Q: I just received a shipment of brick from my supplier. The faces of the brick are chipped, and I don't think the architect will approve the finished wall if I use the brick. If they meet specifications, am I stuck with the brick?

A: If the brick meets the architect's specifications, the architect is stuck with the brick--even if he is not pleased with the exposed surface. ASTM C 216, Standard Specification for Facing Brick, allows different amounts of chipping for the different types of brick. Compare the amount of chipping your brick has with the amount allowed by C 216 for the type of brick specified by the architect.If the supplier's brick are not chipped more than what is allowed by C 216, he does not have to supply new brick. If the architect wanted less chippage, he should have specified a brick with a higher chippage tolerance or he should have specified Type FBA brick and the exact chippage tolerance he would permit. Explain this to the architect so he gets the exact appearance he wants in the future. In fact, before you order the brick, it may be a good idea to make the architect aware of the amount of chippage allowed on the type of brick he specified. This could save an argument in the field and a displeasing finished wall.If the supplier's brick are chipped more than what is allowed by C 216, he should supply new brick or sort out the chipped brick that exceeds the allowed amount.If you mistakenly ordered the wrong type of brick, you'll have to determine the least expensive way of getting the correct type of brick. You might be able to sort out the badly chipped brick. Or through talks, you might be able to come to an agreement with the supplier. Suppliers usually don't want to lose a contractor's future business.Whatever the result, you're wise to be questioning the compliance of the brick before you place it. According to ASTM C 216, once the brick is in place the supplier is no longer responsible for its compliance. The contractor is.
Type of Brick of Exposed Brick that Can Be Chipped the Amount Listed Inches of Chippage from
Edge Corner
FBX 95% to 100%
5% or less
0 to 1/8
1/8 to 1/4
0 to 1/4
1/4 to 3/8
90% to 100%
10% or less
0 to 1/4
1/4 to 5/16
0 to 3/8
3/8 to 1/2
85% to 100%
15% or less
0 to 5/16
5/16 to 7/16
0 to 1/2
1/2 to 3/4
FBA As specified by the purchaser.
1 Smooth texture is the unbroken natural die finish.
2 Rough texture is the finish produced when the face is sanded, combed, scratched, or scarified or the die skin on the face is entirely broken by mechanical means, such as wire-cutting or wire brushing.

Source: ASTM C 216, ASTM, 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.