Architectural Theory, Construction Materials

9 Types of Brick Bonds in Architecture

Bricks are one of the most common and popular choices of materials for construction. There are numerous ways in which bricks can be placed and arranged. These arrangements can have functional purposes or simply for aesthetics.

At a basic level, bricks can be placed in three ways:

  • Header: Bricks are laid side-wise in a row
  • Stretcher: Bricks are laid lengthwise in a row
  • Soldier: Bricks are laid standing upright in a row

These placements are arranged in different patterns, which are further classified. The following are the collective types of brick bonds:

  1. English Bond
  2. Dutch Bond
  3. Flemish Bond
  4. Stretcher Bond
  5. Header Bond
  6. Rat Trap Bond
  7. Monk Bond
  8. Zigzag Bond
  9. Diagonal Bond

1. English Bond

English bond is extremely common in India. It is stronger and durable compared to other bonds. One disadvantage is that this bond requires more facing bricks.

  • It consists of alternate layers of header and stretcher courses of bricks. 
  • The joins between the stretchers are centred on the headers in the course below.
  • The queen closer is put just next to the queen header to develop the face lap.

2. Dutch Bond

Dutch bond is similar to the English bond. And like the English bond, this bond is strong as well.

  • The Dutch bond is created by laying alternate headers and stretchers in a single course The English Cross bond has alternating courses of stretchers and headers, being offset by half a brick. 
  • The stretchers are centered on the joins between the stretchers below them, so that the alternating stretcher courses are aligned.

3. Flemish bond

The Flemish bond is generally used for garden walls and partitions. This bond is extremely strong and is used where the wall has to be two-brick thick.

  • Flemish bond is a type of brick construction pattern that consists of alternate stretchers and headers for each course.
  • It is laid in such a way that always breaks joints.
  • One major disadvantage of Flemish bond is that it requires a great amount of skilled labour to do it properly.

4. Stretcher Bond/ Running Bond

Stretcher or running bond is not particularly strong as compared to other bonds. Since it looks good, this bond is usually used on the outer facing walls like boundary or garden walls.

  • Stretcher bonds are arranged in such a way that only the bricks’ stretchers are visible. 
  • They overlap midway with the courses below and above.

5. Header Bond 

Header bond is similar to stretcher bond. This bond is also used on the outer walls and is not very strong.

  • Header bond or heading bond is a type of brickwork where all bricks in each course are placed as headers on the faces of the walls.

6. Rat Trap Bond

Rat trap bond creates a network of bricks where rats can easily be trapped- hence the name.

  • Rat trap bond is a brick masonry method of wall construction, in which bricks are placed in vertical position instead of conventional horizontal position and thus creating a cavity (hollow space) within the wall.
  • It keeps interiors thermally comfortable.
  • It is used for low cost projects since less volume of bricks are used.
  • This bond can only be used for buildings up to three storeys.

7. Monk Bond

The Monk Bond is a slight variant of the Flemish bond.

  • There are two stretchers between headers in each course.
  • The headers in each course don’t align with the courses above or below it.

8. Zigzag Bond

This bond is used for aesthetic purposes more than functional ones.

  • The zigzag bond is a bond in which the laying of the bricks is done in a zigzag manner. 
  • It offers a good aesthetic appearance and thus is mostly used for paving works in residential masonry constructions, floors, footpaths etc.

9. Diagonal Bond/ Raking Bond

This bond helps to increase the longitudinal stability of thick walls built in English bonds.

  • In the diagonal bond, the bricks are laid at any other angle except zero or ninety degrees. 

There are various types of arrangements and bonds for brickwork, each having their own qualities and serving their own purposes.

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