A Brief Introduction to Brick and Tile
- Author Paul Glover
- Published April 14, 2007
- Word count 489
Although brick and tile are two of the oldest construction materials, they remain favorites among homebuilders and home improvement specialists today. And there's a good reason for it! Not only is brick and tile beautiful, they're strong and resistant to high winds and they're responsive to temperature - making them premium textiles for shelter and insulation.
Brick and Tile Have A History
Brick has a history that's at least six thousand years old. Made of clay, bricks are made by burning them in a kiln for a specific length of time. The end result is a collection of 2 1/4 × 3 3/4 × 8-inch blocks of heat resistant, strong, and hard block of building material. Their simple production is what lends to this material's historical and cultural expansion.
Tiles of the past were made of clay as well. Only recently have we begun tile production with synthetic plastic. Historically, facing tile is the most common and you've surely seen this style of tile as a flat glazed square. Another style that you might be familiar with is terra cotta - hard-unglazed brownish-red earthenware. Terra cotta is usually applied to brick or plaster.
Different types of brick serve different purposes. The most widely recognized brick is a reddish clay and sand combination that might have a hole in the middle of it. This kind of brick is known as a Kiln Brick. Facing brick is kiln-burned also; however it has a smoother and more attractive surface. As a result, facing brick is used on visible parts of buildings where kiln bricks are reserved for non-visible parts - just like the common brick. You will typically find the common brick along sidewalls. As decoration, brick veneer is thinner (shallow) than the others and is used (with mortar) to surface interior walls.
Brick veneer isn't the only type of brick that's used for aesthetic purposes however. You can create an interesting atmosphere within your home with tapestry brick, which is impressed with a design, or with molded brick, which is shaped into interesting forms (curves, arches, etc.).
Interestingly, you'll find a lot more different kinds of tile than you'll find of brick. We've already introduced terra cotta, but we haven't touched on facing tile (otherwise known as flooring or wall tile). Like facing brick, facing tile is meant for visible areas.
Italian Faience tile is known for it's opaque glazes whereas Spanish Majolica tile is known for its bright surfaces. Dutch Delft tile shows off an oriental appearance with white or blue hues.
You Have A Wide Assortment to Work From
As you can see, you have a wide selection of both tile and brick to pick and choose from when you're thinking about laying out a new floor or wall or even counter top. You're limited only by your imagination and your contractor can help you decide which type of tile or brick is suitable for your climate, lifestyle, or creative goals!
Paul White represents FloridaHomeBuild.com. A site designed to help home owners from Florida locate local home contractors with their home improvement projects.
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