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Descriptions of Popular Building Bricks

Updated on May 8, 2011
Bricks are used in both architectural and structural design in building.
Bricks are used in both architectural and structural design in building. | Source

Different Types of Bricks

There are many different types of bricks used in both functional home building and decorative facades. Here is a list of popular types of bricks and their descriptions.

  • Rug Bricks: Rug bricks have a very prominent striping in the form of vertical grooves on the bricks. When stacked together in a large area, the striping is very attractive.
  • Bricks with a Sand Finish: Sand finished bricks provide a gritty and rough texture to a brick, and if a brick is to be placed in very water laden areas on the ground, this will provide natural nonslip ground areas.
  • Smooth Bricks: These bricks are untextured, and can be a great backdrop for many different decorating styles. It is used for both walls and building, as well as for walkways and areas for the ground.
  • Stippled Bricks: These bricks look as though each has been sponged on the surface, creating a bumpy look to it. These make excellent walls as they are highly decorative as well as functional.

For bricks that will be used outside, check their weather resistance which will be labeled by the manufacturer and can easily be looked up on their spec sheet or by an employee at a home improvement store. SW means Severe Weathering, and is good for areas with high wind, sun, rain or other conditions. MW means Moderate Weathering, and NW means No Weathering, which are great for more decorative areas that are enclosed, like covered patios and enlosed areas protected from the elements. If walkways will be paved in brick, use SW to ensure they will hold up to the foot traffic.

Building bricks are the types of bricks used in building applications, those that will be stacked up and are used for general purpose and outdoor use, for buildings and walkways. Face bricks are bricks that have a decorative feature to them and can be made in many different colors. These are great for walls. Paving bricks are used mainly for areas on the ground like walkways and patios.

Bricks come in different types, such as acual solid bricks and cored bricks, or bricks with their centers partly removed. Cored bricks are used for walls, and these are actually stronger since the mortar can fit inside making a completely inset brick. Solid bricks have no areas removed and are generally solid save a stamp from the manufacturer on the sides or tops. Paving bricks are generally solid since they need to be strong and withstand constant pressure. Many times these two bricks will be used together, for example if a wall is constructed of cored bricks, the top and sides (or any areas that will be exposed) will be solid brick.


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