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Which Brick Should I Use For My Extension?

Discover the ideal brick types for your extension, focusing on durability and seamless integration with your existing building structure.

Deciding on an extension for your house is always a well thought out concept, one you have likely been planning for a long time. Before commencing on your brick extension project, you will need to understand the different types of bricks, the different sizes, colours textures on the market.

The bricks you choose will have a huge impact on the look of your finished project. Getting your brickwork right the first time is key as it is one of the most difficult and costly things to change later. Whereas inside, it might be easy to swap designs, the less you muck around with your bricks, the better.

History of Bricks

Bricks can be crafted either by machines or by hand, with the latter involving the artisanal method of hand-throwing them into singular moulds. While standard sizes are readily available, there's also the option for custom-sized bricks to be produced. Technically, there isn't a significant distinction between machine-produced and handmade bricks, though it's worth noting that those manufactured by machines tend to be more cost-effective.

The geographical location of your construction site can play a role in determining the preferred type and hue of bricks historically used. Yellow bricks are predominant in London and the South East, while in the northern regions, bricks tend to exhibit a richer, deeper red shade. Meanwhile, the Midlands typically feature bricks with a warmer, orangish tone.

Different Types of Bricks to Consider for Your Extension

When it comes to selecting bricks for an extension project, there are essentially two main types to consider: engineering bricks and facing bricks. While both may be used in the extension as well as the existing structure, it's primarily the facing bricks that require careful matching, as engineering bricks typically remain hidden within the building's construction.

Forterra Facing Bricks

Forterra is a renowned British brick manufacturer with over 170 years of experience, shaping the UK's architectural landscape. They offer a wide range of over 600 products across nine brands, catering to both traditional and modern building styles. From rustic Abbey Red bricks to contemporary Dimensions range, Forterra provides diverse options in colour, texture, and size. Their commitment to sustainability includes locally sourced clay and optimised manufacturing processes for energy efficiency and waste reduction. Forterra invests in research and development to ensure high standards of durability and performance, supporting architects and builders throughout the construction process.

To view our full range of Forterra Facing Bricks, head to our product page.

Ibstock Facing Bricks

Ibstock Brick, a prominent UK clay brick manufacturer, boasts a legacy of over 200 years in brick production. Their extensive product range offers a diverse selection of colours, textures, and sizes to suit any project.

Crafted from high-quality clay and fired at high temperatures, Ibstock bricks are exceptionally strong and durable, ensuring long-lasting performance against the elements. The Alderley Mixture, manufactured by Ibstock at their Chesterton works, is an extruded/wirecut brick which has a light sandfaced texture which is a red-multi in colour. A high quality facing brick that is 100% recyclable at the end of their use.

View our range of Ibstock Facing Bricks here.

Michelmersh Facing Bricks

With a legacy spanning over 125 years, Michelmersh is renowned for crafting premium clay bricks and pavers. Their expertise is evident in each product, promising enduring beauty and resilience. Imagine quaint English cottages or majestic historical structures adorned with Michelmersh bricks, standing the test of time for generations to come.

Their brick offerings feature a captivating spectrum of colours, ranging from warm Carlton Red Dragwire to the sophisticated Cottesmore Grey. Textures vary from smooth and sleek to rustic and weathered, allowing you to realise your unique architectural vision.

Michelmersh places a strong emphasis on both aesthetics and sustainability. Their commitment to eco-friendly practices is evident throughout the production process, from locally sourced clay to waste minimisation and energy-efficient methods.

Discover enduring elegance with Michelmersh Facing Bricks - Click to explore our full range.

Weinerberger Facing Bricks

Synonymous with quality and craftsmanship, Wienerberger has graced countless buildings worldwide for over two centuries. Established in 1819, this Austrian company stands as the foremost producer of clay facing bricks globally, celebrated for their durability, versatility, and sustainability. Fashioned from natural clay and fired at high temperatures, Wienerberger bricks boast exceptional strength and weather resistance, ensuring longevity across generations. Wienerberger offers an extensive range of colours and textures. Committed to eco-friendly practices, Wienerberger sources clay locally and employs sustainable production methods to minimise environmental impact. Notable projects featuring Wienerberger bricks include the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Reichstag Building in Berlin, and the Tate Modern art gallery in London.

Do Weinerberger Facing Bricks sound like what you’re looking for? View our full range here.

Engineering and Common Bricks

Beneath the sleek exteriors and captivating contours of modern architecture lies the engineering brick. These stalwart bricks, often hidden in shadows or nestled deep within foundations, serve as the silent sentinels of structural integrity, forming the backbone of countless buildings encountered daily. Unlike their ornamental counterparts adorned with vibrant colours and intricate designs, engineering bricks exude a different allure - the rugged beauty of functionality. Crafted from premium clay and fired at intense temperatures, they exhibit exceptional strength, effortlessly supporting the weight of towering structures. With low water absorption and frost resistance, they withstand the harshest elements, enduring the test of time with unwavering resilience.

Browse all of the Engineering and Common Bricks we store on our site.

Brick Matching Services

You will have explored brick matching services by now. It is often not until you try to match the bricks currently used for your property that you realise just how many different types there are. Hundreds in fact. Bearing this in mind, finding matching bricks can be a daunting prospect.

Luckily, Buildershop offers this service ahead of any build commencing. Read our blog about brick matching, but in short: Just email a photo of your brick, plus its dimensions, the quantity you need and your delivery postcode, to Buildershop. We’ll let you know as soon as we have a match, at the best price possible. That’s it! We aim to get back to you within 48 hours.

Further Uses of Bricks

Bricks are a versatile building material, able to participate in a wide variety of applications, including:

• Structural walls, exterior and interior walls
• Bearing and non-bearing sound proof partitions
• The fireproofing of structural-steel
• Chimneys and fireplaces
• Porches and terraces
• Outdoor steps, brick walks and paved floors
• Swimming Pools
• Garden Walls 

Once you’ve found a brick you like – or more likely matches your existing property – you need to check the specification of your chosen brick is suitable.

Your architect and builder should be able to check this for you, but factors such as compressive strength and water absorption play a part even though these are facing as opposed to engineering bricks where strength and water absorption capabilities are usually more important.

Choosing the right bricks for your extension project is a crucial decision that will greatly impact the final outcome of your construction. With a wide array of options available in terms of types, sizes, colours, and textures, it's essential to make an informed choice that aligns with your aesthetic preferences and functional requirements.

With our expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction, Buildershop ensures a seamless experience in acquiring high-quality bricks tailored to your specifications. Contact Buildershop today to bring your architectural vision to life with confidence and convenience.