Brick is an excellent building material. Whether you’re building a shed, an add-on bedroom or garage, or an entire home, a brick exterior will improve the strength, longevity, and aesthetic appeal of your new building. That being said, choosing the right exterior brick can be tricky. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, especially if the exterior brick is visible to neighbors and passerby. Here are some factors to consider when shopping for exterior brick from your San Jose building materials supplier.
There are three types of bricks that are graded for exterior use. Top-grade SW brick is made to withstand below-freezing temperatures in a moist climate. MW, or second exterior grade brick, is made for drier and milder climates. NW brick is primarily for indoor use, although it can be used outdoors as “backup” brick or as facing brick in warmer and drier regions. Your building materials supplier can help you select the right grade based on your needs.
Although common brick is typically red in color, brick colors can vary from almost black to almost white, through a range of brows, reds, and yellows. The color of the brick depends on the type of clay used, how the clay was fired, and other factors. Visit your local hardware store to see different brick samples in person.
For façade or facing bricks, the brick face is a critical factor in the decision process. While most standard exterior bricks have smooth surfaces, there are many variations to choose from. Some bricks are finished with “struck” faces, inscribed with irregular lines. Others are “sand struck,” molded against sand to produce a rough texture. There are also glazed bricks, which feature a glossy, ceramic layer on one side. Again, your San Jose building materials supplier can recommend the right brick face depending on your needs, preferences, and budget.