choose a different pigment during the production process.

Sand Lime Bricks

These are a mix of sand, lime, and fly ash. The materials are bonded through a chemical reaction that takes place in the middle of wet mixing.

If you’re looking for a brick that can carry its own weight, try these. They’re famous for their stellar load-bearing capacity.

Engineering Bricks

Engineering bricks can stand the heat because they’re made using incredibly high temperatures, which gives them high density.

True to their name, engineering bricks work best for civil engineering projects. For example, they’re commonly used for things like sewers, manholes, and retaining walls.

Fly Ash Clay Bricks

Mold fly ash and clay together, add extremely high temperatures, and you’ve got fly ash clay bricks. These are less porous than burnt clay bricks.

Fly ash is a byproduct of coal-based power plants. It may sound contradictory, but fly ash brick production can actually be better for the environment than other types of brick manufacturing. It’s already reducing carbon emissions in India.

What Type of Brick Do You Need?

If you still aren’t sure what type of brick you should use, we can help. We carry a large selection of residential bricks in many colors and styles. And, we’re a family-owned business that provides bricks to builders of all skill levels in New Berlin, Milwaukee, and throughout southeastern Wisconsin. That means we’re happy to talk about the types of bricks we carry, their uses, and much more!

Want to talk about your next project? Contact us today.