Compare the different types of bricks, blocks and natural stone to find the right materials for your next home improvement project.
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Bricks are made in different sizes, although 8-1/2" x 4" x 2-5/8" is a common size. There are also other aspects of brick design that vary, such as whether they are solid, cored or indented. These are the three most common brick designs, although many others exist, often designed for specific purposes.
Solid throughout the structure, with flat surfaces on all sides. Both fire bricks and concrete bricks are commonly solid in structure.
Have holes that extend from their upper to their lower faces, and so are not suitable for capping on top of a wall. They are laid in exactly the same way as other bricks.
Faced/indented (Image 3)
Indented bricks have a wedge-shaped indentation (a "frog") in the upper face (some also have this in the bottom face). Bricks can be laid frog up or frog down. Laying them frog up is stronger, but requires more mortar.
Less angular bricks are available for certain tasks such as capping a garden wall, creating a curved wall, turning a corner (as shown) or creating specific sill designs. Most manufacturers and suppliers will have catalogs to display their full range of specialty bricks.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009
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