The Brick – A Basic Building Block of Our World

Browsing through slang and other uses of the word brick can be a rather interesting exercise. A ‘brick’ is an old fashioned noun for a man who is a “good sort” – solid, dependable and trustworthy which is preferable to being ‘one brick shy of a load’ in another word – dense. You would also not want something to hit you like a ton of bricks or bang your head against a brick wall and you should be cautious when using the phrase to lay a brick because it can mean to answer the more acute of the two potential calls of nature.

Given that bricks are an integral part of our vocabulary and also our lifestyles it is not surprising that according to IBIS World’s Brick and tile Market research report it is anticipated that in 2011-12, the Brick & Tile Manufacturing industry will generate revenue of £725 million. Understandably this translates into a significant amount of bricks and tiles. Interestingly though this statistic does not include estimates of the world famous Lego ‘bricks’ which have a special place in our society all of their own.

A brick is usually a block of ceramic material used in construction and is laid using various kinds of mortar.

The manufacturing of clay bricks dates back to ancient civilizations and the process has changed very little over the years although technological developments have allowed the mass production of bricks that are strong and durable. Bricks are regarded as one of the strongest and longest lasting building materials used throughout history. The United Kingdom has long relied on brick building materials for the construction of houses and non-residential buildings.

Reclaimed bricks are bricks that are recovered from old building sites and cleaned. Bricks that are reclaimed are characterised by worn and irregular surfaces and may have remnants of mortar due to their original use. These bricks are however often prized for aesthetic appeal and the character that they add.

Good quality reclaimed bricks can be cost effective as well as adding a unique look to something like a garden feature or indoor fireplace. Many reclaimed bricks will have characteristic folds, fine creases and colour variations that typify older brickwork.

So when next you want to build a small wall to enhance your garden or a low wall beneath a fence or a special water feature or even a brick barbecue it would be useful to consider using reclaimed bricks to give your project a unique charm.