Laterite as a building material

Known as Vettukallu in Kerala, Laterite is a residual ferruginous rock first discovered in the Malabar region of Kerala and Karnataka.

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Because it gains in strength on exposure to sun and air, as well as its low cost, it was widely used as a construction material in this part of India. One of the advantages is that it is soft when it is quarried and only hardens on exposure.

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Popular for its earthy, rustic appeal, skilled workmanship in the Malabar region also enables a shine on these stones. Low costs compared to bricks and a negligible loss of material, make it a preferred choice as a building material in this region. Because of a larger surface area, cement costs also come down substantially.

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Transportation costs are high, which it is why it is normally region specific and used where it can be sourced locally with relative ease. The stone has a deep red colour because of the iron oxide composition.

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It requires skilled workmanship to handle this material and sourcing is limited to license holders in a region. Technological advances have enabled machine cutting which gives a smoother product.

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The rising construction costs and drive towards locally available products have fueled a demand for this product in recent years.

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While laterite is founds in various parts of India, the regions where it is used extensively as a building material are Kerala, Goa. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.



26 responses to “Laterite as a building material”

  1. Narayana says:

    Hello,

    I’m building a home in the Kabini area (Karnataka) and would require about 3000 laterite stone blocks.

    Could anyone recommend any suppliers in the area?

    Narayana
    +91 9901 600 707

  2. Narayana says:

    Dear all,

    I would like to request you to send me the contact no of laterite stone brick dealer close to H.D.Kote, Mysore district. In fact close to Mananthavady Kerala.
    My no matter is 8959747319

    Best regards,
    Narayana

  3. Aathirai says:

    Hello,

    I’m interested in using the material for construction purposes based in coimbatore.

    I would like to know a bit more about the material such as:
    – Cost?
    – Does the material only come in the form of bricks?
    – The insulation properties
    – Is there someone i could contact and discus further
    – Are there Architects whom have used the material earlier that i could talk to

    Please advice path forward

    Aathirai

    • Naseer Shah says:

      i am frm kerala,,,,supplies laterite bricks for this kind of work,, will help u to purchase this kindz of brick,,there r different types…

  4. ARCHITECT PRAMOD CHAIUGULE says:

    ITS REAL PLEASURE TO WORK ON THESE FANTASTIC STONES. WILL BE ALWAYS ASSOCIATED WITH IT.
    THANKS AND REGARDS
    PRAMOD

  5. NANNAN says:

    I want to have agency for the construction of exposed Laterite Masonry construction in kannur,Kerala.

    Please contact 9445045813

  6. Ramachandra says:

    Pl someone who knows people who build well with laterite stone contact me.

  7. Ramachandra says:

    Interested in knowing people who can build well with laterite stone.pl inform.

  8. Ramachandra says:

    Interested in knowing where n whom to contact to get skilled workers to build laterite stone wall for wells .

  9. Shivakantrao bh says:

    Intrested to build 20 rooms lodge and restorent in latrite material whome i have approch for good architects plz inform me

  10. As we are in the activity of laterite stone supply , based in Kannur district of Kerala .

    I would be keen to know about the specific requirements in large quantity.

  11. sajesh says:

    we are one of the leading manufacturer and supplier of laterite stone any were in kerala)..(bangalore) ..coimbatore..pls contact 9048578268

  12. Mahesh says:

    I am interested in natural and simple construction in kerala – guruvayur – please could someone who can do this kind of design and construction contact me on +918281443166. Thank you.

  13. Kai Makkar says:

    Hi,
    I need a laterite supplier in goa and also a stone cutter please reply to my number via message or call 9552444660

  14. Sam Keshinro says:

    nature takes good care of its own !

  15. kssk says:

    hi..,
    I was inneed of laterite block to construct a house in Madurai at Tamilnadu.

    • Rangarajan says:

      Sir

      I am also looking to build a house with laterite stones in Trichy. Were you able to source this at Madurai? If you have can you know some details on who supplied cost etc?

      Thanks

      Regards

  16. rajeshwari says:

    Hi,
    I want to know some contacts for laterite tile smoothning in kerala or around that area.

  17. Sam says:

    Do laterite rocks keep the house cool or does it heat up in the summer?

  18. Anup says:

    Laterite stone is much widely used in Odisha. The monumental temples including Konark used Laterite stone.

  19. Arun says:

    If somebody needs Laterite Bricks in Cochin,Kerala. Contact -9846822288

  20. PK Sasindran says:

    Hello,
    Iam building a home in Trishur and would want to know more about Laterite bricks. What are the advantages and how would this compare against hollow blocks or the normal red bricks.
    Is there a possibility of ants getting into the laterite brick structure as these are not plastered.

  21. Jayanti says:

    Have seen this brick but didn’t know much about it. Interesting article

  22. Megha says:

    Laterite is a good idea and eco-friendly too.

  23. kk says:

    is laterite a cool material too?

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