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At The Factory: Brick Manufacturing

Posted by: Kali • Dec 9

At The Factory: Brick Manufacturing

One of our most durable and versatile product offerings at Fireclay Tile is our glazed thin Brick.  As unique as it is utilitarian, our Brick is made in partnership with California-based brick manufacturer, McNear Brick and Block.

McNear opened their doors in 1868 on a hillside of clay in east San Rafael California. The oldest continuous brick maker in the United States, McNear avoided the eventual fate of most brick makers, the depletion of their raw clay quarry, by partnering with the surrounding community, blending locally excavated dirt with their clay.

Anticipating local growth McNear offered free dirt dumping to nearby excavators, they took advantage of the inevitable encroaching land development.  McNear's clay bricks are produced from material that would otherwise end up as useless, environmentally damaging landfill. In fact, they use mostly recycled clay and shale, which is locally excavated from trench work, house pads, swimming pools, and landscaping. The story fit perfectly with our commitment to sustainability, leaving our world better off, while still making the products that we need.

Image: Astonomy

Once the material is blended, and water added it is processed by a machine that molds, cores if necessary, cuts, stacks and then sorts out any defective blocks to reuse in processing.  The block stacks are then staged at a drying house after which they are run through about a 60 yard linear kiln. It takes three days for the brick to make their way through the tunnel kiln.

Once we receive the brick we glaze them with one of our 24 lead free glazes that are designed to bring out the beautiful texture of the thin brick. You will find everything from contemporary neutrals to saturated splashes of color.



Glazed Brick color shown: Cotton

Extremely popular with the hospitality and food service industry, Brick is an ideal architectural element for commercial spaces, imparting a handsome, polished finish detail on any project.

Brick color shown: Galaxy; Image: Malcolm Fearon, Bliss Images

Not just for commercial projects, Brick adds an industrial chic aesthetic to residential spaces as well.

Brick colors shown: Snow and Cotton; Image: Malcolm Fearon, Bliss Images

Brick colors shown: Snow and Cotton

Think Brick is right for your project?  Order free samples now.  Need some help?  Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.

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