We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Brick?

By Britt Archer
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Bricks come in all shapes and sizes and are made from many different types of materials in various ways of manufacture. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so when starting a home improvement project or attempting to do repairs, it can be daunting to figure out exactly the right type of brick to use. The most common types used today are made from clay, and they can be manufactured in a variety of different ways.

All forms of brick were originally handmade, dating back as far as 7,500 B.C. Handmade building materials were common up until the Industrial Revolution, when the process turned to mechanization. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, built in 1909, was originally paved with shale brick. During that same period, there was increased demand for quick and affordable housing in the United States, in larger cities in particular. Brick manufacturing was at an all time high, and in recent years, antique materials from that period have become a collector's item, with old Chicago brick in especially hot demand.

As technology changed, brick manufacturing made use of newer methods. Pressed mud bricks are a type made from clay that is mixed with water, and with hydraulic machinery they are pressed into a steel mold to give a uniform shape. The clay is often mixed with a percentage of sand, which reduces the amount the final product will shrink. After being pressed into the mold, the clay brick is then fired in a kiln at temperatures well above 1,000° Fahrenheit (538° Celsius).

A similar style of fired clay brick is a dry pressed brick. The process for making this type requires longer cooking times in the kiln and more time pressed into the molds, which results in a more defined, more durable finished product. It is generally more expensive due to the technique used.

Face brick is another special type, made specifically for exteriors that will be seen by the public. This type takes appearance and color into special consideration, and it is for this reason that calcium silicate bricks are quite popular. Calcium silicate blocks add chemicals to increase strength and reduce hardening time, but also contain additives to alter the color. They can be made in a wide range of colors, from the traditional red to white and even pastel. These bricks are generally more uniform in size and shape, and are rougher to the touch.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By GiraffeEars — On Sep 22, 2010

@ Amphibious54- I am not sure where he found the bricks used for siding on the patio, but he said he found all of the sidewalk concrete over a six month period by driving around his neighborhood. When he saw sidewalk construction, he would stop and ask the workers what they were doing with the concrete.

They often said they were simply going to dispose of it, and were more than willing to give it to him and help him load it into his pick-up. He used old sidewalk from three or four different sidewalk construction sites in his area. He also said that old sidewalk concrete can be found at concrete recycling plants which can be found in most big cities. Good luck with your project.

By Amphibious54 — On Sep 22, 2010

@ GiraffeEars- That sounds like a great way to reuse waste materials. Where did this farm owner find all of the clinker bricks and old sidewalk used in the patio? I would love to make a large fire pit and outdoor patio on my property, and these materials sound like a sustainable and cost effective option.

By GiraffeEars — On Sep 22, 2010

I took a tour of an urban garden residence in Phoenix and I saw the most interesting use of brick and stone for a patio. The homeowner created a brick patio and fireplace out of reclaimed bricks and old sidewalk concrete. Slabs of broken concrete were used to create the patio floor and patio wall, old bricks were used to build a patio fireplace and stove. Reclaimed granite was used as counter tops for the outdoor kitchen, and soy based stain was applied to the concrete. To top it all off, grape vines were grown across the latticed patio roof that produced grapes and created shade.

Almost everything on the patio was reclaimed. The entire patio was permitted and up to code, and the reclaimed materials were all free. The patio likely added thousands of dollars in value to the home, and only cost a few hundred dollars and some hard work.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.