Special Shaped Brick
Special Shaped Bricks
Special shaped bricks, also known as brick specials, are the unique design elements that can complete any brickwork facade. They provide architects and designers flexibility and practical solutions to create distinctive new buildings, or to restore the historical features of our architectural heritage.
Does your project have a non-right-angled corner, beautiful arch details or brickwork that requires protection from weathering? Speak to one of our team to see if the plinth bricks, bullnose bricks, cant bricks or other special shape options that we supply could be the answer for you.
Depending on the special shaped brick required, our regional teams can provide specials made to suit any brick type. These could be manufactured, cut and bonded, solid, or refaced finishes to enhance the external appearance of your project.
Angle and Cant Bricks
Cant bricks, also known as angled bricks, are manufactured for use in brickwork that requires to turn through angles other than 90 degrees. We are able to supply purpose made or cut and bond cant bricks that will provide clean, crisp lines when your project brickwork needs to change direction at 30, 45 or 65 degree angles.
Using various length dimensions, these angled bricks can be easily installed to maintain all bond patterns.
To create an archway or other curved features in your brickwork, arch bricks are double tapered in length or width so that they can be placed together without having to use a tapered joint.
Frequently used over openings such as windows and doorways, arch bricks can also be employed to create a decorative bullseye window where arch bricks encase the full window circumference.
Bonding specials are cuboid bricks used to complete brick bonding patterns without the need for cutting on site. Often used to fill gaps that would require the cutting of a standard brick, bonding bricks benefit bricklayers when filling a specific measurement or when a standard brick proves difficult to cut.
We are able to supply these key brickwork pieces in a range of lengths, to complete your project facade.
Bullnose bricks have at least one rounded corner or face and are used to provide a soft transition to corners, doors or window openings. These attractive bricks can be utilised to achieve a welcoming atmosphere on any project.
Additionally, the curved element on a bullnose brick is ideal for capping off cills, steps or walls, protecting the brickwork below from weathering.
Whether they’re laid vertically or horizontally, pistol bricks are designed to hide the metal angles of a multi-storey structural frame. Rather than leaving the metal or concrete exposed, pistol bricks create a seamless transition between brick and support.
Using a rebate cut, which creates the ‘pistol’ shape, these bricks not only cover the method of support but also the brickwork’s mortar bed. The depth of the rebate cut will be determined by the supporting construction and on how the brick is laid.
Plinth bricks can typically be found at the base of buildings when you need to produce single or double course splay details. This permits a change in depth to brickwork, suitable for window cills, kerbs, capping and corbelling features.
We are able to supply plinth header bricks, plinth stretcher bricks, plinth internal angle bricks, plinth external return bricks, plinth internal return bricks and plinth squint bricks.
Radial bricks are used to construct curved brick structures without the requirement for tapered joints. Commonly used to create chimneys, circular or wavy brick walls, radial bricks will achieve a more seamless result than standard bricks when working to a smaller radius.
We are able to supply varying stretcher and header options depending on the desired aesthetic and brickwork bonding pattern.
Where special shaped bricks are used for common structural purposes, mass produced options are readily available in an extensive range of British Standard sizes and colours.
However the design possibilities when using special shaped bricks goes much further. Used for thousands of years, brick specials can create buildings of individuality and contribute to a number of transformative elements seen across project facades.
With design and technical assistance from the brick specialists at Taylor Maxwell, architects have achieved a number of exciting, scheme-specific design features that have brought together the project brickwork. On Riverside House, Arch bricks were employed to create a series of uniform brick arches that harmonise with the adjacent building, undergoing a historic restoration. On Great Eastern Quays, green glazed sawtooth bricks were vertically installed across the project facade, to add a beautiful depth and dimension at the waterside location.
Interested in using special shaped bricks on your next project? Our teams, based across 12 regional brick offices, are ready to help.
Methods of Manufacture
There are two ways of creating brick specials for your project, the first is to have them purpose made in the factory to the size and specification required. The second is to have the brick produced by cutting and bonding together followed by re-facing of the joint to appear seamless.
Due to their irregular shape and size, the amount of care and attention required to produce a special shaped brick is higher than that of a standard brick. Purpose made brick specials are a great option for complex specification requirements and commonly used shapes such as bullnose bricks, as the results are consistent, seamless and specifically manufactured for their intended use.
Cut and Bond
The cut and bond process uses standard shaped bricks, cut and bonded together to make the shape required. Though there may be evidence of cutting through a slight seam on the brick, the method is a quick, time-saving alternative.
As these bricks are created from the corresponding standard bricks, the cut and bond option is also selected for their perfect match to the adjoining brickwork, preventing any texture or colour discrepancies.