Category: Bricklaying

DIY Bricklaying For Beginners - Bricklaying Patterns

  • By Householders Guide
  • 7th November, 2011
Bricklaying Patterns

The use of bricklaying patterns to create visually appealing patios and other flat surfaces made from brick are centuries old, and to this day do-it-yourself enthusiasts still enjoy projects that involve bricklaying, because the results are so satisfying whilst being useful at the same time.

Bricklaying patterns are not restricted to patios, but can also be used in the actual construction of walls. By simply using a standard brick, normally three inches by two inches by six inches, in different ways, interesting patterns can be created.

Basic Terminology
Tackling projects that involve bricklaying patterns it is important to understand a few basic terms. Firstly, it is necessary to know the difference between the terms stretcher and header; a stretcher is a brick that has been placed so that its two inch by six inch face is exposed, whilst a header is placed with the two inch by three inch showing.

Most bricklaying patterns are based upon three basic patterns; the stretcher bond where the bricks are laid so that only the stretchers are seen, the Flemish bond where the bricks are laid with each row alternating between stretchers and headers and the English bond where the bricks are laid with courses of headers that alternates with courses of stretchers. These three basic bricklaying patters form the basis for most of the popular modern day patterns.

Laying a Flemish Bond
Of all the various bricklaying patterns, the Flemish bond is one of the most popular and a favorite with DIY beginners. The first course, or row, must be two bricks thick, and it consists of alternate stretchers and headers. The next row is done in the same way, but all the headers are aligned to the center of the stretchers in the previous row, and the entire process is repeated in this manner. It would be necessary to close every other row with a three quarter brick to ensure a straight edge.

The English Bond
The English bond is another bricklaying pattern that is easy to master and that produce a pleasing result. The first row is two bricks thick, all stretchers, and the next row use headers only, but centered on the stretchers of the previous row. This process is repeated until the project is finished.

The Stack Bond
This pattern is not considered to be structurally sound, and should only be used for patios and driveways and other decorative purposes. It is one of the easiest brick laying patters, using only stretchers. Each row of stretchers is aligned with the row below it so that all the joints run vertically.

Laying an American Bond
This pattern allows for a little bit of imagination, but should easily be manageable by beginner bricklayers. The first row, or course, should be two bricks thick, using stretchers only. The next row is also stretchers, but they should be centered to the joint of the row below. This process is repeated a few times; the number of rows done in this manner is up to the bricklayer. After a few rows of stretchers, each row centered on the joint of the previous row, and then a row of headers is laid. The process is repeated, a number of rows of stretchers, followed by a single row of headers.

Bricklaying can be a worthwhile, and satisfying skill to learn and do-it-yourself enthusiasts should have very little trouble in mastering the basic bricklaying patterns.

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