Bricklaying – There’s more to bricklaying than laying bricks


A highly skilled craft, bricklaying involves laying bricks in columns and rows in order to build a structure. But although that’s essentially the foundations of the trade, there’s more to bricklaying than simply laying down a few bricks. 

Bricklayers build and repair walls, work on house extensions, repair chimneys and refurbish brickwork. The work of a builder is physically demanding, requires a good head for heights and often involves travelling from job to job, site to site.

A bricklayer needs to be able to estimate the quantity of building materials that will be needed to undertake the project. Being knowledgeable in and understanding different types of mortars and how to mix them for different applications is also an essential requirement for bricklaying.

No formal qualifications are required to practise the craft, however bricklayers often start out as general on-site labourers in order to get some level of experience before undertaking training, usually in the form of an apprenticeship scheme with a building firm.

Bricks are the fabric of life

Wherever you look you’ll see bricks. They come in different colours, different shapes and sizes and different textures; some of which include:

  • Stock bricks – moulded in a machine in a process known as soft mud moulding, the process involves pressing wet clay into sanded moulds. These popular bricks have an irregular shape and a soft texture and are available in a range of colours.
  • Wirecut bricks – these are modern clay bricks – known for their crisp lines and sharp appearance – are made by a machine. The majority of bricks in the UK are made using this process.
  • Engineering bricks – a high performance brick, they are ideally used for damp proof courses. These bricks have low water absorption properties which makes them highly resistant to water and frost.
  • Reclaimed bricks – named because the bricks are reclaimed from demolition sites. Likened for their character and charm, reclaimed bricks are known for their variations in colour and worn, irregular edges.
  • Handmade bricks – exactly as the name suggests, these bricks are made by a person throwing clay into a mould, rather than by a machine. There was a time when all bricks were made this way, handmade bricks are perhaps the most prestigious type of brick and are distinguishable due to their distinctive creased appearance.
  • Common bricks – these clay bricks are of a lower quality, with no attempt made to control their colour or appearance. Common bricks will usually only be used for internal purposes.

The type of brick used by bricklayers will depend on a variety of factors, including budget, the type of finish required and whether the brickwork is required to match an existing building. Some of the major suppliers in the UK include Baggeridge, Hanson, Ibstock, Terca and Formpave.

We’ve got numerous bricklayers registered capable of building or repairing the interior or exterior walls of your property. No matter what type of masonry, be it brick, terra cotta, tiles etc, there is a choice of traders registered with the Association of Brickwork Contractors waiting to quote you.

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