Building Materials: A Complete Guide

The materials used to construct buildings, houses, or any other structure are called building materials. There is a wide variety of building materials that are used in the construction industry. Building materials are chosen based on the type of project and their cost-effectiveness.

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Some of the most commonly used building materials are wood, cement, concrete, clay, metal, bricks, rocks, plastic, glass, and concrete. In this blog, Graana.com, Pakistan’s smartest property portal, provides you with information about the basic building materials that are used for construction.

Following is a list of some of the most used building materials.

  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Concrete
  • Stone
  • Bricks
  • Glass
  • Ceramics
  • Plastic

 

Metal

 

this is an image of steel bars which are included in basic building materials

 

For the construction industry, metal production requires a lot of time and human labor. During the construction process of buildings, various types of metals and alloys come into use. However, stainless steel is one metal that is mainly used for the construction of structural frameworks.

It is an alloy mainly composed of iron and is the most common choice for building structural frameworks. Moreover, it is solid and flexible, which is why, if treated well, it works effectively.

Besides steel, tin, and aluminum are also used to construct houses. Quality-wise, they are much better than steel, as they are denser and do not erode quickly. This is also the reason why they are sold at high rates. Brass was also used for construction, but it is only used for particular purposes.

Other than that, metals used as building materials are: chrome, gold, titanium, and silver. Titanium is more expensive than steel and can be used for building the structural framework of buildings. Whereas gold, chrome, and silver are only used to decorate the building structures, as they lack hardness and tensile strength.

Wood

Another most commonly used material for construction is wood. It is a natural building material. After getting raw wood from the forests, it is passed through different stages to be used for construction purposes. It is pressed and converted into timber and lumber, to make planks and boards.

People all around the world have been using wood as a building material for ages. Some of the unique properties of wood are that it’s quite flexible, and you can add to its strength if it is compressed vertically. Furthermore, different types of woods exist in markets, and each type comes with varying qualities.

In the past, wooden logs were used in their raw form to build columns and pillars of houses. People would just cut the logs to the desired length, shave the bark off and use it. In some parts of the world, people used to grow trees specifically for building purposes.

 

Concrete

 

this is an image of concrete blocks which are one of the building materials

 

Looking at the basic building materials, concrete is one such material without which construction is not possible. It is composed of aggregate and cement.

Portland cement concrete is a type of concrete, which is most commonly used in the construction industry. It consists of gravel, cement, water, and sand. Water evaporates eventually, turning the concrete into a hard rock-like material.

If the air bubbles get trapped in concrete, it would cause the structure to weaken. Hence, for the removal of air bubbles, builders use a vibrator.

 

Stone

 

this is an image of stone crush which is included in building materials

 

One of the natural building materials is stone. It is gathered by crushing rocks. Owing to its high compressive strength, the stone is widely used as a building material. If we look at the buildings that were constructed in ancient times, we will notice that most of them are built using stones.

Stones like granite and marble are pretty popular for the construction of stair steps, kitchen countertops, and floors. Though there are a lot of advantages to using stones for construction, it also has its downsides. One of the disadvantages of using stones is that it is not an effective insulator, meaning heat conducts through it easily.

 

Bricks

 

this is an image of bricks | Building materials

 

It won’t be wrong if we say that bricks are essential for the construction of buildings. Typically made from dry clay, bricks come in rectangular block forms.

Even though, bricks have high compressive strength, and are resistant to heat, however, bricks are not as strong as concrete and can break easily. Typically, bricks are used for the construction of walls, fireplaces etc.

 

Glass

 

this is an image of glass windows

 

Since its invention, glass has been used as a building material. Initially, it was used to cover openings in the structure of houses and buildings. As glass is transparent, it lets the sunlight inside the building, while at the same time maintains the temperature inside.

Looking at the composition of glass, it is a mixture of silica and sand. In contemporary houses, glass is commonly used for constructing windows, and doors. Moreover, it can also be used for adornment purposes.

 

Ceramics

 

this is an image of ceramic tiles which are one of the building materials

 

Ceramic is made by mixing different minerals and heating them up at a very high temperature. It is mostly used to make tiles and fixtures.
They are widely used in the construction industry owing to their property of being fire-resistant, water-resistant, and durable – all at the same time. Some of the most common places where ceramic is used include bathtubs, sinks, fireplaces, countertops etc.

 

Plastic

 

this is an image of plastic which is a building material

 

Plastic is one of the most common artificial construction materials. It is made by using different kinds of polymers and is a synthetic material. There are different types of plastics that are used as building materials.  Some of them are acrylic, polycarbonate, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and composite plastics. Besides being light in weight, plastic is also an inexpensive and easy-to-mold material.

It also comes with various disadvantages, for instance, it is not resistant to fire and not suitable for bearing loads. In addition, it is quite harmful to the ecosystem as you can not recycle it. Hence, people should opt for Smart Construction Materials.

Plastic is commonly used for light fixtures, plastic roads, carpeting, piping systems, windows, sinks, siding, roofing, etc. Properties like heat tolerance, resilience, and hardness vary depending on the type of plastic.  Today, almost all industries use plastic due to its ability of being lightweight and adaptable.

These are some of the most commonly used building materials. Understanding the types of materials and their composition is necessary if you wish to construct your own home. You must get yourself familiarized with Latest Prices of Construction Materials in Pakistan.

For more information, visit Graana blog.

 

FAQ

 

What are the 7 building materials?

The seven commonly used building materials are:
Concrete
Wood
Steel
Brick
Stone
Glass
Plaster

What are the main building materials?

The main building materials can vary depending on the region, construction practices, and specific project requirements. However, some commonly used main building materials include:

  • Concrete: A versatile material used for foundations, walls, floors, and other structural components.
  • Steel: Strong and durable, steel is commonly used for structural support and framing.
  • Wood: A natural material used for structural purposes, flooring, and finishes.
  • Brick: Clay or concrete blocks used for building walls and various architectural features.
  • Stone: Natural stones like granite, limestone, and marble used for cladding, flooring, and decorative purposes.
  • Glass: Transparent or translucent material used for windows, doors, and architectural features to allow natural light.
  • Plaster: A mixture of cement, sand, and water used for coating walls and ceilings, providing a smooth finish.

 

What are the building materials of concrete?

The building materials of concrete are:

  • Cement: A fine powder, usually made from limestone and clay, that binds the aggregates together.
  • Aggregates: Inert materials such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, or recycled concrete, which provide strength and bulk to the concrete.
  • Water: Used to hydrate the cement and initiate the chemical reaction that hardens the concrete.
  • Admixtures: Optional additives that can be included in the concrete mix to enhance workability, strength, durability, or other specific properties. Examples include plasticizers, accelerators, retarders, and air-entraining agents.
    These components are mixed together in specific proportions to create concrete, a widely used construction material.

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