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Timber framing has become more common, but bricks haven’t lost their popularity as a building material. There are a multitude of brick types. Most often they are made of clay, but also calcium silicate, and of course, plastic if you include lego. The size of a standard brick is approximately 220x105x65mm.
Manufacturers give details on dimensions and qualities of their bricks. Including the mortar joint, the working size is about 230mm long and 75mm high.
The quality of bricks is denoted by their frost resistance, which is either zero, moderate or frost resistant. Moderate are for general purposes, zero should only be used internally. Frost resistant bricks are more suitable for below ground and the top course exposed to severe weather.
Engineering bricks are very strong and resistant to water penetration, but they are not frost rated. Strength is measured by Newtons per unit area. That probably doesn’t mean anything to you, but to give you some idea, gravity exerts a force of 10 Newtons per Kilogram, if I remember what they taught me in Physics at school correctly.
There are different colours and texture finishes. Common bricks can vary in colour, faced bricks have a distinct face side or even all sides as face sides. It is possible to dye bricks a different colour after they have been installed, therefore allowing you alter bricks which don’t match with other parts of the building. Some bricks have a depression on the top or bottom, known as a frog. Lay these bricks frog side up. To give a finished look to the final course, you can lay the frogged side down.