Brick is one of the most popular exterior materials – it is beautiful and provides a solid, well-made structure. A brick is a unit of material used in masonry construction by skilled masons using mortar. Bricks come in many sizes, but usually in a width and weight suitable to grasp in one hand while holding a trowel in the other.

Different clays produce different colors. Natural coatings, such as sand and limestone, can be added during the firing process to produce different colors, effects, textures and finishes. In addition, the brick’s position in the kiln can affect the final look.


The more commonly used bricks are made of clay. They have a natural beauty and do not fade over time. Extruded clay bricks are made with a mixture of finely ground shale and water forced through a die. The result is a long cable of material that is then cut into bricks of any desired length. The introduction of holes or indentations reduces the volume of clay needed, with a consequent reduction in cost but with increased thermal properties. The cut bricks are hardened using waste heat from the kiln. They are then fired in the kiln at temperatures near 1000°C for about 24 hours. The vitrified clay shale produces hard, dense bricks of unparalleled strength, texture and colour.


Concrete or calcite bricks are denser than clay bricks. The raw materials for concrete or calcium silicate bricks include lime or Portland cement mixed with fine aggregates and mineral colorants. The materials are mixed and then pressed into moulds. The formed shapes are cured in an autoclave or humidity controlled environment. The finished bricks are very accurate and uniform and can be made in a variety of colours. Advantages include their lower manufactured cost from regional production facilities.