The rising popularity of brick slips is evident from the growing number of companies now selling them. Once considered a niche product, the speed and flexibility brick slips offer has made them a popular choice across the building industry as a whole and has resulted in a rapidly expanding market.
Eurobrick has been supplying brick slips independently and as part of their own cladding systems for nearly 30 years. In recent years, they have noticed an increase in enquiries for larger projects from construction companies who are now opting to use brick slips and systems. Director Richard Haines tells us more,
“The on-going housing crisis along with construction skills shortages, have resulted in a move towards modern methods and off-site construction. Companies are actively looking for ways to do things quicker, meet challenging deadlines and hopefully save on costs, without compromising on build quality.
The brick shortages experienced a few years ago forced the building industry to look for alternatives. At the time, we were able to maintain our supply chain, as historically, brick slip manufacturers formed a small, specialised market and were generally less prone to the pressures being experienced by the industry at that time. However since then, those companies have realised the many advantages that come with brick slips and cladding systems, they have returned time and time again, even when brick shortages were becoming less of an issue. As a result, here at Eurobrick, we have just had our best two years trading ever.
Whether it’s a new build, refurbishment or interiors project, there are flexible solutions that can be applied to different substrates and installed on- or off-site. Application in a factory environment has the appeal of allowing for greater quality control and increasing the speed of installation, and means the weather is no longer an influencing factor. Many systems can also be applied using semi-skilled labour, which helps with any issues related to skills shortages too.
People may not always think of brick when they think of modular building or modern methods of construction, and yet brick is still a highly sought after and popular finish within the UK building industry. While modern methods may not necessarily work so well alongside traditional brick building, brick slip cladding provides an alternative that is fast, flexible and easy to transport and we believe the sector will continue to expand in the coming years.
Retrofit or refurbishment projects can also benefit from an ever evolving range of brick slip colours and finishes. Whether you want to blend in with an existing building or have to comply with a planning requirement, brick matching or sourcing can help. Older buildings may need insulation and this can be added by retrofitting an insulated system to dramatically improve the thermal performance of a building.
Leisure and retail markets have long recognised the benefits of brick slips and cladding systems for interiors too. Whether applied directly to the substrate or as part of a system, the slimline profile minimises loss of valuable floor space and provides a finish that is characterful and indistinguishable from traditional brickwork.
Just to be clear, our brick slips are still real bricks. Some of our slips are manufactured as slips (extruded slips) using natural clay and fired in the same way as traditional bricks, and some are cut from whole bricks. They provide a real brick finish with the same low maintenance and durability benefits.”
Eurobrick was first to introduce a comprehensively designed brick cladding system to the UK in 1990 and include a 25 year guarantee with all of their systems. Find out more at www.eurobrick.co.uk.