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Last edited 12 Jul 2021
Types of brick bonding
Bricks are typically laid to an offset pattern to maintain an adequate lap between joints from one course to the next and to ensure that vertical joints are not positioned above one another on consecutive courses.
Brick bonding patterns:
- Distribute loads throughout the structure to achieve maximum strength.
- Ensure stability.
- Achieve the desired aesthetic.
This is a pattern formed by laying alternate courses of stretchers and headers. The joins between the stretchers are centred on the headers in the course below. This is one of the strongest bonds but requires more facing bricks than other bonds.
This is similar to the English bond but with one course of headers for every three courses of stretcher. The headers are centred on the headers in course below. This gives quick lateral spread of load and uses fewer facings than an English bond.
This alternates courses of stretchers and headers, with the alternating stretcher course being offset by half a brick. The stretchers are centred on the joins between the stretchers below them, so that the alternating stretcher courses are aligned. Staggering stretchers enables patterns to be picked out in different texture or coloured bricks.
This is formed by laying headers and stretchers alternately in each course. The headers of each course are centred on the stretchers of the course below. This bond is strong and often used for walls which are two-bricks thick.
This variant of Flemish bond uses one header to three stretchers in each course. The header is centred over the stretcher in the middle of a group of three in the course below.
This variant of Flemish bond involves two stretchers between the headers in each course. The headers are centred over the join between the two stretchers in the course below.
The alignment of joints results in minimal bonding which means that this bond is weak and often structurally unsound unless wire bed-joint reinforcement is placed in every horizontal course or, where loading is moderate, every alternate course. This is often used purely for decorative purposes and in rain-screen applications.
This bond uses three stretchers and one header in each course.
The 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), published by the International Code Council (ICC) defines running bond as: ‘The placement of masonry units such that head joints in successive courses are horizontally offset not less than one-quarter the unit length.’
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