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by Eric Mootz on January 14, 2016

What is Waterstruck Brick?



From street pavers in downtowns to chimneys in suburban homes to elegant archways over manor entries, brick is everywhere. Some of the world’s most beautiful homes and hardscapes are made of brick. No other building material can match brick’s classic style and elegance. But one can top it, and that's a unique product called waterstruck brick.

What is Waterstruck Brick?

In addition to traditional brick, Trowel Trades Supply carries waterstruck brick, which we sourced from Vermont Brick in Highgate, Vermont before it closed. The name “waterstruck” comes from the brick molding process used for high-moisture surface alluvial clay indigenous to New England. This clay is used in the waterstruck method of manufacturing because it has a naturally occurring high moisture content and plasticity. During the manufacturing process, water is the lubricant used to release the wet clay from its molds. As the clay sides out of the molds an unusual surface finish is created, which, after firing, results in a textural patina that has never been replicated by any other brick-making process.

Benefits of Waterstruck Brick

Brick is known for its strength and durability. It is pest and weather resistant, and it's fireproof. It’s also energy efficient due to its thermal mass, which absorbs heat and slows down heat transfer. In summer, brick slowly absorbs heat from the sun and keeps a building cooler during the hottest part of the day. In winter, brick holds a building’s heat longer, keeping it warmer inside. Brick never needs to be painted and it never rots. It’s one of the most enduring building materials available.

Waterstruck brick is all of this and more. It is much denser, so all of brick’s qualities mentioned above are intensified. Add the unusual finish that results from the waterstruck process, and you have a distinct look that can’t be matched. This type of brick costs more than basic brick, but the investment earns its return quickly in energy conservation and increased property value.

The first waterstruck bricks were manufactured in Medford, Mass., in the 1600s. Due to its unique qualities, it’s no surprise that 500 years later they are still being made in New England by just a few exclusive companies including Morin Brick in Auburn, Maine, andStiles & Hart in Bridgewater, Mass.

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