Ceramic Glazed Masonry: More Than Just A Pretty Face
By James Tann
The day you install ceramic glazed masonry, it looks so clean you could eat off of it. Because it's ceramic glazed masonry, it will look much the same for the life of the building. Available in a rainbow of colors ? glossy or matte ? ceramic glazed masonry offers an enduring look that provides a distinctive, quality finish to both interiors and exteriors. It's not just a finish, however, but an amazingly resilient building product appropriate for either load-bearing or veneer applications.
It really is more than just a pretty face. The impervious ceramic finish provides time-tested and field-proven strength, hardness and durability, which are an integral part of any fired clay product. The ceramic finish is not simply a coating, but it actually becomes part of the unit during the firing process.
Its durability is enhanced by its inherent resistance to threats like fire and graffiti, which are major concerns to any building owner and are of particular significance for schools, government buildings and other public facilities. Ceramic glazed masonry won't burn, and even the most obnoxious graffiti can be removed with just soap and water.
On the job, ceramic glazed masonry products are mason-friendly, laying up easier than their competitors because of their precise dimensional tolerances. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of ceramic glazed masonry to a mason contractor, however, is the legacy it helps to create. The lasting color and finish will become a part of a community's architectural landscape, something you can be proud of for decades.
The accompanying chart details the properties of ceramic glazed masonry. Compare it to other products out there then decide which material you want to use to build your legacy.
|Characteristic||Ceramic Glazed Masonry|
|Glaze Process||Inseparable finish is fired onto a clay brick|
|Body Material||Genuine fired clay|
|Body Durability||Same as brick|
|Colors / Finishes||Wide choice of colors, including custom options, available in matte, glossy or satin finishes|
|Color Durability||Ceramic colors vitrified at high temperatures creating impervious finishes that will never fade|
|Fire Resistance||Will never burn: rated 0/0/0
Flame Spread = 0
Smoke Density = 0
Fuel Contribution = 0
|Scratch Resistance||Resistant to scratching|
|Graffiti Resistance||Permanent marker comes right off the surface with only soap and water|
|Hardness||Rated above five on Mohs Hardness Scale|
|Compressive Strength||3,000 PSI minimum
(ASTM C126, C216, C-652, C1405)
|Nominal Sizes||2"x8", 2"x12", 4"x8", 4"x12", 3"x10", 5"x12", 6"x6", 8"x8", 8"x16", 12"x12" + custom sizes|
|Special Shapes||Large selection of standard shapes and special handmade shapes|
|In-wall Cost (per R.S. Means 2003 Building Construction Cost Data)||$19.20/sq. ft. ? 8"x16" (8" thick)
$13.25/sq. ft. ? 8"x16" (4" thick)
Can be lower than competing products when calculating long-term, life-cycle costs
|Mortars||Can be used with conventional (Type S) or specialized mortars, exterior and interior|
|Cleaning||Soap and water are recommended to minimize VOCs, but paint removers, solvents, acids, acetone and normal proprietary cleaners may be used without damaging the finish|
About the Author
James Tann is the Executive Director for the Ceramic Glazed Masonry Institute.