The 10 Most Popular Types of Brick Bonds Used in Masonry

Brick bonds are basically brick patterns. They don’t always just apply to walls but also to patios, paths, and other masonry projects, such as the use of concrete blocks, etc. Here we’ll focus on those used in wall construction.

Each type of brick bond offers a unique look and visual effect to a brick home or building. They each bring with them varying types of installation challenges and considerations. Learn about the 10 most popular types of brick bonds used in masonry here.

Types of Brick Bonds

Brick bonds are important for ensuring the strength of a structure, as well as its durability. They also create uniformity within structures, making them visually appealing in their brick patterns and composition. Most brick bonds use the same or similar size bricks.

  1. Stretcher/Running

This is one of the simplest types of bonds to lay. You can use this for constructing walls of half-brick thickness.

We see here there are different types of wall construction using the stretcher bond (aka running bond):

  • Chimney stacks
  • Partition walls
  • Sleeper walls
  • Division walls (internal dividers)

The stretcher bond doesn’t work well for your stand-alone walls but should be considered for thinner types of walls. Make sure the thickness of these walls is over half the total length of your brick.

  1. Header

With a header bond, you’ll want to overlap corresponding to 1/2 width of your brick. You will need to use three-quarter brickbats as quoins in alternative courses. You’re going to see this kind of bond used mainly for building one-brick-thick walls.

  1. English

Here we see stretchers and headers are laid in an alternating pattern. With English brick bonding, we see headers laid over the stretchers in a centered manner. Each alternate row will be aligned vertically.

You’ll want to use a quoin closer to avoid vertical joint continuousness.

Note that a quoin close brick is one that’s cut in half lengthwise and placed in the corners of brick walls. This type is used primarily for strong, one-brick-thick walls.

  1. Flemish

For this more complex bond, alternate stretchers and headers make up each course. Center your header on a stretcher. This should happen above and below, and every other course should have a header at its corner.

There are 2 types of flemish bonds in masonry: single and double.

  1. Stack

Here bricks are laid one on top of the other, precisely aligned. This offers less strength but is great for decorative purposes. This is a non-load-bearing bond.

  1. Dutch

This is a modified English cross bond. It’s made up of headers and stretchers, laid in an alternating fashion. These are perfect for walls holding excess loads.

  1. Common/America

This one is a lot like the English Bond, but it uses headers every 5 or 6 courses. They’re centered with the one before it and can sometimes use queen closers to achieve sufficient offset in a common bond.

  1. Facing

This one is used mainly for thicker walls when you’re using bricks of different thicknesses. In a facing bond, you’ll see one heading course following many stretching courses. Remember that the load distribution isn’t uniform here and can lead to an unequal settlement.

  1. Diagonal

This type is best for walls of 2 to 4 brick thickness. It’s normally seen every 5th or 7th course right along the height of your wall. Corners should be in contact with your stretchers.

  1. Rat Trap

Here you see bricks are laid vertically. This results in a hollow space, or cavity, in the wall. The purpose of this is thermal insulation.

Because of these gaps, they require fewer materials yet look a lot like the Flemish Bond. This type requires skilled labor and great care.


Consider the purpose of the wall, the look you want, and other unique strengths and weaknesses different types possess. Before you put money into a project, go through all your types of brick bonds options.

Aesthetic beauty and strength of a structure depend on the bond. The brickwork is defined by it. Next time you’re walking around town, try to name the bonds used on brick homes and buildings so you can get to know them face to facade.

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