New building materials appear on store shelves and shopping centers almost every year, and sometimes more often. Today, research in the field of construction is moving towards creating a more environmentally friendly and yet reliable material. Moreover, the cheaper the cost of a new building material will be, the more accessible and popular it will become in the market. A significant contribution to these studies was made by domestic experts who created a product called “wooden brick”.
What it is?
The unusual brick got its name for its resemblance to the well-known building material. In fact, it stands closest in composition and properties to a wooden beam, differing from it in its smaller size and way of laying. Visually, the material looks like wide blocks of 65x19x6 cm in size, on all sides there are small grooves and locks with which the blocks are attached to each other. There are options with smooth edges, but they are not used for the construction of load-bearing walls, but only partitions or cladding.
The production technology of such an unusual brick consists of several stages and is as follows.
- A coniferous tree (cedar, larch, spruce or pine), sawn into beams, is brought to the place of production and placed in special chambers for drying. The moisture content of wood is reduced to only 8-12%, which allows bricks to better retain heat inside the house.
- The dried timber is machined on special saws. With their help, the long material is divided into separate blocks, into which grooves and tongues are cut. Edges are processed to look decorative and fit with virtually no gaps. This method of connection looks so neat that it does not require the external decoration of both the side walls and the facade of a residential building, unlike an ordinary beam or brick.
- Finished bricks are subjected to final grinding so that its surface is as even and smooth as possible. Such a surface can be compared with the surface of wooden furniture, which is made at the factory, and not by hand. Finished bricks are most often not painted, only tinted with special compounds, as well as impregnations to protect them from environmental influences and pests.
According to the quality of the material, wooden bricks, like ordinary timber, are divided into grades. The lowest of them is marked with the letter “C”, and the highest has an Extra. The difference between the lowest and highest grade may be about 20-30%. A cubic meter of this new building material alone is 2-3 times more expensive than ordinary brick, but its weight is significantly less, which allows you to save on the thickness and depth of the foundation poured for the construction of a house or summer house. From the inside, such material can be finished in any of the available ways: to cover with plaster and paint, to mount drywall or to paste wallpaper.
Advantages and disadvantages
Distribution in markets and stores of such a versatile material as wooden brick has solved many problems and inconveniences associated with the construction of both a brick and a wooden house. This is due to the large number of advantages of this material compared to other products.
- The construction of a wooden log house in one year is simply impossible, since it is necessary to wait for the drying of both whole trunks and a tree sawn into a bar. Brick made of wood goes through the drying phase while still in production, so you can build a house under the roof in almost a couple of weeks, and then proceed with the installation of the roof.
- Unlike timber, brick blocks do not deform during drying, as they are small in size. This not only reduces the amount of marriage during the manufacturing process, but also allows you to maintain a snug fit in the mounting location of the grooves without cracks and gaps. As a result, less heat insulating material and interior decorative coating are required.
- Installation of wooden bricks is carried out without the use of special construction equipment and can be performed not only by professionals, but also by beginners. In addition, for masonry, plaster mix, sealant and sealant are not needed, which will also save not only money, but also the time spent on the construction of the wall section. One of the most expensive elements of a brick-wooden house will be the foundation and rigid structures of glued beams and crowns, on which the masonry will rest.
- Unlike timber or logs, the small size of the brick allows the construction of elements not only rectangular, but also round or irregular in shape, as is the case with conventional brickwork. Such houses look more unusual and decorative than ordinary square log cabins.
- The price of one cubic meter of wooden elements is slightly higher than ordinary brick, but 2-2.5 times lower than glued timber. At the same time, wood sawn into blocks remains an environmentally friendly material that perfectly retains heat in winter frosts and cool in summer heat.
Of course, like any other material, a brick made of wood is not without its drawbacks. Firstly, such material requires a competent professional project, since without the correct calculation of loads there is a risk of a wall falling. Secondly, it is not recommended to build too large or high-rise houses from wooden blocks, since such structures will not be very stable. In addition, in the northern regions of our country, the air temperature in winter is too low, and such material will not provide the necessary thermal insulation. In Novosibirsk or Yakutsk, it is unlikely that they will build residential buildings using this newfangled material.
Can I do it myself?
Both professional builders and manufacturers of such an innovative material doubt the idea of making wooden bricks at home. To do this, you need to have in the backyard a whole production workshop with grinding and milling machines of high accuracy. In addition, you will need to purchase certain raw materials, which must comply with a whole list of requirements. Almost no one has such opportunities, and those who have them are most likely already engaged in the manufacture and sale of this material.
All experts agree that the laying of such material can be easily done by one’s own efforts, if certain rules are observed.
- Brick laying should be done exclusively in rows.
- The block should be stacked only with an edge on the lock, and not vice versa.
- Laying is carried out in two rows, between which thermal insulation material is laid. It can be either special blocks from a hardware store or ordinary wood sawdust.
- Every 3 blocks, it is necessary to do a transverse dressing to give greater stability and reliability to the elements. This dressing is made of wood, like the masonry itself, and is done both on the inner and outer rows.
Each row of dressing needs to be shifted by half a brick so that it does not coincide vertically in adjacent rows. This will not only strengthen the design, but also allow you to get a beautiful pattern from the front side of the masonry.
On various construction forums and sites you can find many positive reviews. However, there are also those who doubt the reliability of such a design and are even dissatisfied with the resulting construction. Most often this is due to the choice of dishonest supplier, who declared the lowest grade of wood under the sign "Extra". Or this may be due to the fact that the buyer did not calculate the average temperature of the region and built a suburban or country house from this material in the climate for which it was not intended.
Users note not only the beauty and reliability of wooden bricks, but also its versatility. With its help, not only residential buildings are erected, but also various outbuildings, baths and even garages. Blocks that look like pieces of a children's designer are perfect for building a gazebo or a covered veranda in the garden, for the construction and decoration of internal partitions. From them you can build a fence or lay out a flower bed. Those who want to decorate their site with unusual decor can make unusual designs out of it in the form of various figures, benches and awnings.
Wooden brick will be a real find for those who love innovative design solutions and at the same time strive to choose natural materials. It is easily combined with stone, tile and other building materials. And even the person who has minimal experience in the construction industry will cope with the construction of a house from such material.
About wooden bricks, see the next video.