Brick Bonds – Definition, Brick Bond Types, Advantages & Disadvantages [Complete Guide]

Brick Bonds – Definition, Brick Bond Types, Advantages & Disadvantages [Complete Guide] – Most Popular Types Of Brick Bonds – Common Types of Brick Bonds Used in Masonry – What are Brick Bonds, and how do they work?

A brick bond is a pattern in which the bricks are laid. Brick bonds apply not only to walls, but also to brick paving for paths and patios, as well as concrete blocks and other types of masonry.

Brick bonds play an important role in maximising the structure’s strength and durability, as well as bringing uniformity to the structure and composition and improving its visual appeal.

There are many different types of brick bonds, each with its own distinct appearance, installation challenges, and structural considerations in the case of walls. This blog will cover the most common ones.

Brick Bonds & How Do They Work?

Brick masonry is made up of bricks that have been mortared together. Mud mortar is sometimes used to build temporary sheds, but cement or lime mortar is used for permanent structures.

The majority of brick bonds require bricks or other masonry units to be the same size or at least compatible in size. Even, repeatable designs are created using uniformly sized bricks or masonry units that can be applied to any size area. There are a variety of bond patterns available, all of which include some method of interlocking each row of bricks with the adjacent courses. When bricks are stacked in single-file columns, they can easily topple over.

However, if the bricks are stacked in such a way that the joints are staggered or offset between adjacent courses, the bricks are effectively interlaced. Bonds are required to add strength to the structure and to make a mortared wall even more durable.

Most Popular Types Of Brick Bonds

Types of Brick Bonds – Brick walls can be structural, such as load-bearing walls, or purely decorative, such as a brick veneer wall. Structural walls require strong structural bonds, whereas decorative walls can use any bond pattern they want. Let us look at some of the most common and traditional brick bonds for walls:

  1. Stretcher Bond / Running Bond
  2. Header Bond
  3. English Bond
  4. Flemish Bond
  5. Stack Bond
  6. Dutch Bond
  7. Common Bond / American Bond
  8. Facing Bond
  9. Diagonal Bond
  10. Rat Trap Bond
Brick Bonds
Brick Bonds

1. Stretcher Bond / Running Bond

Stretcher Bond
Stretcher Bond

One of the most common types of brick bonds, also known as running bonds. This bond is extremely simple to set up, in fact, it is one of the most basic in use today. When half-brick thickness walls are required, stretcher bond is the best option. The following are some examples of wall constructions that use this type of bond:

  • Chimney stacks
  • Division walls (internal dividers)
  • Partition walls
  • Sleeper walls

Stretcher bonds are not well suited to stand-alone structural walls, but they are ideal for the construction of thin walls. Note that if the thickness of the walls exceeds half of the total length of the bricks used, the bond will fail.

  • Stretcher bonds wall have very less strength so that they cannot stand alone when they have long span and height. Therefore they need structure like brick masonry columns at regular intervals to support them.
  • Stretcher bonds are generally used for outer facing in framed structure of steel or reinforced concrete. They are commonly used for gardens, boundary walls because their strength is relatively low therefore they are not used for bearing walls.
  • It is constructed when bricks are arranged with their stretchers showing, and overlapping is done at midway with below course and above course.
  • It is suitably used for half brick thick wall.
  • Overlap is of half brick and half bat is used for breaking the alignment.
  • Bat is a portion of a brick cut across the width, and half bat is bat with length half of the brick’s original length.
  • It takes lesser space and economical.
Brick Bond Stretcher
Brick Bond Stretcher

Advantages of Stretcher Bond

The following are some of the major benefits of the stretcher bond in brick masonry:

  • 1. It is simple and straightforward to construct.
  • 2. Stretcher bonding does not necessitate the use of skilled labour.

Disadvantages of Stretcher Bond

The following are some of the disadvantages of the stretcher bond:

  • 1. Stretcher bonds are only suitable for half-brick thick walls, such as partition walls, and cannot be used for full-width thick brick walls.
  • 2. When the structure has a long span or height, the stretcher bond cannot be used to build the masonry walls because it cannot withstand the loads.
  • 3. Stretcher bond is not recommended for landscaping and architectural masonry projects.

2. Header Bond

Header Bond
Header Bond

The shorter face of the brick is called a header. All bricks are laid in the header course in header bond brick masonry.

The overlap in this bond corresponds to a half width of the bricks.

The three-quarter brickbats are used as quoins in alternate courses. This bond is most commonly used to build one-brick thick walls.

  • Header is the shortest square face of the brick.
  • In header bonds, the bricks are arranged as headers on wall face in each course.
  • They are used for construction of walls with full brick thickness.
  • Overlap will be of one forth and three forth bat will be used for breaking the alignment.
  • Their strength is more than stretcher bond.

Advantages of Header Bond

The following are some of the benefits provided by the header bond:

  • 1. Header Bond is simple and straightforward to construct.
  • 2. Unlike stretcher bond, skilled manpower is not required for construction.

Disadvantages of Header Bond

The following are some of the disadvantages of header bond:

3. English Bond

English Bond
English Bond

One of the most common types of brick bonds used in masonry projects. This bond is made up of two courses of headers and stretchers that alternate.

The stretchers in the course below are centred with headers, and each alternate row is vertically aligned.

A quoin closer is used at the start and end of a wall after the first header to break the continuousness of vertical joints.

A quoin close is a brick cut lengthwise into two halves and used in brick walls’ corners. This type of bond is most commonly used to build strong one-brick-thick walls.

  • The bricks are placed in such a manner that every alternate course consist of header and stretcher.
  • Quoin closer is provided at the starting and end of the wall in vertical joints to break the continuity.
  • A quoin closer in a brick is a type of brick which is cut into two halves lengthwise and it is used in corner portion of walls.
  • Thickness will be minimum one brick.
  • Overlap will be one forth brick.
  • For the wall thickness more than or equal to one and half brick English bond is strongest.
Brick Bond English
Brick Bond English

Advantages of English Bond

The following are some of the benefits provided by the English bond:

  • 1. English Bond has a lot of strength and stability.
  • 2. English Bond can be used to construct masonry walls of virtually any thickness.
  • 3. The construction of English Bond does not necessitate highly skilled labour.

Disadvantages of English Bond

The following are some of the disadvantages of English bonds:

  • 1. It is not very appealing to the eye.
  • 2. This type of bond construction is more expensive than others.
  • 3. Moisture infiltration through the traverse joints is a greater possibility.

4. Flemish Bond

Flemish Bond
Flemish Bond

Each course is made up of alternate headers and stretchers for this type of bond. Every alternate course begins with a header in the corner, which is centred on a stretcher above and below.

Quoin closers are introduced in alternate courses next to the header to break the vertical joints in the successive courses. This bond can be further divided into two distinct types:

  • “Single Flemish Bond” – A hybrid of the English and Flemish bonds. In every course, the front exposed surface of the wall is made up of Flemish bong and the back surface is made up of English bond.
  • “Double Flemish Bond” – In both the front and back elevations, this bond has a similar appearance.
  • Flemish Bond is also called as Dutch bond.
  • In this type of bonding every course consist of header and stretcher.
  • Queen closer is used to break the alignment.
  • Minimum thickness of brick wall will be one brick but generally one and half brick thick brick wall is preferred in case of Flemish bond to utilize the half bat inside the brick wall.
  • The main disadvantage of Flemish bond is that their construction is difficult and it requires greater skill to arrange it properly.
  • They have better aesthetic but for load bearing wall construction they are weaker than English bond
Brick Bond Flemish
Brick Bond Flemish

Advantages of Flemish Bond

The following are some of the benefits of the Flemish bond:

  • a. It is very cost effective.
  • b. In terms of appearance, it is very appealing.

Disadvantages of Flemish Bond

The following are some of the disadvantages of the Flemish bond:

  • a. Construction necessitates highly skilled labour.
  • b. It lacks the strength of the English bond.

5. Stack Bond

Stack Bond
Stack Bond

In a stack bond, all of the bricks are simply stacked on top of one another and held in place with mortar that is perfectly aligned.

Stack bonds are ideal for decorative purposes due to their weak masonry structure and low strength. Because this is a non-structural bond, it is not appropriate for walls that must transfer loads.

Brick Bond Stack
Brick Bond Stack

6. Dutch Bond

An alternate course of headers and stretchers is used in this modified version of the English cross bond. Every single stretching course in this brick bond arrangement starts at a quoin with a 3-quarter bat.

A header is placed next to the 3-quarter bat brick provided at the quoin on each alternate stretching course. This adhesive is ideal for building strong corners along the wall that are subjected to heavy loads.

Brick Bond English
Brick Bond English

7. Common Bond / American Bond

This bond is very similar to the English Bond, except that it has header courses every five or six courses.

The previous header course is used to centre the header courses. Between the fronting and the backing, this header bond serves as a tie brick.

Queen closers are inserted at both ends of the header courses in a standard common bond to achieve the required offset. The common bond is commonly used in load-bearing exterior walls.

Brick Bond Common2
Brick Bond Common
Brick Bond Common
Brick Bond Common

8. Facing Bond

Facing bond is typically used for thick walls where the facing and backing are chosen to be built with bricks of varying thicknesses. This bond is typically made up of heading and stretching courses that are arranged in such a way that one heading course follows a slew of stretching courses.

Because of the difference between the facing and the total number of joints in the backing, the load distribution of walls using this bond is not uniform. This can also result in unequal settlement of the two wall thicknesses.

9. Diagonal Bond

For walls with a thickness of two to four bricks, this is the best option. This bond is usually introduced every fifth or seventh course along the wall’s height. End-to-end placement of the bricks in this bond ensures that the sequence’s extreme corners are in contact with the stretchers.

10. Rat Trap Bond

Bricks are laid on edge or in a vertical position instead of the traditional horizontal position in this bond. A cavity (hollow space) is created within the wall as a result of this. This feature contributes to improved thermal comfort by allowing the interiors to be cooler than the exterior and vice versa. Because of the internal cavity, this type of wall consumes fewer materials.

Rat Trap Bond Brick Bonds
Rat Trap Bond Brick Bonds

The Rat Trap Bond has a similar appearance to the Flemish Bond. To create this bond, skilled labour and extra care are required.

  • Rat trap bond is a brick masonry method of wall construction just like English bond and Flemish bond but having a different set of rules and regulations for laying the bricks.
  • In rat trap bond the bricks are placed in vertical position, while as we saw in English bond and Flemish bond or other bonds the bricks are laid horizontally, which means if the size of the brick is 230mm x 115mm x 75mm then the 75mm x 230mm surface of the brick will be acting as a base for the brick in the rat trap bond.
  • Due to the vertical positioning of brick, cavity is created within the wall of one brick thickness.
  • It is named as rat trap because rats are trapped very easily in space provide between network provided in the wall.
  • The arrangement of the bricks in rat trap bond is similar to double Flemish bond in one brick thickness.

Common Paving Brick Bonds

Brick bonds are not just for the walls, as previously stated. They are, in fact, used for paving. In contrast to brick paving, which is entirely supported by the underlying surface, walls must support themselves and occasionally loads from above. The following are some of the most common paving brick bonds:

  • “Running Bond” – Similar to the wall brick pattern, but these can run parallel, vertically, or diagonally across the length of a path or patio.
  • “Herringbone Bond” – This is a pattern that is universally appealing. Each brick is perpendicular to its neighbours in this simple zig-zag pattern.
  • “Basketweave Bond” – A square pattern made up of bricks arranged in pairs, each pair perpendicular to the others. This is a simple pattern for rectangular or square-shaped areas.
  • “Stacked Bond” paving is also referred to as “Jack-on-Jack” paving. This is a square grid with even rows and no gaps between them.

Tags – Advantages of Brick Masonry, Definition of Brick Masonry, Different Types of Brick Masonry, Disadvantages of Brick Masonry, English Bond, Flemish Bond, Header Bond, Rat Trap Bond, Stretcher Bond, What is Brick Masonry

Er. Md. Shahin Akhter

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Md Shahin Akhter is a Civil Engineer from MIT and has more than 5 years of experience in Civil Engineering and Construction Department. Md Shahin Akhter is Civil Engineer in Nagar Parishad (Municipal Council), Supaul. He is Webmaster and Founder at Civil Engineering Website.