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What is brick cladding?

by Nick Gent Slips

What is brick cladding?

What is brick cladding?

Brick cladding is an exterior face of the brick being used for a brick-built structure. Cladding is the term generally used for the outer envelope of a building and the protective layer that protects the interior. Although cladding does not typically support weight and thus is not able to contribute to stability, it can play a number of other important roles in a building. Brick cladding is a common type of cladding. It can also be found in many other parts of the world, and its becoming more and more popular. Brick has always stood the test of time and has been used for centuries by many cultures. This type of cladding offers itself to a number of different architectural design categories from traditional to minimalist to ultra modern.

What are the benefits to using brick cladding?

Brick cladding can repel and shed water, so water cannot get to the internal framing. This minimizes the chance of mould and mildew causing damage to the framing. This keeps the interior dry and comfortable by keeping water out, this is one of several ways in which the use of brick cladding can be advantageous over other cladding types.

Cladding using brick also serves to absorb impacts and provide insulation. Multiple layers in a building trap air and create an insulating barrier that keeps temperatures stable. Because the climate control system is integrated into the structure, it is easier to control the temperature. The layers of insulation are less dense. Cladding protects the building’s structural elements and can absorb impacts such as high winds or collisions with objects.

Brick cladding plays an important aesthetic role. Brick cladding is the first thing people see and can influence how they perceive the building. Bricks can be laid in many different patterns and courses to add visual interest. Sometimes, several types of bricks are used on one structure to texture and layer the building. For even more variety, this type of cladding may also include multi-coloured bricks and brick of different sizes to add to the aesthetic appeal.

Brick cladding is typically installed by a brick cladding installer or a brick slip installer Generally, most cladding systems would require skilled tradespeople to install it. It can be installed by a single cladding installer however he may also work with a team to speed up the process, as one of the main benefits of using this type of cladding is the speed of which it can be installed.

Different types of Brick Cladding bond patterns

Using brick cladding often allows the client or architect to be creative with the actual bonding pattern of the brick, instead of utilizing the standard stretcher bond pattern which has become more popular over the last 50 years due to its simplicity and speed of installation. Here are some of the different types that can be used during the installation of brick cladding;

  • Stretcher bond.
  • English bond.
  • English garden wall.
  • English cross bond.
  • Flemish bond.
  • Flemish Garden Wall
  • Header bond.
  • Monk Bond.

In addition to these bond patterns, their is also several types of brick detailing that can also be used such as sawtooth and dogtooth features in addition to the full range of brick specials that can also be manufactured in a brick slip format.

Where can brick cladding be used?

This is generally an easy question to answer - pretty much anywhere is the answer! They can be used internally on virtually any wall, and also externally on virtually any wall or completely free-standing subject to the cladding system being used. Generally, the most popular markets for brick slip cladding are the below sectors;

Brick Cladding Systems

Due to bricks popularity and durability their is an array of different brick cladding systems on the market today. Below are the main types of systems

  • Bonded Systems
  • Rail Systems
  • Lightweight Panels
  • Pre cast concrete panels

Each of these system types has several different manufacturers that offer their version, and each type of cladding system has its own list of advantages and disadvantageous, with the main ones being the height at which it can be installed up to and the fire rating. These generally are the two most important factors when specifying a brick cladding system.

Brick cladding on external walls offers many other benefits;

1 Appearance - Brick cladding can improve the curb appeal of any residential or commercial property, especially when including some of the features named above. Brick wall cladding can also be available in a variety of colours and textures to match other elements of a nearby building.

2) Restores strength - Brick cladding protects the internal structure of the building from a variety of potential issues such as cracks, and impact damage due.

3) Less maintenance - Brick cladding is much easier to maintain than nearly every other cladding material. Brick cladding rarely needs to be cleaned in order to keep it looking its best, and as it is made from a natural product it tends to weather gracefully increasing its character.

4) Insulation - Brick cladding is a method of insulating buildings from noise and heat loss, when combined with an insulated system, It’s especially useful for properties located in urban areas

5) Energy saving - Brick cladding insulation will improve temperature regulation, which in turn will result in long-term energy savings.

6) Protects the interior - Brick cladding protects buildings from water penetration and can prevent costly internal damage that may be difficult to repair caused by dampness, mould or other external pollutants.

7) Increase property values - Brick cladding has both aesthetic and practical advantages that can increase the property’s value, this is particularly noticeable on buildings that have had an over clad system to improve the image of the building.

8) Affordability - Brick slip cladding can be installed at a fraction of the cost of constructing a brick wall, and in a quicker time frame also. Brick slips can also be purchased in half-square meters, which allows for small areas to be covered at a much lower cost.

9) Longevity - Our Brick slips are made from real clay bricks that are manufactured to BS EN 771- and are designed to last the lifetime of the building if installed properly by a professional.

10) Fire resistant - Clay bricks are inert, incombustible, and will provide greater protection against heat and fire depending on how they’re constructed and applied than many other cladding types.

What to look out for? False or faux brick facings can be made by some companies and attached by general contractors. This type of cladding is generally not suitable for external uses, and also normally does not have any certification of testing performance, which can be costly later down the line once it starts to fail. The most common types of failure on these substandard products is normally one of three issues, the faces blowing due to not being frost resistant, the colour fades due to them being made from cement, pumice, or plaster additives and not from real clay, or they can generally warp due to shrinkage in hot temperatures as they are not fired in high-temperature kilns like real brick slips. This cladding is cheaper than real brick and can be used in certain indoor areas where it may have a life span of over 5 years, however we would always recommend only using genuine brick slips, cut from real clay bricks that have been tested to the relevant British and European standards and as such will carry the correct certification. if you are in any doubt over which supplier to use or if their products are genuine, just ask them for the relevant brick certification to be on the safe side.

>Our team at TBS Cladding Solutions have a vast amount of experience in all of the above markets, so if you have any questions please feel free to contact the sales team here.<



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