Wooden brick: the pros and cons, manufacturing technology
New building materials appear on the shelves of shops and shopping centers almost every year, and sometimes more. To date, research in the field of construction are moving towards a more environmentally friendly and at the same time reliable material. In addition, the cheaper the cost of new building materials, the more accessible and popular it will be on the market. A considerable contribution to these studies was made by domestic specialists who created the product called “wooden brick”.
What it is?
The name of the unusual brick received for the similarity with the well-known building materials. In fact, it is the closest in its composition and properties to a wooden beam, differing from it in smaller size and method of installation.Visually, the material looks like wide blocks measuring 65x19x6 cm, on all its sides there are small grooves and locks that secure the blocks 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 boards, is brought to the place of production and laid in special chambers for drying. The moisture content of the wood is reduced to only 8-12%, which allows bricks to better keep the heat inside the house.
- Dried timber is machined on special saws. With their help, long material is divided into separate blocks into which grooves and grooves are cut. Edges are processed so as to look decorative and dock with virtually no gaps. This method of connection looks so neat that it does not require the external finishing of both the side walls and the facade of a dwelling house, as opposed to a regular bar or brick.
- The finished brick is subjected to finishing sanding, so that its surface is as flat and smooth as possible. Such a surface can be compared with the surface of wooden furniture, which is made in a factory, and not manually. The finished brick is most often not painted, only tinted with special compositions, as well as impregnations to protect against the effects of the external environment and pests.
By the quality of the material, wooden bricks, like ordinary timber, is divided into varieties. The lowest of them is marked with the letter "C", and the highest has the postscript "Extra." The difference between the lowest and highest grade may be about 20-30%. By itself, a cubic meter of this new building material is 2-3 times more expensive than ordinary bricks, but its weight is much less, which allows saving on the thickness and depth of the foundation poured for the construction of a house or cottage. From the inside, such material can be finished in any of the available ways: to coat it with plaster and paint, to mount the drywall or to glue the wallpaper.
Advantages and disadvantages
The proliferation in the markets and shops of such a versatile material such as wooden brick, has solved many problems and inconveniences associated with the construction of both brick and wooden houses. 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 solid trunks and wood sawn into a timber. A brick made of wood goes through a stage of drying while still in production, so building a house under the roof can be done in just a couple of weeks, and then proceed to the installation of the roof.
- Unlike timber, brick blocks are not deformed during drying, as they are small. This not only reduces the number of defects in the manufacturing process, but also allows you to maintain a tight fit in the place of attachment of the grooves without cracks and gaps. As a result, a smaller amount of thermal insulation material and an internal 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 the wooden masonry does not need a plaster mix, sealant and sealant, 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 laminated veneer lumber and crowns, which will be based on masonry.
- Unlike timber or logs, the small size of a brick allows erecting elements not only rectangular, but also round or irregular in shape, as is the case with ordinary brickwork. Such houses look more unusual and decorative than ordinary square log houses.
- The price of one cubic meter of wooden elements is slightly higher than ordinary bricks, however, it is 2-2.5 times lower than glued laminated timber. At the same time, wood, sawn into blocks, remains an environmentally friendly material, which perfectly retains heat in winter frosts and coolness in the summer heat.
Of course, like any other material, a brick made of wood is not without its drawbacks. First, such a material requires a competent professional project, since without a proper calculation of the loads there is a risk of the wall falling. Secondly, the construction of too large or high-rise buildings made of wooden blocks is not recommended, 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 insulation. In Novosibirsk or Yakutsk, they are unlikely to build residential houses using this new-fangled material.
Can I do it myself?
Both professional builders and manufacturers of such an innovative material are doubtful about the idea of making wooden bricks at home. To do this, you must have in the backyard a whole production hall with high-precision grinding and milling machines. In addition, you will need to purchase certain raw materials, which must comply with a whole list of requirements. Virtually no one has such opportunities, and those who have them, most likely, are already engaged in the manufacture and sale of this material.
All experts agree that the laying of such material can be easily done by their own efforts, if you follow certain rules.
- Laying brick should be done exclusively in rows.
- The block should fit only edge on the lock, and not vice versa.
- Laying is carried out in two rows, between which the insulating material is laid. These can be either special blocks from a hardware store, or ordinary sawdust.
- Every 3 blocks it is necessary to do cross-dressing in order to give greater stability and reliability to the elements. Such a ligation is made of wood, as is the laying itself, and is done both on the inside and on the outside row.
Each row of dressing needs to be shifted by half of the brick, so that it does not coincide vertically on the adjacent rows. This will not only strengthen the design, but also allow you to get a beautiful picture on the front side of the masonry.
On various construction forums and sites you can find a lot of positive feedback. However, there are those who doubt the reliability of such a design, and even dissatisfied with the resulting building. Most often this is due to the choice of dishonest supplier, who declared the lowest grade of wood under the sign of "Extra". Or it may be due to the fact that the buyer did not calculate the average temperature of the region and built a country 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 houses are erected, but also various outbuildings, bathhouses and even garages. Blocks, similar to pieces of a children's designer, are perfect for building a gazebo or a closed veranda in the garden, for erecting and finishing 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 it unusual designs in the form of various shapes, benches and sheds.
Wooden brick will be a real find for those who love non-standard design solutions and at the same time seeks to choose natural materials. It is easily combined with stone, tile and other building materials. And even a person who has minimal experience in the construction industry will cope with the construction of a house from such material.
For wooden bricks, see the next video.