Brick or tile? What technology? What cap?
Despite changing trends, clinker fences are still the most popular type of fencing in Poland. A few years back they were built almost exclusively of clinker or facing bricks but nowadays cladding of clinker tiles is becoming more and more popular. Tile angles (corners) produce the effect of actual brick.
Clinker fencing: when to choose bricks over tiles?
The principle here is very simple: new fencing built from scratch should be made of clinker brick. In this case, the posts and the walls should be made of rectangular bricks or shaped perforated bricks.
If you opt for brick coping as well – perforated roofs and caps will be a good choice. Solid (non-perforated) brick should be used only for end, visible components.
In case of the existing brick or prefabricated fencings, e.g. made of concrete, the ready-made structure can be finished with clinker tiles. The coping of fences cladded with clinker tiles can be made either of the clinker tiles themselves or of rectangular or shaped bricks. If the cladding is made in a professional manner and corner tiles are used, the end result is indistinguishable from a brick fence.
Clinker fencing: how to choose the best technology?
The best known technology for a brick fence is the system of 150 cm high posts 38×38 cm with 25 cm wide and 30 to 150 cm high walls between them. Such fencing is build with trass mortars intended for clinker bricks and tiles. Do not forget to provide a horizontal waterproof layer between the foundation and the first layer of bricks and do not cast the posts with liquid concrete mixture without prior insulation of post interior (e.g. with a roll of foil). Rectangular or shaped bricks should be laid with 8–15 mm distance between them (joint width must visually match the size of a brick – the most common spacing is 10 mm). These gaps are filled with pointing grout for clinker brick as required based on its water absorption.
Clinker tile claddings require one thing: clean substrate of appropriate load bearing capacity. If you are not sure whether the substrate is able to provide the required adhesion, cover it with bonding bridge (primer with the addition of quartz aggregate). Fix the tiles to such prepared substrate using flexible frost resistant adhesive applied on the wall or on the tile with a notched trowel (teeth size dependent on tile dimensions and wall geometry). .
Press the tile down to obtain 100% contact with the substrate. Always start laying tiles with tile corners – then, fill the remaining surfaces with „straight” tiles according to the pattern you want to have.
Clinker tile claddings require no binding to the wall but this step is essential for brick walls. When using this technology, as in the case of brick structures, clearance must be left between the tiles to be later filled with pointing grout for clinker bricks.
Clinker fencing: what top?
Wall tops and pier caps are mostly the matter of individual preferences – any solution can be suitable, both classical ones with coping of rectangular or shaped bricks laid vertically, and prefabricated modular covers and ceramic or natural stone caps. On the other hand, avoid concrete components from which the calcium compounds can be washed out by rain causing running stains on non-absorbent ceramics with poor water absorption properties.