35 km East of Midrand - close to the Rietvleidam
Tel: 011 848-2000
Click here to view our Map

  • -25° 58’ 54.03”
  • +28° 18’ 26.84”

General Manager: Dawid Nagel
Sales enquiries: Yvonne Maluleka & Precious Mdluli

Western Cape

South of Atlantis between N7 & R27
Tel: 021 572-2551
Alt Nos: 079 769 0063 or 071 542 8436
Click here to view our Map

  • -25° 58’ 54.03”
  • +28° 18’ 26.84”

Chief Executive Officer: Jan Vorster
Sales Enquiries: Yolanda Roos
General Enquiries: Pauline Page

Gauteng (Midrand) 
Tel (011) 848-2000 |
Western Cape (Atlantis) 
Tel (021) 572-2551 | Fax (021) 572-2552 |


Laying Bricks

Well-made clay bricks should only require wetting before laying under extremely hot and windy conditions.

Poor quality clay bricks from non-accredited sources could be too porous. The water absorption rate is therefore high and so these bricks might need to be soaked with water before being used.

The amount of water added to a mix must be enough to make the mix workable and plastic. Use cement that has the SABS mark (SABS ENV 197-1). Masonry cement that complies with SABS ENV 413-1; strength class 12.5 or higher may be used for mortar and plaster.

A builder's wheelbarrow usually has a capacity of 65 litres



  • For laying bricks and blocks in normal applications (SABS Class II)
  • To lay 1000 bricks = 3 bags cement + 0.6 cu. m. sand
  • 1 Bag of cement to 3 wheelbarrows of building sand


  • For exterior and interior work
  • To lay 100sq.m. (15mm thick) = 10 bags cement + 2 cu. m. sand
  • 1 Bag of cement to 3 wheelbarrows of plaster sand...
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Full Question:

Do I need special refractory tiles or "fire bricks" for an indoor fireplace or outdoor braai? How do I make sure the bricks don't crack and crumble from the heat?


Clay Bricks are fired at high temperatures to stabilise their structure, and have a high thermal mass which helps them insulate for heat. In a domestic fireplace or braai they are really a total "over specification". Refractory Bricks are normally rated from around 1600’C upwards. They are expensive and not easily available.

A braai will never reach this kind of heat and all facebricks are fired to around 1000 – 1250’C. The heat in the fireplace must get higher than this to have any effect on the brick. Generally your mortar joint will fail before the brick. What I...

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Maintaining Bricks

Efflorescence on brickworkEfflorescence is a powdery deposit of salts which forms on the surface of bricks and paving. It is usually white but efflorescence can be yellow, green or brown. Efflorescence does not in any way influence the structural strength of clay bricks or pavers. Roman buildings that have been standing for 2 000 years can show efflorescence.

A temporary efflorescence is particularly common on new brickwork and paving as soluble salts are dissolved and transported to the surface of the brickwork and paving by water. The efflorescence on new well fired brickwork and paving may be unsightly, but it will not cause damage...

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Moss, lichens and algae should not grow on clay bricks unless the area is heavily shaded, is under trees, or is not laid to an adequate fall. If such growth does occur and is considered undesirable then the area should be treated with a proprietary moss killer used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Such products take some days to be effective and work best when applied during a spell of dry weather. Any thick growths should be scraped off first and the chemical treatment well brushed in.

Some treatments leave a residue to discourage the re-growth of the moss and algae, but this will only be of limited value if the paving remains damp and in shade.

Buying Bricks

Properties that require consideration when buying or specifying clay brick are:

  • Compressive strength (varies from 7MPa to 50MPa)
  • Water absorption (face brick up to 10%, NFP up to 16%)
  • Modulus of rupture - strength in bending
  • Moisture expansion - important when detailing longer structures

Irreversible moisture expansion takes place with all clay products predominently during the first 24 months after manufacture. This expansion is dependent on the clay minerals present in the product and the firing temperature of the process. The movement takes place in both the vertical and horizontal directions.

  • Initial rate of absorption.

This affects the bond between the mortar and the brick. Bricks with high rates of...

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