Through out the early part of the last century some houses in Britain and Ireland were made solely from brick. In the past thirty years or so this has turned to brick and block. We have all seen the rows of former council houses and tied cottages all over Britain from the early 1900. A lot of these houses have fallen into disrepair simply because the original owners never looked after their tenants and the tenants never thought they would own the house so they did not take care of the property either. Most of these brick houses were built with no foundation and no damp course so the suffered from raising damp and Mould. Not having any insulation between the walls left the houses hard to heat. This is why a lot of old people like to live in the middle terrace house as they get heated from both side from the other tenants.
Today you can buy different types of brick depending on your requirements. Very few houses these days are built with two layers of brick most have block as the main wall and the a facing of brick.
The most commonly used brick today are facing bricks. They come with different texture finishes and in a large variety of colours and quality.
Wire Cut Extruded
These are one of the most commonly used bricks used for facing. The wet mixture is pressed into a large Mould and the compacted result being cut into shape by a large wire ( similar to cutting cheese ). These are then baked in large batches that keep the cost down.
Stock Moulded/ Machine Moulded
These are made of soft mud clay, moulded into a box and dusted with sand. They are not the most evenly square of bricks but they are durable and add character to the property. The are usually more expensive.
Water Struck Moulded / Slop Moulded
These are made from natural clay, they are soft mud moulded but not finished with sand. They look like you would have on an old cottage front. If you are building in an historic are you are more likely to get planning permission using these bricks. They are quite expensive.
These are similar to stock moulded bricks as they are made of soft clay, but these are moulded by hand. If a match is needed for a renovation job this is usually the root that is taken. Because of the skills that are required to produce these bricks the cost is relevant but quite often worth it.
This is a Victorian method of production, stiff clay is forced under great pressure into a box moiled by a machine. These bricks are for extensions and tend to be made in imperial sizes.
Irregular in shape these are hard and durable bricks. They get their name from being over burned in the kilns.
Common or Building Bricks
Being one of the cheapest bricks they have many uses. They can be purpose made just for a single project. Most of the time these bricks are used for work below the ground or for chimney walls.
These are made with two rows of five holes extending through their bed to reduce weight. There is no real difference between the strength of a wall built with cored bricks and those constructed with solid brick.
These are solid non-perforated bricks and have a lower water absorption than most others. Because of their strength and durability they are ideal for most construction jobs.
One surface of each brick is glazed usually in a white colour but other colours are available. A mixture of minerals fused together form a ceramic glaze with a glass like finish, this occurs during the burning process. These bricks are ideal for hospital walls, dairies and laboratories where cleanness and easy of cleaning are necessary.
Manufactured from fire clay these bricks are used in the construction of products that reach high temperatures and have to maintain them like pizza ovens. These bricks are Semi Dry Pressed. You can buy them from most brick yards in full or 1/2 sizes ( which are called spilits ). These bricks are usually hand made and are larger than a structure brick.