Types of Bonds in Brick Masonry

Brick masonry is built with bricks bonded together with mortar. For temporary sheds mud mortar may be used but for all permanent buildings lime or cement mortars are used.

The various types of bonds generally used in brick masonry are

  1. Stretcher bond
  2. Header bond
  3. English bond and
  4. Flemish bond

1. Stretcher Bond

A stretcher is the longer face of the brick as seen in the elevation. In the brick of size 190 mm × 90 mm × 90 mm, 190 mm × 90 mm face is the stretcher. In stretcher bond masonry all the bricks are arranged in stretcher courses as shown in Fig-1. However care should be taken to break vertical joints. This type of construction is useful for the construction half brick thick partition wall.

Fig-1 Stretcher Bond
Fig-1 Stretcher Bond

2. Header Bond

A header is the shorter face of the brick as seen in the elevation. In a standard brick it is 90 mm × 90 mm face. In header bond brick masonry all the bricks are arranged in the header courses as shown in Fig-2. This type of bond is useful for the construction of one brick thick walls.

Fig-2 Header Bond
Fig-2 Header Bond


3. English Bond

In this alternate courses consist of headers and stretchers. This is considered to be the strongest bond. Hence it is commonly used bond for the walls of all thicknesses. To break continuity of vertical joints a brick is cut lengthwise into two halves and used in the beginning and end of a wall after first header. This is called queen closer. (Refer Fig-3). Fig-3 shows typical one brick and one and half brick thick wall with English bond.

Fig-3 English Bond
Fig-3 English Bond

Also read: How to Calculate Safe Bearing Capacity of Soil on Site?

4. Flemish Bond

In this type of bond each course comprises of alternate header and stretcher [Fig-4]. Alternate courses start with stretcher and header. To break the vertical joints queen closers are required, if a course starts with header. Every header is centrally supported on the stretcher below it.

Flemish bonds may be further classified as

  • Double Flemish Bond
  • Single Flemish Bond.

In case of double flemish bond, both faces of the wall have flemish look, i.e. each course consist of alternate header and stretcher, whereas single flemish bond outer faces of walls have flemish look whereas inner faces have look of English bond [Fig-4 (a), (b)].

Fig-4 Flemish Bond
Fig-4 Flemish Bond

Construction of flemish bond needs greater skill. It gives more pleasing appearance. But it is not as strong as English bond. If only pointing is to be used for finished wall, flemish bond may be used to get good aesthetic view. If plastering is going to be used, it is better to use English bond.


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