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Brick/brickwork

- a solid regular-shaped block usually of fired clay.In general terms, a brick can be picked up in one hand, a block can't. Bricks are available in a wide range of colours, which are determined by impurities in the clay. The best bricks often combined plastic or mallable clays with sandy or more brittle clays, to overcome the tendancy of the softer clays to shrink during firing. The bond is the way in which bricks are arranged in a wall, it is necessary to prevent the vertical joints in two consecutive courses being positioned directly above one another, as this weakens the construction. The importance of brick making to the building industry can be gauged in the fact that between 1820 and 1850 over 100 brick making machines and kilns were patented. This standardisation very often meant the loss of character and colour, as a result, it is always worth making every effort to salvage old bricks for reuse. They can have a wonderful texture, often caused by the sand sprinkled into the mould to stop the clay sticking to it.

The bricklayers trowel varies in size from about 10 to 14 inches and differs from the pointing trowels (see pointing) which have two straight sides, in having one side slightly rounded. This is known as the cutting edge and is used for rough cutting and trimming.

Glossary
Bat or closer - a part of a brick, usually no more than half size, used to finish a course.
Brindles - bricks which have been unequally fired.
Cloister bricks - a term sometimes used to describe oversized bricks.
Clot - the measure of clay which is forced into a stock mould.
Common brick - poorer quality brick used where structure and appearance is not important.
Compass bricks - bricks which taper in thickness and/or width.
Diaper brickwork - a diamond pattern, achieved by using bricks of different colours.
English bond - a bond consisting of alternate courses of headers and stretchers.
Engineering brick - a dense, robust brick, suitable for use in heavy duty structures, ie viaducts.
Facing brick - a brick whose colour and durability is suitable for the exposed face of a wall.
Firing - the process of changing dried mud into an approximation of stone by heating to extreme temperatures in a kiln.
Flemish bond - a bond where the courses consist of alternate headers and stretchers.
Frog - the indentation in the face of a brick, which makes it both easy to handle and bed into mortar.
Gauged brickwork - very precisely made bricks laid with fine joints.
Green bricks - are newly cast, wet but firm bricks, which are put into a drying shed or hack to harden up before being transferred to the kiln.
Header - a brick laid so that only its end appears on the face of the wall.
Header bond - a bond composed entirely of headers. (Usually a sign of a solid wall)
Honeycomb brickwork - a wall in which bricks are deliberately spaced to allow for ventilation or to achieve a visual effect.
Kiss marks - a darker spot on the brick caused by touching in the kiln.
Paviors - specially hard bricks used for surfacing work on pavements, roads etc.
Place bricks - poorer quality bricks, often underfired, used on the inner face of a wall.
Racking back - the practice of building up the ends of brick walls to a height of several courses above the last complete course, which provides a very good guide to filling in the courses between.
Rat trap - a construction of headers and stretchers in which the bricks used are laid on edge, as a result a cavity is formed - the rat trap.
Rubbers - large bricks which are then rubbed to size, giving a very precise, smooth finish.
Scottish bond - one row headers to five of stretchers.
Soldier course - a course of bricks laid with the long sides upright.
Specials - bricks which have to be specially made for a specific purpose such as a particular shape of cope.
Stock brick - a brick, hand made, using a stock mould. Later came to mean a large number (stock) of bricks all manufactured in the one locality, ie London stock brick.
Stretcher - a brick laid with its long side to the face of the wall.
Tumbled brickwork or, brick tumbling - occurs on gables where bricks are laid diagonally to form a series of triangles which provide a flat bed for skews.
Wild bond - a term used to describe very random mixtures of headers and stretchers.