Facing Bricks: Most Common Questions (Answered)

What is a Facing Brick?

Facing bricks are what you see when you look at the external walls of a building. They are meant to be attractive, unlike engineering and common bricks, which is why they come in a range of styles. These are the most common type of brick and are often textured for decorative purposes.

What are Facing Bricks Used For?

Facing bricks are used to make the exterior of buildings, which are also known as facades, more attractive. While being decorative, it is important that they are also weather-resistant so that they age well after constant exposure to the elements.

They should not be used in situations where high compressive strength is required. For structures where strength, durability, and damp-proof properties are required, engineering bricks would be more suitable.

Types of Facing Bricks and How They Are Made

There are two main types of facing bricks, each of which is made from clay using different manufacturing techniques.

1. Handmade bricks

Also known as dry press bricks, these are made by throwing clay into a wooden mould. They are then smoothed and pressed before being turned over to remove the brick, which is left to air dry. Once dry, the bricks are hardened in a coal-fired kiln.

Handmade bricks feature subtle differences from one another as they are not mass-produced, which gives them more character. They also typically include an indentation on top, known as a frog.

As the production process is labour intensive, handmade bricks cost more than most other facing bricks.

2. Wirecut

This is the way most facing bricks are made. Clay is shaped into a block, which is then cut, using wires, into the correct dimensions. They are then fired in a kiln, which hardens the clay and improves its water resistance.

As they are made using machines, wirecut bricks are relatively cheap to produce at scale. The automation also allows for the creation of bricks that are uniform in size and appearance.

Facing Brick Dimensions

The majority of wirecut facing bricks measure 215 x 102.5 x 65mm. They are also available in heights of 68mm, 73mm, and 75mm.

Handmade bricks are available in the following dimensions:
– 50 x 102.5 x 215mm
– 65 x 102.5 x 215mm
– 73 x 102.5 x 215mm

Facing Brick Prices Per 1000

It can cost as little as £620 for 1000 common wirecut facing bricks. These, however, are the cheapest available. Higher quality, rustic versions that have more texture cost up to £2.56 per brick, which will total £2,560 per 1000.

Handmade facing bricks from builders’ merchants cost between £1,260 and £2,640 per 1000. You will also need to factor in labour costs, which is approximately £900 per 1000 bricks according to Checkatrade.

How Many Bricks Per M2

You will need 60 facing bricks per square metre. It is best to also factor in 5-10 percent wastage, which can be caused by cracks. Therefore, to be on the safe side, you should get 66 bricks per m2.

Surface area of wall (m2)How many facing bricks are required (includes 10% wastage)
1m266 bricks
5m2330 bricks
10m2660 bricks
15m2990 bricks
25m21650 bricks
50m23300 bricks

The table above shows how many facing bricks you will need depending on the m2 area that needs to be covered. Please note that these are estimates based on standard 215 x 65mm house bricks.

How Many Facing Bricks Can Be Laid in a Day?

An experienced bricklayer can lay between 500 and 800 bricks in a day. Beginners can expect to lay around 200, which will improve as they spend more time on the job. This assumes bricklayers are building a straight wall.

Output will reduce significantly if there are accessibility issues, such as scaffolding, or the wall requires time-consuming detailed, bespoke work.

It is worth noting that a wall should not be built at a rate greater than 5 feet (1.5m) per day to ensure the wall is secure and working conditions are safe.

How Many Facing Bricks in a Pack?

The most common pack size is 400 bricks. However, packs of facing bricks can contain anywhere between 370 and 680 facing bricks. This will differ depending on the size of the product and the manufacturer.

Can You Use Facing Bricks For a Garden Wall?

Facing bricks can be used as part of a garden wall but must have an F2/S2 durability classification, which means they have low salt content and are resistant to frost. There must also be a damp proof course of engineering bricks to protect against rising damp that could compromise its structural integrity.

Unlike house walls, garden walls are exposed on all sides and take on more water during wet weather. This means they are damp for long periods of time and are susceptible to efflorescence and spalling following cold and wet spells.

Compressive Strength of Facing Bricks

Facing bricks can have compressive strength as low as 12N/mm². This is significantly lower than Class A engineering bricks, which have a strength greater than 125N/mm². High strength and durability are not important for facing bricks, as they are primarily decorative.

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