Clay Bricks vs Hollow Clay Bricks: Choose the Right Construction Material

Brick has been manufactured and used since ages. It has been a staple building material for many centuries. Many world-famous archaeological excavations provide much information about the bricks used in different parts of the world. Thus, it is an integral component of construction used very systematically by skilled hands for various constructions since long time. In present context, it is a core building material used to make walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction as a leading material because of its durability, strength, reliability, low cost, easy availability, etc. Most parts of a building are built using bricks. Generally, bricks are made of clay, sand, lime or concrete materials. It is an essential primary component of the building which cannot be changed often once the structure is raised. Hence, choosing the right kind of brick for the construction is very important task.

Here, in this article, we are going to discuss and compare clay bricks vs hollow clay bricks so that it can help you in making the right and appropriate choice.

Clay Bricks vs Hollow Clay Bricks Image

01. General

Clay Bricks

Clay bricks are a solid masonry unit made of clay usually rectangular while in the plastic state and treated in a kiln at an elevated temperature to harden it.

Hollow Clay Bricks

Hollow clay bricks are horizontally perforated clay bricks having the advantages of natural substances and are hollow from inside making them light weighted and more efficient.

02. Raw Material

Clay Bricks

They are made by a mixture of clay, sand, lime, magnesia, iron oxide.

Hollow Clay Bricks

They are made up of natural clay amalgamated with other natural additives like coal ash, rice husk ash, and sawdust, fly ash.

They’re free from any artificial and chemical substances that might release harmful gases in the environment.

03. Uses

Clay Bricks

01. Clay bricks are used for constructing a wall. Besides, these may also be used for paving footpaths, sidewalks, driveways, brick flooring, and other walkways.

02. Clay bricks are also used for garden beds and landscaping.

03. They are available as conventional bricks, facing bricks, and damp-proof bricks etc. Where common bricks are used for general brickwork, facing bricks are used for the exterior of home walls and for a smoother finish.

Hollow Clay Bricks

Hollow clay bricks are used for both load bearing and non-load bearing structures.

01. In load bearing structure

  • Internal and external wall
    (up to Ground floor plus 3 floors- G+3).

02. In non-load bearing structure –

04. Advantages

Clay Bricks

01. Clay bricks are economical as their raw materials are easily available.

02. They are hard and durable.

03. Compressive strength of clay brick is good enough for ordinary construction.

04. Different orientations and sizes give different surface textures.

05. Very low maintenance cost

06. Can be reused and recycled

07. Highly fire resistant

08. It does not need large complicated manufacturing facilities.

Hollow Clay Bricks

01. Hollow clay bricks have very less rate of heat loss nearly 0.6w/m2k whereas solid clay bricks, and solid concrete blocks have 1.8w/m2k and 2.0w/m2k respectively. This value must be as low as possible as less energy is required for cooling or heating the indoors of the building.

02. Hollow clay bricks are exceptional energy savers as they eliminate the need for external insulation such as cavity walls and thus save the spaces. Such hollowness also results in better sound insulation.

03. They are good in fire resistant.

04. These bricks are 60% lighter than the conventional bricks, hence save the construction cost.

05. Economical

06. Easy to handle. Also, maintenance cost is less than ordinary brick.

07. Speed of construction is more

08. Eco-friendly greed material.

09. Cost and energy saving

10. Paint on finished walls can be applied due to the porosity which results in energy saving.

05. Disadvantages

Clay Bricks

01. Time-consuming construction.

02. Clay bricks absorb water easily; therefore, it causes efflorescence when not exposed to air.

03. Very Less tensile strength.

04. Colour of low-quality brick changes when exposed to the sun for an extended time of period.

05. Clay bricks uses fertile soil as a raw material. This would lead to dearth of fertile land for agriculture and deforestation.

06. Rough surfaces of bricks may cause mould growth if not properly cleaned and cleaning brick surfaces is a hard job.

Hollow Clay Bricks

01. The compressive strength of hollow clay bricks is 3.5N/mm2, whereas that of class I clay bricks is 10 N/mm2, hence restricts the use of brick in huge structures or in the load bearing structures. Thus, it has poor load bearing capacity. It is very dangerous to hang very heavy objects on such walls.

02. The water absorption is more in these bricks as compared to the clay bricks, which leads to salt attacks and thus reduces the strength of the structure and even durability in the long term.

03. These bricks have a density of approximately 694 to 783 kg/m3, which is less than clay bricks (2000 kg/m3). Thus, the hollow clay bricks cannot be used, especially for foundation and base-slab works or in areas of the high groundwater table as they would not be able to resist the negative pressure of water and capillary action.

04. Poor seismic performance.

06. Properties

a) Size Available in Market

Clay Bricks

01. Standard modular size of clay bricks

           a) 190x90x90mm

           b) 190x90x40mm

02. Standard Non modular size of clay bricks

           a) 230x110x70

           b) 30x110x30

These sizes are more popular in India.

Hollow Clay Bricks

01. 200-400×150-400×200-400mm.

However, it defers from manufacturer to manufacturer.

b) Dry Density

Clay Bricks

The dry density of clay bricks is 1700-1920 kg/m3.

Hollow Clay Bricks

The dry density of hollow bricks is 694-788 kg/m3.

c) Weight

Clay Bricks

Weight of clay bricks is generally 2.5 – 3.5 Kg. The weight depends on the density & size of the brick.

Hollow Clay Bricks

These bricks are 60% lighter in weight than the traditional walling material.

d) Compressive Strength

Clay Bricks

The compressive strength of traditional class-I clay bricks is 7.5 to 10 N/mm2. Strength is defined as the capacity to resist force or pressure.

In case you want to know how to check the compressive strength of bricks, then please refer the following Tests to Check Compressive Strength of Brick.

Hollow Clay Bricks

The compressive strength of hollow bricks is around 3.5 N/mm2.

e) Water Absorption

Clay Bricks

Water absorption of clay bricks should not be more than 20 % of its weight.

Hollow Clay Bricks

Water absorption of these bricks is around 15% of its weight.

f) Thermal Conductivity

Clay Bricks

Thermal conductivity of clay bricks is around0.6-1.0 W/mk

Hollow Clay Bricks

Thermal conductivity of hollow clay bricks is around 0.28-0.31W/mk

g) Sound Insulation/Noise Transmission

Clay Bricks

Sound insulation is defined as the capacity to reduce sound transmission by the building elements. Sound transmission also depends upon the thickness of the wall.

The clay brick wall has good sound insulation property due to its dense structure.

Hollow Clay Bricks

Hollow clay bricks wall has also a good sound insulation enabling you to noise-free home.

07. Efficiency

a) Labour Output

Clay Bricks

The speed of clay brickwork is slow as compared to the hollow clay brickwork.

Hollow Clay Bricks

The speed of hollow clay brickwork is faster than that of the clay brickwork.

b) Carpet Area

Clay Bricks

Less carpet area available compared to the hollow brickwork.

Hollow Clay Bricks

If marginally higher carpet area is available compared to clay brick work.

c) Speed of Construction

Clay Bricks

The speed of construction of the clay brick masonry wall is slower than the hollow clay brickwork construction.

Hollow Clay Bricks

Easy and fast construction work compared to another conventional construction system.

08. Environment Impact

Clay Bricks

The process of making clay brick is very harmful to the environment as it uses top fertile soil as raw material.

Hollow Clay Bricks

Hollow clay bricks are made from non-toxic materials like coal ash, granite slurry and rise husk. Thus, the raw material used here is not harmful for the environment.

Special Comment

The comparison of clay bricks vs hollow clay bricks shown in this article will assist you in making the right choice for the construction of your home. While there are advantages associated with one, there are disadvantages with the other. But taking into consideration various aspects while constructing your home, more advantages can be reaped. As you know, clay bricks are made from natural soil. Now, if this natural soil is used continuously for the construction, then this will lead to depletion of fertile agricultural soil. This is ultimately a threat to the environment. Hollow clay bricks, on the contrary, are made from natural substances, hence are economical. They also contribute to conserving the environment, and if we look at it from a structural point of view, they are lighter in weight.

If you are not building a load-bearing structure, hollow clay bricks would be an ideal option. Hollow blocks are ideal for partition walls. However, if you want to use them for external walls, just check their water absorption property. For all load-bearing structures, conventional bricks are still preferred. Thus, taking into consideration all the factors, you can choose suitable material according to your requirement.

Also Read:

AAC Blocks Vs Red Bricks: How to Make the Right Choice!
Comparison of Red Bricks vs AAC Blocks vs Fly Ash Bricks vs Solid Concrete Blocks vs CLC Blocks
Your Mentor to Guide You to Buy Bricks

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