Why Ceramic Glazed Tile or Ceramic Glazed Brick?

Another Medium to Express Architectural and Artistic Achievement

By Paul V. Rauch Jr. CSI

Ceramic Glazed Brick (cer ram’ik glaz’d brik’) n. A high-quality loadbearing or veneer clay masonry product with a ceramic finish that is an integral part of the unit that offers permanent, attractive, vandal-resistant, easy-to-clean walls.

Glazed bricks have been around for thousands of years. The Egyptians made glazed brick during the burning process of brickmaking; then used these special brick for decorative purposes. In China, the Ming Dynasty built walls of decorative ceramic glazed brick as artistic statements on the exterior of buildings for all to enjoy.

In today’s marketplace, we acknowledge the long-lasting durability and cleanability of ceramic glazed brick when installed properly. The manufacturing processes have been improved and refined to achieve high-quality standards. Today we are finding architects who have rediscovered the use of this material for the exterior of their buildings.

There are many reasons for using structural ceramic glazed tile and ceramic glazed brick.

Graffiti is a major concern and vandal-resistant ceramic glazed brick can be the answer. Using the many sizes, shapes, and colors as a design tool, ceramic glazed brick can provide a designer a way to express a brand, particular personality, or a feeling in a building. It can also be used as accents and bands in combination with face brick and other masonry materials.

Working together delivers the best results.

The mason contractor is the important key in bringing this architectural concept to reality, from blueprints, to brick-and-mortar, to the finished structure. Working together can save time and money!


It is truly said of structural ceramic glazed tile and brick products that they have a 100-year life cycle and will perform for the life of the building.  Due to the durable nature of the materials, they do not require refinishing, refurbishing, or rebuilding thus saving money and energy over the life of the building. The products are one of the most maintenance-free wall systems available due primarily to the impervious high-fired ceramic glazed finish.  The ceramic glaze is burned into the clay body resulting in a homogeneous integral bond of the glaze and the unit.  It will not peel off, flake, patinate, or fade.  The finish and the body will never emit toxic fumes or ozone-depleting substances.

Ceramic Glazed Tile and Brick Do Not Burn

If ever subjected to a fire, it will not emit any noxious or toxic fumes, as will many other wall products. The fire safety ratings are unsurpassed: Zero Smoke Density, Zero Flame Spread, and Zero Fuel Contribution.  Graffiti is easily cleaned with environment-friendly detergent products; therefore, no harmful emissions pollute the atmosphere or the earth.  The products are also ideal for exterior loadbearing cavity wall masonry to provide high energy efficient building walls.

Exterior Glazed Products are solid or hollow ceramic glazed masonry units. The glazed ceramic finish is fired onto the surface at temperatures above 2000° which forms an impenetrable bond to the body. The finish is scratch-proof, chemical resistant, and provides excellent strength and durability in a freeze/thaw environment. They are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. Exterior glazed products are engineered for outdoor use but can be used for interiors as well.

Interior Glazed Products are solid or hollow masonry units that have a glazed ceramic surface that is fused during the firing process. Ceramic brick is a popular choice for public spaces because of the wide variety of color choices, tile sizes, and tile types. It is easy to clean off graffiti, and the finish will never crack, peel, discolor, or fade.  Watch Video on Cleaning Ceramic Clay Units >

Both Interior and Exterior Glazed Products meet or exceed ASTM C-1405 and/or C-126 requirements.

Additional benefits are:

  • Can be used for load-bearing or non-loadbearing applications
  • Ceramic finish is resistant to fading and most chemicals
  • Kiln-fired at over 2000°, exceeds industry standards
  • Graffiti, stain, impact, abrasion, and weather-resistant
  • Fire-resistant; does not burn or emit toxic fumes
  • Reinforced units meet seismic specifications and security needs
  • Cost competitive for the life of the building
  • Environmentally sound
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