Brick Masonry


                                                Brick Masonry

Brick masonry is constructed by the systematic placement of bricks, in which bricks are bound together using mortar, which creates a solid structure that has the ability to withstand the applied burdens or pressure.

 Quality of mortar, quality of brick, method of the bonding tools play a prominent role in determining the strength of brick masonry.

Types of brick masonry

1.Brickwork in cement

This type of brickwork involves laying bricks in cement mortar. Joints between bricks in masonry work are filled with cement mortar. Brickwork in cement is further classified into three divisions. They are:

a.      First class: for first-class, cement used should be made of lime mortar. Bricks should have sharp edges and surfaces and the mortar joints should not exceed 10mm in thickness.

b.      Second class: for second class brickwork in cement, bricks with rough and irregular shapes are used and the thickness of the mortar joint is about 12mm.

c.      Third class: These are the least graded brickwork, were bricks with a distorted shape having rough surfaces are used.

2.Brickwork in mud

This type of brickwork involves laying brick in mud mixed with water instead of cement mortar to fill the joints between bricks in masonry work.  Roughly, the maximum thickness between mud mortar joints measures 12mm.

This is one of the cheapest ways of installing brick masonry but cannot be used for the construction of walls taller than 4m.


Different types of bricks

          There are several types of bricks used for building construction. We must use high-quality bricks to get a better result. Types of bricks are:

a.   Concrete bricks: It is composed of cement and aggregate, usually sands, and formed in molds and curved. Certain mineral colors could be added to produce a concrete brick resembling clay.

b.   Common burnt clay bricks: first of all, clay bricks are formed in a mould. For this clay is extradited through the die and to get the desired shape, they are wire-cutted.

Thus formed shaped clay is then dried and fired either by burning in a kiln or sometimes by sun-drying to achieve the desired shape.

c.    Fly ash bricks: fly ash bricks could be used as a replacement for normal clay bricks. They are considered high-quality bricks.

d.   Engineering bricks: They are composed of clay, so are clay bricks, but are fired at a higher temperature than normal clay bricks. It is water-resistant and can withstand high pressure. They are generally used to support lintels at windows and doorways

e.   Sand lime bricks or calcium silicate bricks: For the preparation of sand-lime brick, lime is used instead of cement. They usually appear white.



Different Parts of brick

a.   Stretcher: It is the long face of the brick.

A course containing a stretcher is called a stretcher course.

b.   Header: It is the shorter face of the brick.

c.    Frog: It is a mark of depth about 10-20 mm which is placed on the face of the brick to form a key for holding the mortar.

A handmade brick has only one frog.

d.   Arises: The edges formed by the intersection of the plane surface of brick (i.e. stretcher and header) are called the arises.

e.   Course: It is the horizontal layer of the brick.

f.      Bed: It is the lower surface of the brick, which is not exposed to the weather in brick masonry rather in contact with mortar.

g.    Bed joint: The horizontal layer of mortar upon which bricks are laid is known as bed joints.

h.   Perpends: The vertical joints between the separation of consecutive brick in a course are known as perpend.

 For a good bond, the perpends in alternate courses should lie vertically one above the other. So, the perpends in first and third courses should lie in the same vertical line.

i.      Lap: It is the horizontal separation between the vertical joints (or perpends) in successive courses.

For a good bond, the lap should be one-fourth of the total length of the brick.

j.      Facing: It is the outer surface of the wall and could be a stretcher or header depending upon the systematic arrangement of the bricks. They are exposed to the weather.

k.    Backing: It is the inner surface of the wall. They are not exposed to weather, as they are at the surface inside the wall or room.

l.      Hearting: It is the inside portion of the wall between the backing and facing.

m.                        Closer: It is a piece of brick that is used at the end of the brick course to close up the bond.

It prevents the vertical joints of successive courses to come in the same vertical line. 




Materials and equipment used in brick masonry work

1.   Chisel

2.   Trowels

3.   Squares

4.   Jointer

5.   Hammer

6.   Straight edge

7.   Mason’s level

Bonds in Brick masonry

Bonding is the process of systematic arrangement of bricks with mortar to bind them together. Without proper bonding between bricks, we cannot construct the wall.

There are various types of bonds used for various types of work. They are:

1.   Stretcher bond: In this type of bond, all the bricks are laid with their lengths in the direction of the wall, or all bricks are arranged in stretcher courses. So, the facing of the wall will have the only stretcher.

This type of bond is applicable only for walls having a thickness of half brick i.e. 9cm.

2.   Header bond: In this type of bond, all the bricks are laid with their ends towards the face of the wall, or all bricks are arranged in header courses.

This type of arrangement is used for the walls which are one brick thick, and walls of lightly loaded load-bearing structures.

3.   English bond: In this type of bond, the header and stretcher are arranged in alternate courses. A queen closer is not required in the stretcher course but in the header course, a queen closer is placed just after the header to provide a good overlap.

This is the most common, popular, and strongest bond in brickwork and is used for wall thickness ranging from 20cm and above.

4.   Flemish bond: In this type of bond, in every course, the header and stretcher are placed alternatively. Every alternate course consists of the header at the corner. The Flemish bonds can further be divided into two groups. They are:

·       Single Flemish Bond

·       Double Flemish Bond


Flemish bond gives a better elegant appearance than an English bond.

How to calculate the number of bricks in brick masonry?

Let us consider a wall having a length of 30ft, height is 15ft, and thickness of the wall is 9inches. If the brick size is 9*4.5*3 inches and 25% of the wall is the mortar. What is the number of bricks on the wall?



Total brick work= Length*height*thickness of the wall


                              =337.5 Cft

Deduction for the mortar:

Volume of mortar= 25/100*337.5  =84.375 Cft

Net brick work=Total brick work- Volume of mortar


                             =253.125 Cft

No of bricks= Net brick work/ Volume of one brick

                       = 253.125/9*4.5*3

                       =3600 No

Let us include 10% brick wastage

10% wastage= 10/100*3600

                         = 360 No


Total number of bricks= 3600+360

Total number of bricks= 3960 bricks