RECYCLED VS. RECLAMATION STYLE
Tumbling, mixing and weathering of new facing bricks allows us to create an appearance similar to that of old, recycled bricks, while avoiding all the hazards associated with recycled brickwork. So, what are the advantages of new ‘old looking’ bricks? First and foremost is the guaranteed quality. The performance of recycled brick can never be guaranteed.
Most reclaimed bricks were originally fired in clamp kilns or more recently, ring kilns. Using these methods, bricks that were located closest to the fire were harder and of higher quality. The outer portions of the kiln produced softer, lower quality bricks. In those days, no-one had insulated cavity walls in their homes. Instead, residential walls could be up to twenty or thirty cm thick. Bricklayers used higher-quality bricks for the exterior and the softer ones (that were more vulnerable to the weather) on the inside of the building. When these buildings are demolished, the hard and soft bricks are combined into the same lot of recycled brick.
If you are unfortunate enough to end up with these soft bricks in your house or paving, spalling becomes very likely in house walls and is almost a certainty in paving. Other factors can cause issues as well. Examples include prior salt damage or contamination of the recycled brick. This can be mitigated through impregnation, but this is an additional expense and must be repeated periodically.
Our “New old” facing bricks are tested and exceed both Australian and European standards for bricks of guaranteed quality.