Over the years there have been a number of subtle but significant changes in the types of bricks being used in the Australian construction industry. We are also seeing a wider variety of shapes, colours and finishes being specified and bricks are also being imported from Europe.
Why is this?
On the east coast of Australia, there are two main brick manufacturers, Austral Bricks and PGH Bricks. With a limited number of local suppliers and sustained high demand, brick prices have increased substantially over the past five years.
This means Brickies have to know what we are dealing with, the brick supplier has to have the relevant logistics in place and the builder has to get his numbers right.
So how should you handle these ‘new bricks on the block’ to avoid potential problems? Each of these types of bricks has their own individual characteristics and need to be treated accordingly.
Dry Pressed Bricks: Be sure to inspect the bricks on delivery and if you have any concerns call the builder and brick rep. Dry pressed bricks are generally “soft” when compared to extruded bricks, so it’s important to ensure they are handled correctly and the mortar mix is right.
Glazed and Polished Bricks: These come in all sorts of colours and may resemble a tile, rather than a brick. Care with handling is critical as some cost over $10.00 each. These bricks are usually made to order, so if there is too much waste, the manufacturer may not have stock on hand as quickly as you would like.
Imported Bricks: The quality of imported bricks is usually very high, but these bricks undergo a lot of handling and transport before arriving on site, so it’s a good idea to thoroughly check the product before installing. Many of these bricks are imported to order, so if the quantities are wrong or if there is too much waste,
So make sure you know what it is you are laying. Sometimes your customer won’t have this information, so make sure you do before pricing or doing the work. The good news is when any of these bricks are installed as intended, they look fantastic and the finished brickwork will be something you can be proud of!
When you come across any bricks you aren’t sure about, feel free to contact us!