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Working with Specialist Brick Types

Planning on making improvements to a property you are purchasing? If you’re thinking of adding on an extension, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different specialist brick types.

The type of bricks you build an extension with makes a huge difference to how it looks and holds up. So, let’s take a look at the different specialist brick types on offer and the tools you’ll need to work with.

What are specialist brick types?

Specialist brick types are basically irregular shaped bricks. They can clearly be seen on the edges, arches and door frames of properties. Initially, these types of bricks were manufactured in small quantities for very specific purposes. However, today they are more commonly used for a variety of projects.

Specialist bricks today are largely made for each individual project. They tend to be fired in a different kiln than traditional style bricks. As well as adding an interesting aesthetic slant, special bricks are excellent for restoring and renovating sections of brickwork.

Just some of the different shapes available include Squint bricks, Plinth header, Radial header and single bullnose. Standard bricks have a rectangular shape and they are made from clay. They are shaped to build strong outer walls

Which tools will you need?

When you’re working with special brick types, you’re going to need a few essential tools. A power drill and different drill bits are just one essential tool you’re going to need. It’s important to do your research so you know which drill bits you’ll need.

Other tools you’re going to need include a brick and pointing trowel, spirit and boat level, and a club hammer. The tools you’ll need will depend upon the specific job you’re doing. Take a look online for instructional videos as these will often contain all of the equipment and tools you’ll need for the job.

Bricklaying tips

The most commonly used bricklaying technique is to lay them so that the vertical joints are staggered by around half a brick. It is officially known as the running bond or stretcher bond technique.

When applying mortar, ensure you create a V shape trough along it with a trowel. This ensures the bricks can be easily tapped into position. You’ll also need to apply the mortar to the edge of the bricks.

When you’re working with special bricks, they aren’t going to line up in the same way as traditional ones. So, you’ll need to use your own judgement as to how to line them up in the most aesthetically pleasing way.

Bricklaying with special bricks can be a challenge. However, you should be able to find plenty of instructional videos online. The above are just some of the things you need to know when you’re working with specialist brick types.

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