18th Nov 2022 -

Traditional clay bricks offer a solid level of strength, but are unsuited for some heavy-duty tasks and perform poorly when in regular contact with water. A strong, water-resistant option is to use engineering bricks, which offer greater strength for a variety of non-visual uses within buildings. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll explore the essentials of engineering bricks, what they’re used for, how they’re sold, and what they cost.

What Are Engineering Bricks?

Engineering bricks are specialist construction bricks designed around high strength, water resistance, and acid resistance. They are used for a variety of non-visual uses within construction projects, especially ones involving water such as groundworks and sewers. They are also used at the lower levels of brick buildings where strength and load-bearing need to be prioritised.

Engineering bricks are made from clay, much like facing bricks. They are produced from high-quality clay and heated at higher temperatures than standard to offer their unique benefits. Within clay brick construction, engineering bricks will offer the best strength and water resistance available. 

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What Size Are Engineering Bricks?

The standard size for solid clay bricks is 215mm x 102.5mm x 65mm, which will also be true of engineering bricks. There are other sizes available, with some options available in 73mm height instead. As engineering bricks will be used together, they can be joined to standard-sized facing bricks or common bricks safely.

What Types of Engineering Bricks Are Available?

As engineering bricks are not intended for visual usage, the main consideration when purchasing will be the grading of brick you need. Engineering bricks are sold in two classes, A and B, with A being the stronger of the two. Class A Engineering bricks will offer a compressive strength of 125N/mm² or more, and will absorb less than 4.5% of water. 

A Class B brick however will offer compressive strength of more than 75N/mm² and will boast water absorption of less than 7%. Within the UK, Class B engineering bricks will be the more common choice, with a lower price tag. All engineering bricks will be made to comply with precise British standards. Engineering bricks are produced by a variety of companies, such as Ibstock. Another popular option is Staffordshire bricks, originally produced in Staffordshire with a deep blue colour.

What Colour Are Engineering Bricks?

While it is commonly thought that a Class A engineering brick will be blue and a Class B will be red, this isn’t necessarily the case in the modern market, with red Class A engineering bricks and blue Class B engineering bricks both available.

Two bricklayers building a brick wall with trowel and red bricks.

Where Are Engineering Bricks Used?

Engineering bricks are typically used for their strength, their water resistance, or both. In most cases, they will not be visible as part of a construction, though there are a couple of exceptions for solid brick structures that will be in contact with water.

Building Foundations

Due to their strength, engineering bricks are often used for the foundational layers of a building. While facing bricks will typically be used for the higher visible layers, the groundworks benefit from the strong performance offered by Class B or Class A bricks. Engineering bricks can also be used to construct retaining walls outside, a purpose where strength is needed.

Damp Proof Courses

Damp-proof courses are intended to be barriers within walls to prevent dampness from rising through the wall. While there are a series of options today including damp-proof membranes, the water performance of engineering bricks can be a great solution. Damp-proof courses are required within new buildings, meaning that you will need to opt for either engineering bricks or different options during construction.

Water Facing Structures

Another popular use for engineering bricks is within the construction of water-facing engineering elements. These can be things like sewer tunnels, canal walls, and bridges. This is the one area where visible facings of engineering bricks are more likely, as ensuring the long-term performance of any water-facing structure is vital. Their strength also brings benefits by extending their lifespan and allowing the construction of sturdy brick bridges.

What Price Are Engineering Bricks?

Building Materials Nationwide stocks a variety of engineering bricks through our website. Explore some of our latest prices below, and browse our full range.

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Quality Engineering Bricks For Sale

Building Materials Nationwide offers a comprehensive selection of building supplies for sale, delivering them across the UK at competitive prices. We stock a range of high-quality engineering bricks, alongside facing bricks and concrete blocks

If you are looking for Class A or Class B engineering bricks we will stock a sturdy, certified option. Customers within the industry can also take advantage of our trade accounts, which give access to a dedicated account manager, our network of suppliers, and our express delivery options. 

Sign up for a trade account through our website today. If you have any questions for us, use the contact form below and we will get back to you ASAP.

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