Ask the experts
What are the standard sizes of bricks produced in the U.K.?
Bricks are classified by height with 65mm being the most popular size for new buildings and 73mm the most popular for restoration. Regional variations including 50mm, 53mm, 68mm, 75mm and 80mm are also available in certain brick types. The standard length of bricks is 215mm with some restoration bricks available in 230mm long.
I have white stains on my brickwork, what are they and can I remove them?
There are 2 main types of white staining that occur on brickwork, efflorescence and Lime Staining, and both need completely different treatments to remove them. In our Architects resource section we have a leaflet on both topics which explains the causes and treatments in detail.
A number of the bricks in my house have started to crumble, why has this happened and what can I do?
The most likely cause is Frost damage which is caused by increased freeze thaw cycles as we have experienced in the last few winters. Most bricks sold in the U.K. are classified as frost resistant (F2) which is often mistaken for frost proof and therefore dependant upon design, mortar specification, location of the bricks even bricks classified as F2 can fail due to frost attack. Our guide in the Architects resources on Frost damage give more detail.
I have bought some 65mm bricks but some are 63mm and some are 66mm, are they seconds?
As bricks are a natural product you will experience size variation. There are 3 classifications for brick dimension tolerance T1, T2 and Tm. 65mm bricks classified T1 allow ±3mm on height (62mm – 68mm), T2 is slightly tighter and allows ±2mm (63mm – 67mm) and Tm is set by the manufacturer and can be wider or closer than the other categories. Therefore unless your bricks were Tm they would be classed as meeting the expected standard.
My bricks vary in colour as my wall is being built, why?
Clay bricks can vary slightly in colour from batch to batch for a variety of reasons including clay mix, sand/stain colour and small differences in firing conditions. Like other products such as wallpaper, carpets etc. it is important that the total quantity required is ordered and preferably delivered at one time and discussions with the supplier should take place to ensure that individual properties are built with bricks from the same batch. It is also very important to mix the bricks used from at least 3 packs, preferably 6 to ensure a consistent mix of colours.
My builder wants to lay my bricks “frog” down, what does he mean?
The “frog” in a brick is the indentation found mainly on stock or moulded bricks made during production for firing purposes. Many bricklayers prefer to lay bricks frog down as they believe it to be a faster method and it uses less mortar, however the performance of the brickwork can be affected by insufficiently filled frogs. British Standard Code of Practice BS 8000-3 Workmanship on Building Sites states that; “Unless otherwise advised, lay single frog bricks with frog uppermost and double frogged with deeper frog uppermost. Fill all frogs with mortar..... Bricks walls built with frogs down and unfilled are weaker and less resistant to sound transmission. Advice should be sought as to whether bricks laid frog down are acceptable”.
Do you stock Brick slips/Verneers - f not do you know who does - 7mm thick.
Yes, we stock a range of purpose made brick slips but the standard thickness is 15mm. We can provide slips in any brick type currently produced but It is quite difficult to achieve a cut to 7mm, most bricks can be cut to a slip of between 15mm and 20mm. We can cut to 7mm but depending upon the brick type selected and the surface texture the wastage can make slips at this thickness uneconomical.
My house is built with Lumtex woodstone buff bricks from the lumley brickworks. I am planning an extension. What is the best match please, now that the original ones are no longer available?
Unfortunately, the Lumtex Woodstone Buff was quite an unusual brick being a brown clay body with buff colour applied. We normally supply two different bricks depending upon how your house has weathered over the years, either the Ibstock Milburn Ashen Brown if most of the yellow stain has weathered off (It doesn’t have the same texture but has the same colour tones) or a Carlton Brown Rustic (This has a texture similar to the Lumtex) and then cosmetically tint the bricks with a buff tint to get as close a match as possible. We do offer a free brick matching service where one of our guys will pop out, have a look at your house and recommend the best option for you. All we need is your address and we can do a match for you. Images are of both these bricks are on the browse our bricks serction but before making a final decision we would recommend seeing a physical sample panel.