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You're building a house! Do you know how many bricks you need to buy and how much this will cost you?

How is the price of brick expressed more accurately? Per cubic meter of masonry or per cubic meter of brick?

The blueprints are ready, the architect has calculated how much material you need, and you shopping, in search of the best price.

But it turns out that none of the sellers stocks the type of bricks that the architect recommended. The bricks you found are either larger or smaller, anything by the size the architect told you about. The large bricks have a higher price per piece, the smaller ones have smaller prices. You know you need 55 cubic meters of bricks. But how many bricks does that mean? How many bricks will you have to pay for? How much will it cost? Why, when asked about the price of bricks, some sellers talk about the price per cubic meter of masonry? You're asking about bricks, not masonry!

If you ask the architect, he'll tell you that those 55 cubic meters of brick are in fact 55 cubic meters of masonry. It's natural, because the architect only knows the dimensions of the walls, not the type of brick stocked by the various sellers.

One cubic meter of masonry = one cubic meter of brick in construction. When working out this amount, the builder includes the vertical and horizontal mortar gaps, bearing in mind that the horizontal ones must be of 12 mm, while the vertical ones must be of 10 mm.

As it was mentioned above, a wall consists of brick and mortar. The smaller the bricks used, the more mortar gaps there are. In other words, the smaller the bricks used, the smaller the actual volume of all the bricks used in a cubic meter of wall.

In their brochures, manufacturers indicate for each type of brick the required number of bricks for a cubic meter of masonry. When calculating this requirement, the manufacturers take into account the mortar gaps. If they didn't, you would find your self buying more brick than you need.

Let's make a simple calculation for the simplest type of brick, the full brick, with the dimensions 240 x 115 x 63 mm (Brikston CP 240×115x63). We shall work out the required number of bricks for a cubic meter of masonry, at first taking in to account mortar gaps and then ignoring them.

Taking into account mortar gaps (actually, we'll work out then number of bricks in a cubic meter of masonry):

1:[0,24x(0,115+0,01)x(0,063+0,012)]=444 bricks

Not taking into account mortar gaps (actually, we'll work out then number of bricks in a cubic meter of bricks):

1:(0,24×0,115×0,063)=575 bricks

The calculation above shows that, if you ignore mortar gaps, for each cubic meter of masonry you'll buy 131 extra bricks. And for the 55 cubic meters of masonry you need, if you don't take into account mortar gaps you'll end up with an extra 7205 bricks, that is over 15 pallets.

Therefore, when you go shopping for bricks, make sure the seller takes mortar gaps into account and works out the right number of bricks. Otherwise, at the end you'll have to beg him to take back all the extra bricks you bought.

Back to the way the price of bricks is given. From the calculations above it is easy to see that the really useful information for the buyer (the one that allows him to make an objective comparison between various bricks, irrespective of dimensions) is the price per amount of bricks required when building a cubic meter of masonry, instead of the price of the bricks that make up a cubic meter of bricks.

If you want to work out the required number of bricks for your house, you can use the Brikston calculator accessible form any page of the website.