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Bricks & Pavers Technical Manual

Section 1.3. Brick Masonry Construction

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Brick bonds and other decorative effects

A bond is the pattern in which bricks are laid. The most common bond is Stretcher Bond which consists of courses

of full bricks where every course is offset half a brick from the course below. When following the mortar joint, stretcher bond has the longest vertical pathway and therefore the best bend strength.

Stretcher bond is used in walls one brick wide. Where walls are two or more bricks wide then stretcher bond needs ties to hold the leaves together to give it a monolithic action. To avoid the use of ties traditional practice has been to lay some of the bricks sideways. This has usually been either full courses of headers with full courses of stretcher (English) or courses of alternating header and stretcher (Flemish). A variation of Flemish Bond is Garden Wall Bond where courses are made of a header and three stretchers alternating.

Corner treatment can be different in these bonds. English corners end in full stretchers or full headers, and any part brick required to make up the course is set inside the corner. Dutch corners end in the part bricks.

Variations on these bonds are common in particular a header course every three or six courses with stretcher courses between.

Although these bonds have traditionally been developed for thick walls, they can be used in single leaf walls as

a decorative effect using cut bricks for the headers. Such walls are usually non-load bearing. Cutting costs are high but not excessive as the headers have the cut side turned in and the bricks can be bolstered.

Other decorative bonds may be used in non-load bearing applications, particularly in the form of panels. The limitations are strengths lower than Stretcher Bond and the cost of cutting and slower brick laying. The decorative effect of bonds is highlighted by using a mortar in a contrasting colour to the brick.

Other bonds include:

• Stack Bond – Bricks laid horizontally in vertical columns so all vertical joints align.

• Soldier Stack Bond – Bricks laid vertically in vertical columns so all vertical joints align.

• 1/3 Bond – Every course is offset by 1/3 of a brick.

• Zigzag Bond, Vertical Zigzag Bond, 45˚ Stretcher Bond, Chevron Bond, Basket Weave Bond, 45˚ Basket Weave Bond and virtually any pattern that tessellates. t

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Section 1.3. Brick Masonry Construction

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Brick bonds and other decorative effects (continued)

Other decorative effects are available such as:

• Laying bands of bricks of the same colour with different textures eg smooth faced and rock faced;

• Laying bands of bricks with different (contrasting or complimentary) colours;

• Corbelling (bricks set out from the wall);

• Racking (bricks set back into the wall);

• Quoining (corner bricks in different colours or set out from the wall);

• Soldiers above openings or as a single course;

• Copings on piers and parapet walls;

• Sills in different colours or textures, using sill bricks, etc.; or,

In the late 1800’s bricks of contrasting colours were laid in patterns such as diamonds or crosses. A more subtle effect can be made by laying bricks with different textures or corbelling the bricks in these patterns.

Combinations of the above effects can be used. Eg. An American Architect specified a corbelled course with the course below to be laid in the darkest bricks selected from the packs delivered. The darker band accentuated the shadowing effect from the corbelled course. t

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Section 1.3. Brick Masonry Construction

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Brick bonds and other decorative effects (continued)

Stretcher Bond

Common Bond (Full Headers every 6th Course)

Flemish Bond

Common Bond (Flemish every 6th Course)

Flemish Bond Common Bond (Flemish every 6th Course) English Cross or Dutch Bond Stack Bond Garden

English Cross or Dutch Bond

Bond (Flemish every 6th Course) English Cross or Dutch Bond Stack Bond Garden Wall Bond Soldier

Stack Bond

every 6th Course) English Cross or Dutch Bond Stack Bond Garden Wall Bond Soldier Course (With
every 6th Course) English Cross or Dutch Bond Stack Bond Garden Wall Bond Soldier Course (With

Garden Wall Bond

every 6th Course) English Cross or Dutch Bond Stack Bond Garden Wall Bond Soldier Course (With

Soldier Course (With Stretcher Bond)

every 6th Course) English Cross or Dutch Bond Stack Bond Garden Wall Bond Soldier Course (With

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