• Deutsch
  • English
  • Français

Clinker Brick Masonry

This section deals with trellis mounting in clinker brickwork, particularly on historic buildings (from c.1870) or on freestanding walls. You will find information about this building material and the mounting options below, including sample photos of attached trellises. Another note: Modern brick facades are often not solid brick but rather an outer wall shell/cladding of clinker. Double-check your wall!


Properties of Clinker

Clinker (also known as 'Dutch') bricks are so named due to the metallic sound they make when struck together. They are produced from clay that is fired at extremely high temperatures, sintering the surface to form its characteristically shiny coating, whether in deep red, black, purple, or yellow. Sintering is a process of forming a solid mass with pressure, or in this case heat, without reaching the point of liquefaction, making them water-resistant and more durable than the traditional red brick. The superior quality of these bricks results in a higher price than their normally-fired brick counterparts. That is why they were often used only on the outer layer of the facade as a facing. A good quality clinker is weather-resistant for centuries, even without plaster. The distinction between clinker and the traditional red brick is fluid, but the latter often only has loam rather than high-quality clay, and is fired at far lower temperatures, resulting in a more porous product that often needs a protective plaster layer against long term weathering.


Solid and hollow clinker

Solid clinker bricks can be found on many historic facades, but today they are used almost exclusively as paving stones, in road construction. Clinkers you see on newly built houses, walls, etc.. are almost always hollow / 'perforated' (bricks with rectangular holes in them).

Suitable wall mounts, rawlplugs and drills

Our cable trellis kits can be mounted into either the bricks or the mortar joints of an 'exposed masonry' wall. All 5 construction methods -- with their standard mounts -- are suitable, both for hollow and solid clinkers. Our heavy kits should be paired with a sieve sleeve if installing into hollow clinkers. We recommend hammer drill bit HB 44444; with heavy and massive kits- HB 16210percussion drill bits and universal drill bits or when necessary, percussion bits, like the SB 77777, can also be used.

Drilling into clinker

One thing to be aware of in advance: decorative bands or single decorative bricks should not be drilled into! The grid of your respective trellis (where you will lay your wire rope trellis) should be pre-planned accordingly from the start. When drilling directly into solid clinker masonry, you can hit extremely hard sinter spots, which are caused by the caking together of iron oxides and other minerals. Only hammer drills can help here. Please refer to our guidelines under drilling, as needed.

Clinker facade with grapevines
Clinker facade with grapevine in Erfurt / Thüringen
Hollow clinker with a low proportion of holes
Hollow clinker with a low proportion of holes
Free standing outside wall under construction, modern perforated clinker bricks with more holes than usual
Perforated ('hollow') clinker
Exposed masonry made of hollow clinker on an old facade; at the drain pipe you can see the relationship between the clinker facing and the 'normal' brickwork.
Clinkering with hollow bricks
Trellis element -- Medium Kit Premium on historical clinker bricks, for honeysuckle
Clinker with a Medium Kit Premium
Clinker facade from around 1950, cable trellis - Medium Kit - for small kiwi
Clinker facade from around 1950
Clinker may also be painted -- here, the rear wall of a garage with wire rope system easy kit, honeysuckle
Clinker can also be painted; here, the back wall of a garage, wire rope system easy design
Clinker wall with espalier trees
Clinker wall with espalier trees
Light kit for climbing roses
Light kit
Wire rope trellis system-- Easy style-- for a grapevine to climb this clinker
Grapevine climbing on clinker
Cable system in heavy construction for the guiding of wisteria on a clinker wall
Cable system in heavy construction
Rose trellis on an old clinker wall; cable system in our massive construction style
Rose trellis, cable system in the massive construction
Clinker facade with wisteria: heavy construction with mounts WM 12191
Wisteria climbing a cable system on a clinker wall