Dean Carnicle-Maile

06:50PM | 10/23/03
Member Since: 10/22/03
2 lifetime posts

I've been lookng around on the web for information on a certain type of brick and found no real help, so i thought i'd post here where someone may be able to either answer or point me in the right direction.

Me and my wife have bought an old building (a masonic temple, built around 1925), brick built and very good condition, on the inside of the building i have removed the plaster and lathe (sp?) to reveal a ceramic brick about 6inches thick, i have been told that the bricks must be kept dry because they will shatter if they get wet and freeze, i noticed that the builders left a gap every 4 bricks which they then placed a wooden sheet about 1/2 an inch thick and 6 inches wide into, they then attached the furring strips to these boards, and then lathe (?) and then plaster.

My questions are these.

1) do the ceramic bricks need to have a gap without mortar every 4 bricks for a specific reason (ie expansion and contraction thru heat cold)?

2) how should i attach new furring strips to this wall (dependant on answer to q1 above) re-use the original board or fill the gaps with mortar and then use masonry screws/nails to attach furring strips?

3) as the building is to become a residance i will need to put up plastic sheeting to protect the outter walls from condensation, what mil thickness should i be looking at for this purpose?

this is very much an ongoing project and i'm sure i'll have hundreds more questions, but these are the most important to me right now, any help from someone in the know would be greatly appreciated.

thanks for reading.


PS. please note i am not a builder by trade but a computer technician with a little knowledge of building concepts etc, please try to give it to me in laymans terms.

Glenn Good

01:02PM | 10/24/03
Member Since: 09/10/03
320 lifetime posts
Hello Deano,

The space containing the wooden strips is for anchoring purposes. If I am correct the ceramic bricks you are referencing are actually terracotta wall tiles. They are very difficult to anchor to. Masonry nails and/or screws will not work in them. The builder embedded the wooden strips into the wall to act as anchoring points for the plaster lath.

The best methods to anchor to this type of construction are by using through the wall anchors if you are covering both sides of a wall, or toggle bolts. Plastic shield anchors will work too but not as well. A good construction adhesive will help to insure the attachment stays secure. The terracotta material is very brittle and difficult to drill a clean hole through.

6-mil is the best thickness for polyethylene to use as a vapor barrier.


Dean Carnicle-Maile

07:09PM | 10/25/03
Member Since: 10/22/03
2 lifetime posts
Hey Thanks Glenn,

You and another guy (builder) answered my question exactly the same (Q1), so my idea now is to pull the strips and fill the gaps and then anchor to the mortar, the building itself is deffinately built to last, the ceramic bricks seem to be double width, as the whole wall from outter to inner edge is about 14 inch thick, looks like the mason's didn't want the place to go anywhere in a wind!

I managed to get into the attic/loft/roof today and noticed there was a problem with one part of it, a leak near the chimney caused damage to some of the beams holding the front of the roof up, looks like the roof didn't like it to much and settled a couple of inches down, so i'm gonna have to work out how to shore it up and have it repaired from the inside, i'd say the damage has been there quite some time but for peace of mind i wanna get it repaired soon.

Anyhow thanks for the help, i'm sure to come back with more questions soon.




Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.


type the code from the image


Post_new_button or Login_button

This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... For windows, doors, and mirrors that could use a little definition, the Naples Etched Glass Border adds a decorative flora... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... Need a window and a door in a tight space? A Dutch door with a window may be your answer. These useful doors are split hor...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon