Facing bricks are the most popular type of brick and have been the façade material of choice in Europe for thousands of years, particularly in the housing market. Primarily used for the external walls but they are just as gorgeous as an interior feature.
With over 500 different facing bricks available from Wienerberger, there is a style for all types of projects from traditional to ultra-modern.
The two main types of facing brick are Soft Mud (or handthrown) and Extruded (or wirecut) bricks.
Soft Mud Bricks have a more traditional or reclaimed appearance.
Manufacturing of soft mud bricks follows the processes of hand making, recreating the hand thrown technique by throwing the clay into sanded moulds using belts.
Soft mud bricks are available in a traditional sanded finish or in a handmade/creased texture, featuring a “frog” indentation rather than perforations like extruded bricks. Waterstruck soft mud bricks are made by using water instead of sand to release the clay from the moulds, creating a distinctive textured finish. As with all other manufacturing processes the wet bricks are then dried and fired.
Extruded or Wirecut Brick method is the most popular method of brick production as a high volume of bricks can be manufactured quickly – around 20,000 bricks an hour. The clay is driven through an extrusion head to form a continuous column of material in the desired width and depth. The column is then cut into smaller, more manageable pieces approx 1.5m in length known as ‘slugs’. This is then cut into bricks of the desired length by row wires.
One distinctive characteristic of an extruded brick is that they tend to have perforations or core holes running through the bed of the bricks. Perforated bricks require less energy for drying and firing and are also lighter and easier to handle.
This manufacturing process produces hard, dense bricks with a more consistent size and shape, sharper arises and a more contemporary appearance. Extruded bricks are available in a wide range of styles including smooth, dragfaced, rolled texture, sandfaced or even glazed.