Facing brick pointing is the most demanded facade material in constructing private houses and commercial real estate. Developers are not embarrassed by the high cost of products because the end result fully justifies the investment. Regular maintenance is not required behind the front brick pointing facade. It is unnecessary, the building looks respectable, and its service life exceeds 100 years.
The difference between ordinary and facing bricks
Ordinary and facing bricks are presented on the market. It differs significantly in price. Still, the scope of products is radically different. The private is used only for backfilling the walls, as it requires a subsequent finish. It is not suitable for facade cladding for the following reasons:
- There are defects on the surface – chips, cracks, potholes, inclusions;
- Low frost resistance – withstand 25-50 freeze-thaw cycles;
- Have a high water absorption coefficient;
- Unstable geometric dimensions will not allow laying out a perfectly even row;
- Uneven colouring.
A wall made of this material requires necessarily plastering or cladding with facade bricks.
The front brick pointing has an ideal geometric shape. The standards do not allow deviations from the average by more than 3-4 mm. Most manufacturers try to produce material whose variations do not exceed 1-2 mm. Among other differences between facing bricks and ordinary bricks:
- Flat smooth surface;
- High frost resistance – from 50 to 300 cycles;
- High strength-facing bricks of grades M150-M300 are used for work. For clinker, this indicator reaches M500-M1000;
- Low coefficient of water absorption;
- Uniform colour throughout.
For facing bricks, the main criteria are external characteristics, frost resistance and strength. The facade should not absorb water during rain or collapse from minor mechanical impacts.
Such a criterion as heat capacity is not essential when choosing a facing brick. Suppose it is necessary to improve the thermal performance of the building. In that case, it is better to mount a layer of thermal insulation between the facade and facing material. Despite this, manufacturers produce solid and hollow facing bricks, which have all the necessary characteristics for building a beautiful and reliable facade.
Ceramic facing brick: advantages and disadvantages
Ceramic facade bricks are made from clay, blanks are moulded, acquire an ideal geometry and are fired in kilns at temperatures of 900-1000ºС. The result is a product that meets the most stringent requirements. Among the advantages of facing ceramic bricks:
- Balanced price;
- Good vapour permeability;
- Good adhesion of the masonry mortar makes masonry easier.
Among the disadvantages of this facing brick pointing is high water absorption, which can reach 12%. This is significantly lower than that of ordinary brick, but with constant high humidity, this can cause cracks. Frozen water destroys the material, despite its high strength characteristics.
Another disadvantage is the presence of voids; laying this leads to an overrun of the solution. It is necessary to choose a stone with the smallest cross-section of round or rectangular holes.
Hyper-pressed facade brick
Produced from screenings of limestone, using Portland cement as a binder. Thanks to the high moulding pressure, the perfect shape is achieved. Roasting is carried out at low temperatures. Among the advantages:
- Low price;
- Wide range of colours;
- Collections with a corrugated surface for decorative plaster, “torn stone”, marble.
Hyper-pressed facing brick pointing NYC looks spectacular unusual. This material has several disadvantages that must be considered:
- The smooth surface is characterized by slight adhesion to the mortar; therefore, it is necessary to use special mixtures or give preference to a hollow facing brick;
- During operation, microcracks appear on the surface; this leads to a decrease in frost resistance and strength. It is recommended to periodically treat the surface with water repellents. The stone with a textured surface has the most significant tendency to form microcracks;
- Has low vapour permeability, which complicates the design of the external wall and requires the arrangement of a ventilated facade repair contractor;
- High thermal conductivity significantly reduces the thermal performance of external walls.
The increased operating costs are offset by a low price, so hyper-pressed facing bricks are in demand in implementing original architectural projects.
Clinker brick: features and advantages
Clinker bricks appeared in Holland more than 200 years ago. It is made from plastic clay. The technological feature of the process is firing at a high temperature, which reaches 1300ºС. The result is a stone with unique properties:
- High strength – you can buy clinker bricks M500, M800, M1000;
- Minimum water absorption;
- Does not absorb automobile oils and fuels, liquids with colouring substances;
- High frost resistance;
- A wide range of formats, colours, textures.
Clinker brick pointing was created for paving streets; its characteristics were highly appreciated and began to be used in cladding the facades of prestigious mansions.
The most significant disadvantage of clinker facing bricks is the high price. Among other features:
- Low water absorption requires special masonry mortars – inactive, with low water content. Working with them is difficult. Skills are required. The recommended daily laying rate is no more than 5 rows in height;
- Low vapour permeability requires increased attention to the ventilation of a building lined with clinker bricks.
The disadvantages of clinker bricks are fully compensated by their spectacular appearance and long service life, which exceeds 200 years.
Facing brick pointing and design features
High competition in the market has led to the emergence of hundreds of types of facade bricks, which differ in colour, format, surface features. For facing material, appearance is one of the main selection criteria. The design of the front brick pointing should correspond to the architectural features of the building. He emphasizes the status of the property owner and speaks of his sense of taste.
The following types of facade bricks are produced:
- An exclusive material, each stone has a front surface with a complex relief formed by hand. The work is done using technologies used many centuries ago. This type of face brick pointing is suitable for premium real estate, which is made in a castle style. The process of forming facade bricks is laborious, the cost is the highest in its category,
- Textured – has a surface for “torn stone” or decorative plaster, is produced on automated lines, so the design of each facing brick is similar to its batch. It is used in the implementation of original projects in the castle, classical style,
- Shotted – before firing, the front surfaces of the facade bricks are sprinkled with mineral chips; as a result, an original texture is formed. The overall structure is formed due to high-temperature firing, so the crumb does not crumble. The only drawback is the difficulty in care; this material is not recommended for regions characterized by dust storms. Facing brick pointing has a unique look can be used for projects in any architectural style,
- Engobed – a ceramic solution of a contrasting colour is applied to the surface of the dried brick, after which the workpieces are fired. As a result, the stone can be given any colour. With incomplete surface treatment, unique colour transitions can be created. When ceramics are sintered with bricks, the strongest bond is formed, all the characteristics of the base material are preserved;
- Glazed – the front side is decorated with glaze with a glossy sheen. The technology allows you to experiment with colours, and the facade brick receives additional protection from moisture and mechanical stress.
The classic ceramic cladding brick has a red-brown or beige colour. The addition of natural pigments allows you to change the shade. Brick factories produce yellow, brown, white and grey stone. A wide range of colours will enable you to give the facade the colour that best suits the chosen architectural style.
When choosing, it is necessary to preference facing bricks from one batch. The final shade is mainly dependent on the firing temperature and may vary from one manufacturer to another. If it is not possible to purchase the entire volume from one batch, then before laying it is recommended to mix facade bricks from different pallets to avoid spots on the wall that differ in colour.
Dimensions and shape of facing bricks
Facade bricks are produced single, one and a half and double. The single facing brick pointing is in the most significant demand. Its format allows you to make the masonry pattern more attractive with small wall sizes. The material is used when facing private houses commercial and municipal real estate up to 2-3 floors high. One and a half and double facing bricks are used to construct multi-storey buildings.
European and American standards differ from Russian standards. On the domestic market, mainly bricks of the NF format are presented. It has dimensions of 240x60x71 mm, which are close to the dimensions of a single brick.
The continuous facade of the building in the style of minimalism is used less and less. Architects at the design stage suggest decorating buildings with decorative elements – semi-columns, cornices, platbands. This gives buildings an individual look. Manufacturers of building materials produce shaped facing bricks for arranging complex facade elements. A variety of options are offered that differ from the traditional rectangular shape:
- With a rounded poke, the radius of curvature can have a different diameter
- With a cut corner
- Beveled along the length at a certain angle
- Beveled with a ledge, which is necessary for fixing to the window frame
- The poke is beveled at two angles
- With a concave corner in the form of a semicircle
- With profiled corner
Suppose the facade project has intricate decorative details. In that case, it is necessary to choose a facing brick, in the collection of which there are all the essential shaped products.
Quantity calculation and budgeting
Before proceeding with the choice of facade bricks, it is necessary to calculate its quantity. To do this, you need to calculate the area of \u200b\u200bthe external walls subtract the size of \u200b\u200bwindow and door openings from the obtained value. Multiply the resulting value of the location of \u200b\u200bbrickwork by the number of bricks in one square meter. This parameter does not have a constant matter since each master has seam thickness in the masonry. When working with a single brick, its quantity per square meter of masonry is 51-56 pieces. Imported face brick pointing NF standard is slightly smaller than a single domestic stone. In a square meter of masonry, there are 60-65 pieces of this brick.
Having decided on the number of bricks and the budget for facade work, you can understand what price range it is worth choosing the material. Suppose the products of domestic factories cost an average of 15 rubles per piece. In that case, the cost of European facing bricks often exceeds 75 rubles. Considering the more significant amount of material the need to use special masonry mortars, the cost of facade work may differ by 5-10 times. Price becomes an essential factor in choosing face bricks.
Having decided on the budget and the price of the material, they proceed to the choice of facing bricks. The procedure is simple:
- colour and texture are chosen – we are talking about the facade – the visiting card of the house, so you need to pay special attention to visual parameters. They must match the architectural style of the project, the colour of the facade must be combined with the shade of the roofing material;
- practical parameters are analyzed – preference is given to facing bricks with a strength grade of M200 or more, frost resistance should be at least 50 cycles;
- Design characteristics are determined – it is better to give preference to a full-bodied artificial stone, reducing the amount of cement mortar used. If this is not possible, the hollow face brick pointing should have holes with a minimum area.
In all respects, clinker facing bricks have advantages. This material is available in various colours and can have any surface texture. The basis of the assortment is a full-bodied artificial stone, which reduces the consumption of special masonry mortars. The service life is more than 100 years due to high strength and low water absorption. The only drawback is the price, but if it suits the buyer, it is better to preference the clinker.
After the final selection, it is recommended to purchase the entire batch of products at once. This solution has several significant advantages:
- Transportation costs are reduced, many companies provide free shipping with large volumes;
- A facing brick pointing of one batch is purchased; this will eliminate the need to control the color to avoid stains on the wall;
- Transhipment of products in the warehouses of intermediaries is excluded. Large consignments are delivered to the buyer from the factory. As a result, the risk of mechanical damage during loading and unloading operations is reduced.
When buying, it is worth specifying the date of manufacture of the facade brick. Preference should be given to material that is more than 20 days old. Such an artificial stone has already gained more than 80% of its strength; its transportation will not damage mechanical.
Efflorescence of brickwork: prevention and care
A good house with a facing brick pointing facade can change its appearance when efflorescence appears. Large white spots negatively affect appearance. It is possible to reduce the likelihood of their occurrence at the stage of construction work. For this, you need:
- Use non-additive cement in the manufacture of masonry mortar;
- Sand and water should not contain water-soluble salts;
- When laying, use a “hard” mortar with little mobility;
- Do not use antifreeze additives; it is better to work in the warm season;
- Do not allow the masonry mixture to get on the front surface;
- Daily, after work, cover the masonry with waterproof material;
- prevent freezing of masonry during the construction phase.
When efflorescence appears, it is not recommended to wash them off with water or wipe them off. Be sure to use unique formulations. They will remove efflorescence, reduce the rate of their further manifestation, and will not damage the facade brick.
Care of the facade of facing bricks
Facade brick pointing is a natural and durable material; it does not require complex maintenance. When using ordinary ceramic bricks, treating the surface with water repellents every two years is recommended. They prevent water penetration into the pores, which protects against the appearance of cracks. Thanks to such care, the facade will remain in perfect condition for decades.
Clinker facade brick does not require scheduled maintenance. If necessary, periodically remove small efflorescences resembling lichen or fungus. For care, it is better to use unique formulations.
Hyper-pressed front brick requires constant care; without treatment with a water repellent, large cracks appear in 3-5 years, leading to the destruction of artificial stone. If you do not follow the facade, then in 10-15 years, you will have to change it.
Clinker brick pointing is the best choice for the facade of a private house or a select store. The material has ideal performance characteristics, long service life and genuine care. In the USA, clinker production is just beginning to be mastered. The material is produced by several factories, but the appearance of this product has already reduced the average cost of facing clinker bricks. It will become more accessible in the coming years.
Ceramic bricks are much cheaper than clinker but require periodic maintenance. The variety of this facade material allows it to be used in various architectural projects. Hyper-pressed brick pointing needs regular maintenance; it is better to use this artificial stone in a dry climate. The suitable material will allow you to build a beautiful and comfortable house that will become a family nest for several generations of the family.