British Red and Grey Bricks: Which Suits You?

October 17, 2022


If you’ve gone around your local town you’re likely to see different colours of bricks layered in the walls. Mostly red, but sometimes grey, and plenty of other colours besides. When you think of bricks you’re most likely to think of the commonly seen reddish clay bricks. But what about the grey ones? Are those just concrete, or is it something different? Here’s a set of all the info you need to know about native brickworks.

What are Red Bricks?

Red bricks are the most common kind of brick in the world. They’re made from baked or burnt clay and pressed into shape to hold the most material in the most common form. These are a classic in aesthetic design and classically strong. Common engineering bricks, the kind with the holes in them to accommodate rods or rebar, are made of the same stuff but in a different mixture. The mixture of material determines how red a brick gets and how strong it can be.

Red bricks are the most common, which means the most people will make them. Brick manufacturers can get their start making nothing but red bricks. You can find all kinds of makers from local to national who work in either home appeal or large construction projects.

What are Grey Bricks?

Grey bricks are not concrete. Instead of just clay, grey bricks get their colour and their high strength from a mixture of sand lime - the rock material. Bricks that are sized and layered with red bricks are made of this kind of material which offers higher strength at lower mass. The industry standard concrete bricks, with the big square openings, do still exist and have high tensile strength while also offering their own appeal, but generally they are very different from the kind of grey bricks in facing markets.

Grey bricks aren’t quite as common, and undergo a very different manufacturing process. Instead of burning in a kiln, they are heated under pressure and the chemical mixture of the different materials within them will create a greater adherence and strength than just baking them in a fire could do. Concrete, on the other hand, is poured as a liquid and is left to dry naturally until it becomes solid within a mould.

Facing and Engineering with Red and Grey Bricks

When considering what kind of bricks to get, if it’s down to aesthetics the choice is up to you. Red bricks are a classic, but grey bricks can be more modern. Grey bricks also don’t have to be grey. Certain manufacturers may offer dyes to give them unique colours so they can be stacked or layered in unique ways. For engineering, both types of bricks serve their own purpose, from the heavy grey concrete foundations up to the tightly-stacked and mortared red brick walls. All bricks have a place in a building, and are all important at keeping the roof up and the damp out.



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