Types of Bricks: Masonry, Decorative, Light and Ecological!

September 17, 2021 by No Comments


When building a property, it is interesting to know the types of bricks. After all, the various options on the market can create unique environments! In addition, of course, to a solid and secure structure that every place deserves.

To help you with this task, we have listed in this text the types of bricks you can count. There are those classified according to the material with which they are produced – one of the most well-known divisions. We also list the types according to their usefulness, in addition to the number of each one.

In any case, it is important that, when choosing the material, you have specialized help. Only a professional, such as a bricklayer or engineer, can attest to the best option for your project. Mainly because, depending on the number of floors and rooms, the ideal brick may be different than expected. Follow in the text!

Brick types: depending on the material

The classification of the types of bricks according to their material divides the product, basically, in five groups. They are: bricks made of clay, concrete, clay, glass and ecological. Among all of them, without a doubt, the clay made is the best known and used in the constructions.

First, there is the baked clay brick, available in block and brick format. The block, also called the ceramic block, is the main material used in masonry. In other words, for the erection of walls and walls.

In a work dominated by the ceramic block, the most common is that it is covered with mortar or concrete. This prepares the wall to receive painting, wallpaper or others.

The clay brick is chosen when the consumer wants to leave the pieces visible. They are the ones used, for example, in the construction of barbecue grills. Its beautiful look is very interesting to the decoration, at home or in the fireplace.

With structural function as good as the previous one, it can still give rise to walls and the like. The brick usually has a higher cost than the block.

Raw clay brick is known as Adobe. The model is made from a mixture of natural fibers, straw and water, and is dried in the sun. More rustic, the piece works for construction on farms and sites, and also for external walls that will have a decorative function.

The types of bricks that we will cover in this article are:

  • Concrete
  • Adobe
  • Glass
  • Ecological
  • Refractory
  • Laminate
  • Cobogó


Adobe and concrete

Adobe is inexpensive and has an ecological characteristic since its components are easily found. It has a good thermal insulating characteristic and manages to keep the temperature around it pleasant. However, the material easily absorbs water, including rain, which makes it not very durable. That is why it is not the most interesting for structural function, nor for spaces without protection against the natural agents of time.

In self-supporting construction, that is, one that does not need beams or pilasters to support itself, the concrete block is one of the most used. Solid and resistant, the product is ideal for large constructions, including multi-storey buildings. Their variations available on the market only differ in terms of the number of floors they can support without the help of beams.

In addition to this structural facility, the concrete brick stands out for its cost. Cheaper, the material also requires less mortar for its joining, making the whole work cheaper. Generally, it at the same time receives a layer of cement over itself, so that it is possible to paint the surface afterward. If the objective is a more rustic and industrial aspect, however, it is possible to leave them without cover.


Glass brick

You have probably seen a glass wall in television’s most “upscale” properties. Elegant and beautiful, the structure is a favorite for decorating spaces. Also because it lets the light through, in a diffuse way, without making the environment too bright. Therefore, it is ideal for walls with good light input, and as a room divider.

Another advantage of glass brick is the excellent acoustic and thermal insulation it provides. However, it has a higher cost, reaching R $ 12 per piece. So, too, it is usually used only as a detail in the property.


Refractory and ecological

Bricks made from similarly enriched clay are available for construction. Called refractory, the product has the incredible heat-insulating capacity and withstands high temperatures. So it is one of the most interesting for barbecue grills – even more so than the clay bricks.

The ecological brick, in turn, is produced from the mixture of cement, water and soil. Pressed manually or mechanically, it does not need to be burned, which makes it even more consistent with the preservation of nature.

For the use of the pieces, only a small amount of mortar is needed. The product offers excellent acoustic and thermal insulation but requires specialized professionals for its use. Little indicated for humid environments, it can become part of the decoration, becoming apparent in the space.]


Cobogó and the laminate

Returning to decorative pieces, it is possible to mention the hollow brick. The pieces literally have holes, which form interesting designs. Therefore, they can be installed on walls, especially in environments where the objective is the entry of air and light. They are also suitable for room dividing walls.

Also called cobogó, this brick can appear in its base color – ceramic, clay color – or colored.

Finally, another type of brick suitable for the barbecue: laminate. With 21 holes, the material has excellent adhesion to the mortar, making any structure firmer. For this, in any case, it is indicated that it is used horizontally, leaving the smooth part to learn.

Hole classification

The holes in a brick usually define its acoustic and thermal capacity. The fewer holes the material has, the better these qualities are, since there will be no hollow “space” in the construction.

Thus, the solid brick is the most interesting in terms of insulating capacity. Without any holes, the piece consumes little mortar, as it is not necessary to insert the cement in any holes. Drying the structure assembled with solid brick, however, takes longer. So as not to delay the work, then, it is generally used only on walls and other decorative structures, assembled last.

The Bahian brick is the most used in the works in Brazil – you certainly have seen one! Among the most common there is the one with eight holes. The pieces have side grooves, have excellent adhesion to each other, and greatly speed up the assembly of the structures. Mortar savings also exist in this case, since the grooves facilitate “gluing” between the portions.

As the holes in the brick make the product lighter, the piece is only suitable for walls and foundations. That is, they are not the most suitable for the foundation of the property. After all, they may be little resistant in the case of this home base.

Type depending on the use of the brick

The types of bricks can also be classified according to their function. In this case, all the materials already mentioned are divided into two groups: that of structural bricks, and that of those that are decorative blocks.

The structural brick is one whose main function is to erect the walls. Thus, concrete and ceramic blocks are the most important, since they are the most used for construction in the country.

Their support function requires a lot of resistance, since they will be the ones to keep the property solid and upright. Thus, it is essential to choose bricks of good quality for construction. Always be careful to purchase parts from specialized companies and, mainly, that follow the rules of ABNT (Brazilian Association of Technical Standards). The standard ABNT NBR 15270-1: 2017 is the one that regulates the sector, and determines, for example, the necessary quantity of each component in the construction. Such care will guarantee the safety of the product.

Most of the time, the structural blocks are not apparent. The most common is that they are covered with cement and mortar. Then they receive paint, wallpaper, coatings and whatever else the consumer wants. Thus, they gain a more attractive and well-maintained look.

For a beautiful decoration

Decorative bricks, on the other hand, are produced to remain apparent at the end of the work. Thus, glass, castings and bricks fall into this category. The materials have a high aesthetic value, and can be used both inside and outside the home.

Some of the decorative blocks, like the clay blocks, can also work for structural function. In many situations, however, they are more fragile, and even more expensive. Therefore, it is necessary to assess the real need for the product throughout the work.

With exposed bricks, it is important to remember to protect them from external agents. Especially moisture, as it can cause cracks, infiltrations and even mold. Thus, it is recommended to use varnishes and sealants specific to the product. Like liquid silicone, which penetrates the brick maintaining its normal appearance. Products of this type should waterproof the bricks, reducing their wear over time and natural factors.

In this case, the use of acrylic resins is also indicated. Made with solvent, the resins can guarantee a satin, semi-shiny or shiny look to the brick. It all depends on the one chosen by the consumer.

Other interesting alternatives

In addition to all these options, it is possible to find so-called brick slabs on the market. The cladding is installed on a common wall, and functions as a ” false brick ”. Instead of being thicker, like ordinary ones, the material is nothing more than a thin layer of clay, in the shape of a plate, which gives a special charm to the space.

For example, you can install such a sign on just one of the walls of the room, creating a different and special corner. Installing only a small extension in the room, as a support for the TV, is equally interesting. If your barbecue does not have the look of bricks, but you want it, the plates are the best solution for the decoration of this place.

It is possible to choose between different colors and sizes of “bricks”, so that the consumer chooses the most appropriate to his objective.

Brick-imitating wallpapers are also available in the market. In this case, they are indicated when the property is not yours, which slightly limits structural changes. Wallpaper is the best way to obtain the delicate detail of the bricks, but without really changing the structural of the environment.

How to choose the brick?

When choosing the most suitable alternative to your property, it is essential to consider several aspects. First, your goal, whether structural or decorative. If the decoration is the main point, be careful to harmonize the bricks with your furniture and personal objects. A very dark-colored wall, for example, may be out of step with beige materials.

At the same time, it is essential to assess your spending. Not only with the purchase of the brick, but with the materials that will be needed to install it and, of course, with the skilled labor. Even when the alternative is for the brick board, it is interesting to have the help of a professional. Otherwise, the result may not be the most interesting.

In this case, ecological bricks tend to be more “expensive”, as they demand labor that is still uncommon. Ceramic pieces are easier to work with, despite requiring a large amount of mortar.

More tips

Remember to also purchase material from a responsible and authorized production company. As already mentioned, the factory must follow the ABNT rules so that its products are resistant enough. Parts with imperfections or cracks need to be discarded, or they may compromise the structure of the property.

Also take into account factors such as the acoustic and thermal insulation of the parts, as well as their water absorption. The choice of the brick must obey the particularities of the environment, or the material may soon be degraded by humidity, wind or sun.

With all these precautions, both the choice for the brick and the result of your work will be more correct. Remember to also talk to a professional responsible for your work. The specialist will be able to assist a lot in defining the products and types of bricks suitable for each environment of the property.