Which Type of Bricks Should be Used for Constructing Your Own House?

Common burnt clay bricks are the typical choice for the construction of your house. Hollow clay bricks are also popular for structural mortar efficiency. Concrete bricks are popular as well but not as energy-efficient as burnt clay bricks.

Have you ever wondered which bricks four houses are best? There are different types of bricks but not all of them are efficient at building homes. While you certainly can build a home from various types of bricks you cannot build an efficient home just with any type of brick.

The US has certain particularities when it comes to brick homes. Bricks here are smaller than in Europe and many homes are made with visible brick walls instead of plastered walls which hid bricks. This also brings aesthetics into the equation not just the structural role of the brick.

Load-bearing bricks or construction bricks for home construction

Bricks need to be made according to various standards depending on the country you live in. It’s typical for a clay brick to supper pressure of up to 8.000 PSI. Other measurement standards offer a weight load capacity of 70kg per cm2 on an international level.

Load-bearing bricks are ideal for houses where the walls bear the weight of another floor or of the roof. These should be the strongest bricks also called Class-1 clay bricks.

Wall-filler (veneer) bricks for houses

Wall-filler bricks don’t need as much load-bearing capacity. Class-2 and class-3 clay bricks are found in this cheaper category. These have a purely aesthetic role as they are made to quickly fill up a wall and not for structural resistance.

Which Bricks for Home Construction Should You Buy?

Since conventional clay bricks are the best for construction you might be willing to think all bricks are good for DIY projects around the house. But you don’t need the strongest bricks for patios or for a fire pit. To learn the difference between them you need to know how to tell them apart.

A typical clay brick (best for homes) costs up to $1 without mortar

Types of bricks to consider when building a house

Here are a few types of bricks you might come across at various stages of building a home.

  • Burnt clay bricks

Burnt clay bricks or clay red bricks are the most durable and the most popular choices for building homes. Burnt clay bricks for homes are made by molding techniques where wet clay is pressed into a shape and passed into an over for the burning process. Burnt clay bricks are considerably stronger than not-burned or unfired bricks.

  • Sand lime bricks

Known for their straight edges and vivid colors sand lime bricks are made from sand, lime, water, and coloration. The bricks are highly durable and can be used for a multi-storied house. You can find these bricks in all shapes and sizes easily.

  • Concrete bricks

The best concrete bricks are made according to ASTM C90 load-bearing capacity standards. These durable bricks made out of concrete are ideal for wall filling as well as for bearing loads. You might only construct a house with concrete bricks which has the advantage of keeping your home cooler during the summer.

  • Fire clay bricks

Fire clay bricks such as 8 x 4in and 8 x 3.75in red bricks you find at Home Depot and Lowes are ideal building bricks for your home. You can use these small bricks both for building walls and for driveways and pathways.

  • Extruded clay bricks

Extruded clay bricks are the cheaper version of common molded bricks. A whole clay column is a fire burned to create multiple extruded clay bricks. Since manufacturers don’t have to work with each individual brick formation the entire process is also shorter. Most extruded clay bricks are red or orange but other colors are also possible as each brand has unique methods of adding coloration to the bricks.

  • Mud bricks

Mud bricks are the cheapest type of bricks. Sundried and highly unfinished, these bricks are only suitable for decoration purposes by modern times even if some of the oldest buildings in the world are made from mud bricks.

How to choose bricks for your home

When it comes to choosing the right type of brick for your home it’s clear you’re going to go for common burnt clay brick. But even these types of bricks are available in different sizes, colors, and shapes. It all sounds confusing but it’s worth thinking about your home in advance.

Brick shape

Brick shape influences how your walls will look, especially when you don’t plan to plaster outer walls. While you can plaster inner walls totally or partially you can also leave your brick as it is on the outer walls of your home.

Some houses use a combination of bricks and wood for the walls of the house. Given clay bricks are heavier than wood they should go on the bottom floor and wood should go on top.

Brick size

A standard 8 x 4in clay red cored brick can be full or hollowed. You can use both of these when constructing your home. However, you should check your planned bricks with your contractors before making a choice.

A standard concrete brick measures 7-3/4 x 2-1/4in x 3-3/4in according to ASTM C90 load-bearing standards. You can use the brick oven for the largest homes. More information on the bricks and the types of materials they are best combined with can be found at construction materials retailers.

Brick and mortar cost

Bricks can cost thousands of dollars for an entire house but mortar costs a lot as well. You can spend up to $5.000 on mortar alone when building a brick house.

How much does it cost to build a brick house in the US?

Most homes in the US are made out of wood. Brick veneer was added as insulation. Brick houses in the US aren’t actually brick houses but wooden houses without load-bearing brick outer insulation. Still, you can expect to pay the following when building a brick house (even with brick veneer walls).

Average house size of 2.0000 square feet

  • Bricks – up to $20.000
  • Mortar – up to $5.000
  • The average price for 1.000 bricks at Home Depot – $1.115 and $600 concrete
  • The average price for 1.000 bricks at Lowes – $660 for hollow clay bricks and $400 for standard clay bricks


Which bricks are best for a house?

Burned clay bricks are best for house construction. You can use them as veneer bricks on the outer walls of your house to provide better thermal and sound insulation. Both hollow and full clay bricks have an aesthetic role without load-bearing purposes.

How much does a house brick cost?

A house brick can cost as little as $0.6 and as much as $1.5 depending on its size and manufacturing process. You pay anywhere between $600 and $1.500 for 1.000 bricks.

How many bricks do I need for a wall?

You need 60 X the number you get by multiplying the length to the height of the wall

Does brick increase home value?

Bricks that aren’t load-bearing can increase the value of a house by as much as 10%. Load-bearing bricks increase the value of the house by at least 50%.

Is brick the best to build a house?

Bricks are known for absorbing heat during the day and slowly releasing heat during the night. This makes them ideal for cold climates as well as for durability as they last forever compared to wood or steel homes.

Is brick a rock?

No, a brick is a construction material made out of burned clay. Brick homes offer excellent thermal protection, unlike a plain rock that maintains a cool profile all day.

Why are bricks better when building a house?

Bricks are better than other materials in terms of durability. Brick houses require no structural maintenance, unlike wooden homes which often need repairs.

What is stronger between a conventional brick and a concrete brick?

A conventional burned clay brick has a load capacity of up to 800 pounds per square inch while a concrete brick has a capacity of 1.700 pounds per square inch.