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The tradesperson's guide to brick uses in construction

In the trade, we often hear about the importance of bricks in construction. And once you start working with bricks, you get it. Aside from the physical demands, bricks are versatile and fairly easy to work with. There’s a wide range of brick types available, but each have common features that contribute to its continuous popularity. Plus, there are virtually no limits to what you can create with bricks. As long as you have the right skills, motivation to take on the challenge and the proper materials, your brickwork will be admired for years to come.

Read our guide to brick types

Benefits of building with bricks

Bricks have various benefits that compliment many projects. They provide high levels of strength, longevity, and bonus side effects that come with just a few main benefits:


Bricks are pleasing to look at! We admire brick structures that are centuries old and appreciate creativity in new brick builds. And there are endless styles to choose from. Whether you’re creating country homes, apartment buildings, or office blocks, you can make them appealing in their own way.

Bonus side effect - Bricks are loadbearing, meaning they look good and support the weight of everyday life. 

Durability & longevity

Bricks are incredibly resilient. Depending on conditions, it could be 100 years before your brickwork needs to be repaired. That being said, regular inspections are helpful in identifying any potential issues such as blown bricks, weeds, efflorescence, and deterioration early on. In fact, the first thing you’ll likely need to replace is the mortar. This is because mortar is softer than bricks, and it’ll likely require repointing before the bricks need repairing.

Bonus side effect – Bricks are low-maintenance!


Since bricks last a long time, they don’t need to be replaced as often as materials such as plasterboard and timber. Sourcing materials locally rather than flying materials to manufacturing plants reduces the carbon footprint. When brick structures are no longer needed, they can be dismantled, cleaned and the bricks can be reused. Or if a structure is beyond repair, bricks can be broken into aggregate size which can be used for cement or other purposes.

Bonus side effect – bricks have a high thermal mass, meaning they’re great at providing insulation and helping reduce energy costs.

Working with bricks

Working with bricks

We’re well aware of how much time, energy, and strength is required to carry out brickwork. But brickwork can last lifetimes when professional and correct habits and methods are used. The Brick Development Association offers a great number of brick resources to point you in the right direction. Their guide to Good Site Practice and Workmanship includes a checklist of items you should tick off when working with bricks from the ordering stage, to building methods, right down to brick maintenance. 

Whether you’ve worked with bricks for years, or you’re new to the trade, there’s a few methods and jobs you should be aware of. At Gibbs & Dandy, we can offer advice and support in our branches. We’ve also put together a few online resources to help you out.

Common uses for bricks

Whether you’re a civil engineer, a bricklayer, a general house builder, or a building contractor, you know the possibilities of what you can create with bricks seems to be endless. Below are just a few professional trade uses of bricks, perhaps there are some you’ve not had the opportunity to work on yet.

Brick buildings


Offices, houses, hospitals, sheds, flats - the list of building types you can create with bricks goes on and on. Usually built with a combination of common concrete blocks and clay facing bricks, a method called brick and block construction – or modern masonry. Common bricks provide structural benefits while facing bricks are what you see from the outside.

Brick flooring


Using brick pavers for indoor flooring creates a lovely, antique style that is popular in cottages and restoring older buildings. Brick floors are easy to clean and are very unique. However, they can be a little cold to step on while barefoot!



You can create all sorts of designs with outdoor brick paving, which can commonly be seen on pavements, patios and walkways. Sometimes concrete paving will be used instead, but clay brick paving delivers a better colour and for much longer.

Brick walls


Facing bricks can be used to create attractive garden walls, internal feature walls, and are commonly used in external wall façade design for eye-catching buildings.

Brick arches


Almost any type of brick can be used to create intriguing arches. Arches can be built on site, or prefabricated arches, which are built offsite can be lifted into place via a crane. 

Underground structures

Underground structures

Engineering bricks are suitable for these types of project which require particularly high levels of compressive strength and low water absorption, such as sewage and maintenance tunnels.

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