Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vintage Brick Salvage of North America

Vintage Brick Salvage of Rockford North America, share some of the frequently asked questions they get and the answers they give to them. . .

Q: What is the story with used brick, and to what do you account to its growth in popularity?

A: There are several reasons for the increased popularity of reclaimed brick. Recycled brick has benefited from a move towards green building materials. Used brick certainly holds historical value as well. But in my opinion the number reason for the popularity of reclaimed brick is simply that the beauty of the natural clay these bricks are made from and the aging of these brick over time. An authentic, time worn, reclaimed brick is impossible to duplicate. Using Antique brick in a new project or remodeling job will create a space that conjures up the feeling of a century old structure even in a brand new installation.

Q: How is used brick cleaned and stacked?

A: The cleaning and stacking of bricks is done the old fashioned way, with much effort and sweat. The bricks are cleaned by striking them with a hammer, and stacked on pallets at the job site. The bricks are then covered in cardboard and then banded with steel banding, or wrapped in heavy duty stretch wrap.

Q: How many common building brick are stacked on a pallet?

A: When stacking standard size used common brick, at about 4 lbs. per brick, there are typically 534 bricks on a pallet, consisting of 12 total alternating layers of 11X 4 (44), and 9 X 5 (45). If the brick weigh more, less are stacked in each pallet.

Q: What was that about standard size bricks, I am not a mason, speak English

A: O.K., sorry, I'll slow down. Most of the building brick made in the Midwest U.S. was made as standard size. Once in a while we come across some romans, or normans, but typically only in small quantities.

Historic Brick Sizes of North America
Length Width Height
Standard 8" 3 5/8" 2.25"
Roman 11 1/2" 3 1/2" 1 5/8"
Norman 11 1/2" 3 1/2" 2 3/4"

Q: What is the story on your antique brick tile?
A: We start with an actual reclaimed brick, Chicago commons are popular, but we also cut pavers and other brick. Then we slice it in our own facility in an automated process using production machinery and diamond blades. It is then packed in cardboard tile boxes, palletized and shipped. When installed well, I dare you to tell the difference between a thin brick and full brick installation. We slice antique brick tile for walls and floors. We also make some thicker cuts that make a great pavers.

Q: What size is normal for Street Pavers?

A: Most Midwest made clay street pavers are between 8 ½”-9” long and and between 3 5/8”-4” wide and deep.

Can you use reclaimed brick outdoors?

A: Reclaimed street pavers can be installed indoors or out. They will outlast all of us. Common brick should not be used for paving in areas that have any freeze/thaw. I have always told people that if you can grow oranges, you have the correct climate for paving with common brick. Otherwise the 8% plus absorption rating that is usually found in a common reclaimed brick combined with any freeze will cause the brick to disintegrate as it expands from freezing. Vertical installations are usually O.K. in any climate, but I would recommend using a masonry sealer to help keep out the enemy of the natural clay brick; moisture.

Vintage Brick Salvage

Video at Vintage Brick Salvage

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