Most common types of brick bonds used in masonry
Brick bonding is an industry term for the uniform pattern in which brickwork is laid and maximises the strength of the structure. Whilst its primary purpose is structural, the brick bond can also strongly influence the appearance of the façade and provide aesthetic character to many properties.
It’s important to consider these factors when initially deciding on your brickwork, as they can have an impact on the overall appearance of the build.
We offer expert advice on the right brick bond for your project—simply contact us and we’ll do the rest.
Below you can see the most common variations of brick bond used in masonry:
Stretcher bond is the most typical laid bond in the UK. The pattern is laid with the stretcher course sitting halfway over the joints of the courses in the row below. While not particularly strong, it is a time and cost-effective way of laying brickwork. First used in 1631, it became popular in the late 18th century.
Header bond is similar to stretcher bond, however it features courses of headers. In header bonds, all bricks in each course are placed as headers on the faces of the walls.
English bond is one of the oldest forms of brick bonding. It became common in the 1450s and was the standard type of brickwork for British houses until the late 17th century. English bond brickwork combines alternate courses of stretchers and headers. This traditional pattern is considered to be one of the strongest bonds and is commonly used for bridges and engineering projects. It requires more facing bricks than other patterns.
Flemish bond is another traditional pattern where stretchers and headers are laid alternately in a single course. Flemish bond is attractive aesthetically, but is weaker than English bond for load bearing wall construction. It is often used for walls that are two bricks thick.
In Stack bond pattern, the bricks are laid directly on top of one another with all joints aligned. The bricks are stacked vertically down the wall which results in minimal bonding, therefore this brickwork pattern has less structural integrity than others. This pattern is often used for decorative purposes.
English Garden Wall Bond
English Garden Wall bond constitutes three rows of stretchers to one row of headers. It is very rarely found on buildings outside the north of the UK, where it is abundant and particularly prevalent on the east coast. It was used from the late 18th century onwards, and was also used occasionally for garden walls. It uses fewer facing bricks than English bond.
Flemish Garden Wall Bond
Flemish Garden Wall bond, also known as Sussex bond, includes three stretchers to one header in each row. Ironically, this bond was in fact rarely used on garden walls historically. It is most common in West Sussex and Hampshire where it may be found on up to 10% of historic buildings.
In partnership with the Brick Development Association, here is a guide on the technical brick laying patterns: