Brickwork Bonds

The way in which a brick is laid
– the brickwork bond –
also strongly influences the appearance
of the facade.
A well thoughtout brickwork bond
gives projects extra style
and character.

Brickwork bonds not only have an aesthetic effect; The choice in brickwork bond can also influence the budget. More complicated bonds, which usually necessitate more grinding work, can substantially raise the price.

Stretcher bond

This is the most common and used brickwork method. The vertical joints are staggered each time by half a brick. There is hardly any loss of material because the bricks do not have to be cut to size.

Stack bond (or stacked bond)

This bond visually emphasises the vertical aspect of the masonry. The facing bricks are laid one on top of the other so that not only the horizontal edge joints, but also the vertical head joints are continuous.

This can be done with stretchers as well as with headers. However, the latter will up the price due to all the grinding and cutting work.

As there is no bonding, typically stainless steel ladder reinforcement is built into every third bed-joint.

Raking stretcher bond

A variation on the stretcher bond. The vertical joints are staggered each time by a quarter or three-quarters of the brick’s length. Aesthetically this gives a descending movement to the bond. This can even be carried out to the left and to the right. At a certain height you change the direction in order to break the long bonds of slanting bricks. This way you create a zigzag effect.

By laying a quarter-closer, the direction of the ‘toothing’ changes, descending to the left or to the right. In this example, a quarter-closer has been used every two courses, resulting in ‘racking’ (a standing tooth).

English bond

This bond maintains a pattern of headers and stretchers. A course of stretchers alternates with a course of headers.

The stretcher course is each time started with a king-closer (three-quarter brick).

English bond is preferred pattern for viaducts, bridges, embankment walls as well as other civil engineering architectures.

Block bond

A combination of the stretcher and stack bond. Two courses are laid in stack bond and the next two courses are laid while staggering by half a brick.

You can be very creative with brickwork bonds. Here the block bond has 4 courses, but it alternates with a horizontal-vertical stack bond.

English cross bond

As the name hints at, crosses are visible in this pattern. They are formed by alternating a course of headers with a course of stretchers, just like in English bond.

There are 2 variations:

English cross bond with king-closer:

A king-closer is laid at the end of the stretcher course. Every 4 courses a header is laid next to the king-closer. This way the bricks are staggered by half a brick.

English cross bond with queen closer:

The king-closer is NOT placed in the stretcher course but in the header course. Furthermore, it is not laid all the way at the end, but next to the last header of the course.
Every 4 courses a header is laid in the stretcher course so that the bricks are staggered by half a brick.

Irregular bond

As the name hints at, there is no pattern in this bond. Various lengths of bricks are used, but never smaller than a quarter brick. There is only one rule: The vertical head joints may not continue into the next brickwork course, but must stagger each time. This brickwork bond is recommended/proper bond when laying or gluing facing bricks that are characterised by a low dimensional stability. When using recycled bricks you sometimes have no other choice.

Monk bond

An elegant and often used bond with a simpler pattern. All the courses consist consecutively of a header and two stretchers. As a result, the headers are aligned every second course, resulting in the formation of a ‘procession’.

Compared to the English bond and the English cross bond, the number of headers is limited and therefore the price is lower.

Monk bond was popular in the region of the Baltic Sea until turn of 13th and 14th centuries, then Flemish bond gradually replaced it.

Header bond

All the courses consist only of headers that are staggered by half a brick. The header bond is sometimes combined with the regular stretcher bond in order to create a curve in the wall in an easier way, for example.
In the past header bond was often used for curved brickwork and buildings of high quality.

Flemish bond

This bond resembles the monk bond. It differs in that all courses consist consecutively of a header and a stretcher. An often used bond that includes a little more cutting work.

This bond is weaker than English bond at one brick thick.

French bond

Every course alternately consists of a stretcher and two headers.

No vertical head joints

By laying the facing bricks against each other the head joints disappear and only the edge joint remains. This emphasises the horizontal play with lines of the masonry even more. It is an elegant way of visually lengthening a building.