Can You Correctly ID These Common Building Materials?

By: Lauren Lubas

Can You Correctly ID These Common Building Materials?
Image: Morsa Images / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The carpentry trade lost a little bit of steam at the beginning of the 21st century as working with building materials was replaced with working with computers. However, in an odd twist, home repair, carpentry, and DIY building has made a comeback with the help of YouTube tutorials. As we come full circle on this trade, many people are getting into building their own furniture, repairing their homes, and even creating beautiful artwork with the help of building materials. Whether or not you consider yourself handy, you'd be surprised at how much you might know about the materials used to build pretty much everything you see. These materials are everywhere you look. If you've taken the time to learn what they are, you should have at least a cursory knowledge of how these items work, what they look like, and what they're used for. 

Whether you're a master carpenter or a DIY diva, you have to be able to recognize the proper materials and know exactly what they're used for to ensure that your projects are completed properly. Now, it's time to test your skills. We'll show you common building materials, you tell us what they are. Let's see if you can ace this quiz.



Rebar These steel beams are used to reinforce concrete. What are they called?
Lookies
Rebar
Rebar is also known as reinforcing steel. It is used to strengthen concrete.
Ties
Locks

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Mortar What do you call the paste that holds bricks together?
Mortar
Mortar functions as a paste to hold bricks together. It can be dyed different colors for any job.
Brick glue
Stucco
Hand pave

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Wood Putty This substance is commonly used in wood repair and woodworking projects. What is it?
Wood putty
Wood putty is used to fill defects in wood or to cover nails and screws on woodworking jobs.
Welding glue
Adobe
Cover up

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Limestone This stone is used to make concrete and is also a base material for many roads. What is it?
Limestone
Gravestones are commonly made from limestone as well.
Lemonstone
Redstone
Whitestone

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Steel Which material are these beams made of?
Silver
Gold
Steel
Steel is a common material for large buildings because it is incredibly strong.
Copper

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Plywood This common material has a lot of uses in construction and any kind of building. What is it?
Plywood
Plywood is made by gluing several layers of wood together. This makes it incredibly strong.
Sheetrock
Cardboard
Drywall

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Asphalt These shingles are made of one of the most common roofing materials. What are they made of?
Terra cotta
Cement
Asphalt
Asphalt shingles are usually overlapping and can be great insulators. They are great for cold climates.
Sand paper

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Capping Brick These bricks top off retaining walls. What are they called?
Foundation bricks
Cinder blocks
Capping bricks
Capping bricks are generally used to top off freestanding brick walls and give a bit more visual design appeal.
Big bricks

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Acrylic Glass What is this light-weight "glass" made out of?
Acrylic
The most common trade name for acrylic glass is Plexiglass. This is a very common building material that can be used in a great variety of building projects.
Stone
Wood
Cement

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Fiberglass This is one of the most common types of wall insulation. What is it made out of?
Fiberglass
Fiberglass insulation is also known as glass wool. It is one of the most common types of home insulation.
Blue jeans
Cotton
Wool

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Pine What type of wood is this?
Oak
Cedar
Beech
Pine
Pine is a soft wood and is easily recognized by its white or yellow coloring.

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Vinyl This siding is a big seller because of how durable it is and how easy it is to clean. What is it made of?
Wood
Ceramic
Vinyl
Vinyl siding has been incredibly popular for some time. It is especially good to have in areas that experience a lot of harsh weather conditions.
Brick

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PLaster This is mostly used to hide seams in drywall. What is it?
Paint
Plaster
While plaster has many uses, when it comes to building construction, it is generally used to coat walls and ceilings and hide seams where two pieces of drywall meet.
Drywall
Concrete

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Stucco This material has a lot of different applications, but it's mostly found as siding for Southwestern homes.
Vinyl
Stucco
Stucco is generally applied wet. When it dries, it hardens and becomes very solid.
Ceramic
Terra cotta

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Carbon Fiber This material is five times stronger than steel. What is it?
Plastic
Carbon fiber
Carbon fiber is stronger than steel, and more flexible.
PVC
Reinforced steel

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Hex Bolt What would you call this?
Hex bolt
Hex bolts are very strong. They can fasten steel, wood, and other materials for large construction projects.
Fat screw
Wood screw
Foundation screw

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Terra Cotta These tiles are great for roofing because they insulate well. What are they made out of?
Cement
Terra cotta
Terra cotta is a strong earthenware material. It makes a great natural insulator.
Stucco
Cedar

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Ceramic These tiles are tough and have to be applied with grout. Which material are they made out of?
Ceramic
Ceramic tiles can be used for much more than flooring. A new trend is ceramic tile countertops.
Wood
Vinyl
Brick

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Finishing Nail What would you call this?
Finishing nail
Finishing nails are used in molding projects or other situations in which you might want to hide the head of the nail.
Threadless nail
Headless nail
Spike

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Tacks These incredibly short nails are normally used for fixing floors. What are they called?
Files
Fillibusters
Swallows
Tacks
Tack nails can be spotted from their tiny stature. They are also used for stretching fabrics.

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Greenboard This type of drywall is best known for its moisture resistance. What is it called?
Green board
Green board drywall is generally used in the construction of bathrooms and other areas prone to moisture. While it is moisture resistant, it is not waterproof.
Sheet rock
Blue board
Paperless

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Brick Veneer What do you call these thin bricks?
Brick veneer
Brick veneers are a less expensive way to give your home or project a brick exterior.
Fake brick
Lime
Clappers

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Kevlar This isn't just for bulletproof vests. What is this material?
Kevlar
Kevlar is also used in construction. What makes it appealing to builders is that it isn't as rigid as steel.
Steel
Nylon
Plexiglass

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Masonry Nails These nails can be used in wood, stone or brick. What are they called?
Almond nails
Wood nails
Multifunction nails
Masonry nails
Masonry nails can be used in materials like concrete, stone, and brick. They are preferred for a lot of building jobs because they are so strong.

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flathead What do you call this common screw?
Flat head screw
Flathead screws are often used in carpentry and home repair projects.
Raised head screw
Pan head screw
Wall screw

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Cotton Batts This type of insulation is great for sound-proofing rooms. What is it called?
Rolled out
Sound proof
Cotton batting
Some cotton batting is made from recycled blue jean material; this is known as denim insulation.
Plexiglass

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Oak This incredibly strong wood is generally used in beams and framing. What kind of wood is it?
Pine
Oak
Oak is a high-quality wood that can be used to build pretty much anything. However, it takes about 150 years for an oak tree to be mature enough to turn into lumber.
Cedar
Redwood

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Cedar This wood is great for outdoor projects. What is it?
Pine
Redwood
Cedar
Cedar works well for projects that will end up outdoors because it can resist rotting. You can spot it from its red tint.
Birch

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Common Burnt Clay Brick You may recognize this as a brick, but what kind of brick is it?
Sand lime brick
Concrete brick
Engineering brick
Common burnt clay brick
Common burnt clay bricks are used in a variety of building projects. They are made by being pressed into molds and fired in kilns.

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Acrylic Latex What kind of caulk is this?
Silicone
Butyl rubber
Acrylic latex
This is the most common kind of caulk. It is great for sealing molding and windows.
Sand

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Spiral Flooring Nail What are these unique fasteners?
Spiral flooring nails
While not used as much anymore, these nails were once the most common flooring nail used.
Spiral flooring screws
Spiral fasteners
Twisters

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Button Head Screw This screw is used for light-duty projects. What do you call it?
Raised head screw
Fillister head screw
Button head screw
The button head screw is a light-duty fastener. It shouldn't be used in constructions that will need to withstand a lot of force.
Socket head screw

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Fibre Cement These panels are used mainly for roofing and facade products. What is it?
Sheet rock
Adobe panels
Vinyl siding
Fiber cement
Fiber cement is known for its strength and durability. It's commonly used for siding in buildings.

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Engineering Bricks Which type of brick has three holes?
Common burnt clay bricks
Engineering bricks
The blue color in engineering bricks comes from the type of clay used and their being fired at high temperatures.
Concrete bricks
Sand lime bricks

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Balsa This type of wood is strong and lightweight. What is it called?
Balsa
Balsa wood is generally used in decorative building and model work.
Pine
Oak
Cherry

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Cherry Many carpenters like to use this wood on finishes, because it ages well. What kind of wood is it?
Cherry
Cherry wood is notoriously easy to work with. It's a common wood for natural hardwood flooring.
Pine
Alpine
Oak

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ST2 This is the best concrete for foundations. What is it?
ST2
Building a foundation takes the right materials. After all, the foundation sets the rest the building.
Foundation mud
Rock solid
Seamless concrete

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Sand-Lime These bricks can provide both sound and thermal insulation. What kind of bricks are they?
Clay
Concrete
Mud
Sand-lime
Sand-lime bricks are popular in the United States and Germany. They are a less expensive substitute for cement.

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Truss Head What kind of screw is this?
Flat head
Pan head
Truss head
The purpose of this screw is to create fastening support with minimal surface obstruction.
Button head

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Paperless This drywall has a resistance to mold and mildew. What is it?
Green board
Paperless
This drywall is covered in fiberglass to help protect its gypsum core, which is water resistant.
Blue board
Double paper

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