Clinker is an exceptionally natural, environmentally friendly material, as it is made only from a special, refractory type of clay. It is fired at temperatures exceeding plus 1200 degrees. As a result, when clinker bricks hit each other, they begin to emit a characteristic sound – “blade-blade”, so the name is explained logically.
Holland and Germany claim the title of the homeland of clinker, now it is German material that is considered a model of quality, it is also represented in Russia, although its production is also actively developing in our country.
Let’s immediately distinguish two main types of clinker – brick and tile. Their main difference is the shape and size, the production process is almost identical – the same fired clay. Standard sizes of clinker bricks:
- Single – 250x120x65 mm.
- One and a half – 250x120x88 mm.
- Double – 250x120x140 mm.
- Euro – 250x85x65 mm.
- Single block – 288x138x65 mm.
The sizes of the clinker tiles are more diverse, although the thickness is traditionally 20 mm: 240×65 mm, 245×65 mm, 200×200 mm, 300×300 mm. There are also elongated options, and thinner, with a thickness of 5 to 15 millimeters, but they are less common..
In Russia, there is GOST 530–2012 “Ceramic bricks and stones”, which includes clinker. It is customary to distinguish the following types of clinker bricks:
- Sidewalk. It is understood that it is used for paving, including garden paths, courtyards, sidewalks.
- Facing. It is used for decoration, for example, fireplaces, stoves, decorative elements inside the house, and most importantly – for the facade. It is the facade that can be called the most popular area of use for this type of clinker brick, which is often called facade.
- Private. Such clinker is used in the construction of columns, the basement of the house, sometimes all load-bearing walls..
Clinker tiles can also be paving and facade tiles, as well as floor and special tiles for stairs. The latter option is distinguished by the presence of special corner elements and anti-slip notches.
Let’s immediately name the main disadvantage of clinker bricks – it costs much more expensive than usual. If you have to pay from 8 to 11 rubles (on average) for a piece of building bricks, then one clinker brick will cost from 25 to 68 rubles. The difference is palpable, agree. That is why clinker bricks are rarely used for the construction of all load-bearing walls, more often as an outer layer, facade.
The cost of clinker tiles is not so different from its other “colleagues” and can vary from 645 to 3500 rubles.
The clinker has the following undeniable advantages that justify its higher cost:
- Very high strength. Is it possible to use a fragile material as a covering for sidewalks?
- Withstands up to 300 cycles of temperature changes, frost-resistant.
- Low thermal conductivity.
- The clinker does not burn and can withstand temperatures up to plus 1800 degrees.
- Aesthetic appearance.
- Not afraid of the sun’s rays, does not lose its original color under the sun.
- Doesn’t need any additional finishing. Why paint or plaster something that already looks great and does not need protection?
- The water absorption of clinker bricks does not exceed 1-6%, it is not afraid of precipitation.
Usually manufacturers give a 25-year warranty on clinker bricks and tiles. However, as the long-term practice of using this material, which appeared in our country in the 19th century, has shown, the clinker is able to serve without problems for 50 years and even more. Durability is a big plus, agree.
And now let’s note a few more disadvantages of clinker – the indicators of noise absorption and sound insulation are at a low level, so if necessary, you will have to think about an additional layer of noise protection.
In addition, the vapor permeability of clinker is low due to its high density. As a result, the material does not allow moisture to pass from the outside, however, effective ventilation is required to remove vapors from rooms..
Important! The color scheme of clinker bricks can vary from light yellow to dark brown. Moreover, bricks of different shades can be caught in the same batch. Therefore, before facing the facade, experts advise to mix the clinker in order to lay it in any order. As a result, you may get an unexpected decorative effect from the use of bricks of different shades..
We state: durable clinker will not crack from the heat of the fireplace, will not suffer from daily use, can be used not only in bathrooms, but also in pool bowls, on sauna floors. It costs not so little, yes, but it will last for many years.