F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to common questions about EMPIRE Brick products and services
Will water collect in the EMPIRE Click rail?
If you left the rail on alone this would be true, BUT, as soon as you engage the brick facings and insert the mortar any water that accumulates in the rail is drawn off by capillary action through the brickwork (ABSORBED) and will evaporate away.
How do you put the mortar in?
The easiest method is to make a conical ‘mortar bag’ out of plastic & put it in like “icing a cake”, but it can also be pumped in by mechanical or air driven pumps.
We recommend 'EMPIRE Slick' mortar additive to make mortaring easy.
How thick is the EMPIRE Click brick & rail system?
From the back of the rail to the front of the brick is 25-27mm. (Nominal)
Will EMPIRE Click rail rot or rust?
No. but ALL metal products will show signs of corrosion if left unprotected in the elements. We use Marine Grade Aluminium and/or Zincalume (Galvanium) steel for our railing systems because, at this stage, they are the best products available for this purpose. Once the rails are in position they are protected from the elements by the bricks and mortar, this fact alone minimises the chance of corrosion.
Can I have a system thicker or thinner?
Yes...There are certain limitations (and more wastage with some types of bricks), but we can cut thicker bricks, or even cut down to as low as 15mm for EMPIRE Stick applications by adhesive.
How many brick colours are available?
We can cut almost any brick from any manufacturer, bricks are your choice. We also have 7 of our own range of double-faced bricks. You can ‘blend’ these to extend the range considerably. Double-sided bricks are the most cost effective as we produce 2 facings per brick. We can also cut single-faced bricks as well, but cost per m² increases as we use twice as many bricks.
What is the insulation factor?
THERMAL: The ideal insulation of a ‘cavity wall’ is created when you use battens and it is
recommended that a sarking layer of double-sided foil insulation be used over the battens to help the insulation & weatherproof your home.
ACOUSTIC: Brickwork has long been used to screen out noise, what many people do not realise that it is, primarily, the surface texture of the brickwork that does this, not the mass of the wall. A thin brick wall will provide excellent acoustic protection for your home.
What do you do at the windows & doors?
Corner bricks can be used to provide brick reveals (the sides of the windows) and brick sills. This can be a costly option in some cases so you can also "butt-finish" the brickwork directly to the sides of the windows if required.
Why not have a rail that carries many brick courses?
For many years we had this but purposely redesigned the railing system because of 2 major problems. One was the corrosion problem created when you ‘punch’ lugs out of sheet metal. The other was the problem with cutting & handling large sheets of sharp sheet metal in smaller areas on the home. The time saved in one area is more than compensated for in the other and the weight reduction is considerable!
What about the extra weight?
The design of a standard timber home allows for the weight of the EMPIRE BRICK system to be
distributed over the existing sub-floor & foundation easily. The "cross-bracing" effect of a metal railing system/brick facing is what saved many homes in the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake and is a reason that so much of our product is exported to countries that experience earthquakes & cyclones. You must consider that a waterbed or heavy cabinet will create more stress on your home than the brick walls because it is concentrated ‘point-loading’. If in any doubt here, it is not expensive to get a structural engineer to inspect your home & advise you.
For existing buildings, can the systems go over weatherboards and masonry walls?
YES - The easiest method is to fix treated timber battens over these surfaces and this provides a level surface to secure the railing system to.
How do you fill in between the piers underneath an existing home?
With Queenslander or Hi-set designs this can be very expensive so we do not recommend to do this here, we use a decorative treatment that simulates brick piers around the existing stumps. If it has to be filled in, you can make a small frame to suit the opening and lock this to the piers or use a steel "C" channel concreted into the ground, then the railing system is fixed to this and continues on to just above the ground level.
Can you match bricks?
Particularly 2nd storey additions, we can cut bricks the same as the existing bricks on the home, (as long as they are still available). The main thing to consider is that many bricks only have 1 "face" side to cut off whereas with our selected range of bricks we can cut off both sides of the brick to give us 2 "faces".