Does Brick Size Matter?
When it comes to designing and building with brick, size matters.
Brick sizes have an impact on a wide range of things such as how the building is designed, the overall aesthetic appearance of a project and how easily the bricks can be laid.
A history of bricks
Historically brick sizes in Europe varied quite a lot. There is a move towards larger brick dimensions.
As the brick tax was paid per brick, brick producers started to make bigger bricks as this meant fewer bricks were required to cover the same area. The brick tax was withdrawn subsequently as it was considered to be detrimental to industrial development.
However, by then many brick producers had invested in making bricks on machines rather than by hand and so continued to produce these larger brick sizes. During this period the switch to larger brick sizes was particularly prominent.
Nowadays most bricks in Europe are made to a standard brick size of 215mm long, 102.5mm wide and 65mm high (215 x 102.5 x 65mm)/(210 x 100 x 50mm) and laid with a nominal 12mm mortar joint.
However, there is a growing trend towards more non-standard brick dimensions, such as Wienerberger’s medium and long length bricks.
Longer, thinner formats are very much in vogue at the moment with brick heights below 50mm and brick lengths of more than 400mm not uncommon. These brick sizes are being used by architects and designers to make their contemporary projects stand out from the crowd.
Consider your dimensions
Whatever brick size is chosen for a project it is important to consider these brick size dimensions in the design stage of a project in order to minimise cutting and potential problems on site.
The size of the brick and the size of mortar joint chosen will have a big impact on the setting out of the brickwork.
It is important that areas such as window and door openings and brick piers etc. are correctly planned out, as different brick sizes and mortar profiles will affect these aspects of a project.
Special shaped bricks
At Wienerberger, our focus has always been on creating high quality, innovative products, but beyond that we also believe it’s our duty to make finding these products simple, quick and easy. This has led us to develop specially designed bricks that provide flexibility, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality, giving architects the freedom to create distinctive buildings.
Beyond the numerous aesthetic benefits, Special Bricks can also provide seamless functionality, adding extra durability and protection to brickwork. They can even reduce build time and waste on-site as well as addressing any skills shortages by removing the need for hand cutting expertise. For more information, visit our Special Shaped Bricks section.