Brick Masonry – Comprehensive Guide 2020 Edition

Brick masonry is a highly durable form of construction. It is built by placing bricks in mortar in a systematic manner to construct solid mass that withstands exerted loads. There are several types of bricks and number of mortars which can be used to construct brick masonry.

In this article, we will discuss about What is reinforced brick masonry? when is the brickwork reinforced? and its advantages and disadvantages? Brick Arrangements Various Types Of Bonds Pdf, Types Of Bonds In Brick Masonry Pdf Download, Brick Wall Bond Types Pdf, Types Of Bonds In Brick Masonry Ppt, Brick Masonry Notes Pdf etc

Brick Masonry Definition

The art of laying bricks in mortar in a proper systematic manner gives homogeneous mass which can withstand forces without disintegration, called brick masonry.


Terminology Used For Brick and Brick Masonry

The surfaces of brick have names:
# Top and bottom surfaces are beds.
# Ends are headers and header faces.
# Sides are stretchers or stretcher faces.

Symbolic Image of Brick Size with Dimension in BLACK and White Color

The bond in brick masonry, which adheres bricks together, is produced by filling joints between bricks with suitable mortar. Special cautions shall be practised while the mortar is mixed and placed since it greatly affects the performance and durability of the masonry structure.

The coordinating dimensions are a measure of the physical space taken up by a brick together with the mortar required on one bed , one header face and one stretcher face.

The working dimensions are the sizes to which manufacturers will try to make the bricks.

# Methods of manufacture for many units and components are such that the final piece is not quite the size expected but it can fall within the defined limits.

# This can be due to the things like shrinkage, distortion when drying out, firing etc. The difference between the working and coordinating dimensions of a brick is 10mm (0.5“)and this difference is taken up with the layer of mortar into which the bricks are pressed when laying.

The working dimensions are also known as the nominal size of a brick.

What is Frog in Brick or What do you mean by FROG Terminology?

• The depression provided in the face of brick during its manufacturing.
• Depth of frog in a brick 10 to 20mm
• The frog should be upward. Why?

Each horizontal layer of bricks laid in mortar in any brickwork is called coarse.

Mortar Joints
Mortar placed horizontally below or on the top of a brick is called a bed.

Mortar placed vertically between bricks is called a perpend.


Bats of BRICK - Quarter Bat, Half Bat , Three Quarter bat

• The portions mad by cutting standard bricks across their width are known as brickbats.

• These are named according to their fraction of full length of a standard brick.

What are Closers in Brick or What do you mean by Closers Terminology?

The portions made by cutting across their length in such a manner that their one stretcher face remains uncut or half cut.

Types of Closers of Bricks

  • Queen closer
  • King closer

Brick CLoser - What is Closers in Brick or What do you mean by Closers Terminology

What are Quoins or What do you mean by Quoins Terminology?

• The external corners of walls are called quoins
• The brick which forms the external corner is known as quoin brick.

Quoins of BRICK

Types of Brick Masonry Work

1. Brick Work in Mud

  • The mud is used to fill up various joints brick masonry work.
  • The thickness of the mortar joint is 12 mm.
  • it is the cheapest type of brick masonry
  • employed for the construction of walls with a maximum height of 4 m.

2. Brick Work in Cement
This type of brick masonry is the construction by laying bricks in cement mortar rather than mud which is used in brickwork in the mud. There are three major classes of brickwork in cement which are summarized in Table.

 Different classes of brickwork in cement and their descriptions

Classes of BrickWork Descriptions
First Class
  1. The cement of lime mortar is used,
  2. The surface and edges of bricks are sharp,
  3. And the thickness of mortar joints doesn’t exceed 10mm
Second Class
  1. Ground moulded bricks are used,
  2. Bricks are rough and shape is slightly irregular,
  3. The thickness of the mortar joint is 12 mm.
Third Class
  1. Bricks are not hard, rough surface with distorted shape,
  2. Used for temporary structures,
  3. Used in places where rainfall is not heavy.

Types of Bricks

Types of Brick by Shape

  • #1. Solid bricks
    Solid brick shall not have holes, cavities or depressions.
  • #2. Perforated bricks
    Perforated brick shall have holes not exceeding the 25% of the gross volume of the brick; minimum 30% solid across the width of brick.
  • #3. Frogged bricks
    Frogged bricks shall have depressions in one or more bed faces but their total volume shall not exceed 20% of
    gross volume of a brick.
  • #4. Cellular Bricks
    Cellular Bricks have cavities or depressions exceeding 20% of the volume in total.

There are thousands of types of bricks that are named for their use, size, forming method, origin, quality, texture, and/or materials.

  1. Common Burnt Clay Bricks
  2. Concrete Bricks
  3. Sand Lime Bricks (Calcium Silicate Bricks)
  4. Fly ash Clay Bricks
  5. Engineering Bricks
  6. Other Brick Types include bullnose, channel, coping, cownose and hollow bricks.

Categorized by manufacture method:

  • Extruded – made by being forced through an opening in a steel die, with a very consistent size and shape.
    • Wire-cut – cut to size after extrusion with a tensioned wire which may leave drag marks
  • Moulded – shaped in moulds rather than being extruded
    • Machine-moulded – clay is forced into moulds using pressure
    • Handmade – clay is forced into moulds by a person
  • Dry-pressed – similar to soft mud method, but starts with a much thicker clay mix and is compressed with great force.

Categorized by use:

  • Common or building – A brick not intended to be visible, used for internal structure
  • Face – A brick used on exterior surfaces to present a clean appearance
  • Hollow – not solid, the holes are less than 25% of the brick volume
    • Perforated – holes greater than 25% of the brick volume
  • Keyed – indentations in at least one face and end to be used with rendering and plastering
  • Paving – brick intended to be in ground contact as a walkway or roadway
  • Thin – brick with normal height and length but thin width to be used as a veneer

Specialized use bricks:

  • Chemically resistant – bricks made with resistance to chemicals
    • Acid brick – acid resistant bricks
  • Engineering – a type of hard, dense, brick used where strength, low water porosity or acid (flue gas) resistance are needed. Further classified as type A and type B based on their compressive strength
    • Accrington – a type of engineering brick from England
  • Fire or refractory – highly heat-resistant bricks
    • Clinker – a vitrified brick
    • Ceramic glazed – fire bricks with a decorative glazing

Bricks named for the place of origin:

  • Cream City brick – a light yellow brick made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Dutch – a hard light coloured brick originally from the Netherlands
  • Fareham red brick – a type of construction brick
  • London stock – the type of handmade brick which was used for the majority of building work in London and South East England until the growth in the use of machine-made bricks
  • Nanak Shahi bricks – a type of decorative brick in India
  • Roman – a long, flat brick typically used by the Romans
  • Staffordshire blue brick – a type of construction brick from England

Brick Masonry Construction

Materials and Equipment Used in Brick Masonry Construction 

  1. Mortar Mix or Mason Mix Bricks
  2. Tape measure
  3.  hammer
  4. Hose, level, or theodolite
  5. Trowel Level
  6. Wheelbarrow
  7. Goggles
  8. Jointer
  9.  And other equipment according to project and personal preferences

Brick Masonry Construction Preparations

  1. Check the level of the ground using level, theodolite or transparent hose level.
  2. Set the layout of the structure.
  3. Trace of building axis and wall alignment using gypsum powder, chalk, or similar, marking the trenches for foundation.
  4. After that,install foundation wall, cure foundation for minimum two days before beginning of brick masonry construction.
  5. Distribute bricks in several stacks along project site to cut time and effort later.
  6. Wet bricks few hours prior to the work. Not only does this avoid absorbing too much water from mortar but also improve adherence of bricks and mortar.

Masonry Wall Requirements

The usual functional requirements of a masonry wall include:

  1. i) Adequate strength to support imposed loads
  2. ii) Sufficient water tightness
  3. iii) Sufficient visual privacy and sound transmission
  4. iv) Appropriate fire resistance
  5. v) Ability to accommodate heating, air conditioning, electrical, and plumbing equipment
  6. vi) Ability to receive various finish materials Cost
  7. vii) Ability to provide openings such as doors and window

Search More about IS 1905: Code of Practice for Structural use of Unreinforced Masonry

Name of Standards Organization: Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
Division Name: Civil Engineering
Section Name: Building Construction Practices including Painting, Varnishing and Allied Finishing (CED 13)

Designator of Legally Binding Document: IS 1905
Title of Legally Binding Document: Code of Practice for Structural Use of Unreinforced Masonry
Number of Amendments: 1