Looking at bricks

A dictionary of bricklayers' standard patterns for walls and pavements

Bricks can be used to make walls or to pave horizontal surfaces.  In wall building structural considerations are often important.  In pavements and non-loadbearing walls aesthetics drives pattern making. Common patterns in walls and pavements, using standard 2 by 3 by 6 bricks, are illustrated here.

Terminology
Walls
Pavements
Links and references

Basic terminology:
Stretcher:  A brick placed so its 2 by 6 face is exposed
Header: A brick placed so its 2 by 3 face is exposed
Stretcher Bond: Bricks laid so only stretchers are seen.
Flemish Bond: Bricks laid with each row or course alternating stretchers and headers.
English Bond: Bricks laid with courses of headers alternating with courses of stretchers.

Brick Patterns Used in Walls

Description Illustration

Running or Stretcher Bond:
A pattern made using only stretchers, with the joins in each row (or course) centred on the bricks in the row below.  Not structurally strong or aesthetically interesting, but very very common.  Often used for curtain walls one brick thick. Mathematically this pattern displays the symmetry cmm.
ANS

Raking Stretcher Bond
Like Running Bond, but instead of the overlap between bricks being half a brick, it is less, usually a third or a fourth of a brick. Mathematically this pattern displays the symmetry p2.
 
Fllor of the Coffee Merchant, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.WNS
Flemish Stretcher Bond
Like Running Bond, but with single rows of Flemish Bond (alternating headers and stretchers) every n rows.   


Library wall, Wolfville, Nova ScotiaWNS
Mixed Garden Bond
Like Flemish Stretcher Bond, but with the single rows of Flemish Bond arranged so that the headers are not above each other.   


Please contribute to this web site by sending me a photograph of this pattern.  Credit will be given..  <david.reid@acadiau.ca>
Common Bond or American Bond or English Garden Wall:
A pattern made like Running Bond but with a row of headers replacing every nth course (n is usually odd).  The headers are centred on the headers in the row of headers below.  Strong.
 
Common Bond ANS
Header Bond:
A pattern made like Running Bond but headers instead of stretchers.

HeaderHAM

Stack Bond:
A pattern made up of rows of stretchers with each stretcher centred on the stretcher below it. All joins run vertically down the entire wall. Not a strong bond at all, it is used only for decorative purposes.  Mathematically this pattern displays the symmetry pmm.

(Thanks to Juli Bruno for editing this image)
Stack ANS

Flemish Bond:
A pattern made using alternating stretchers and headers, with the headers of each row centred on the stretchers of the row below.  Very strong.  Used for walls two bricks thick. Mathematically this pattern displays the symmetry cmm.

For more photos and information see the Canterbury Buildings web site


ANS

Monk Bond
A variant of Flemish Bond, with two stretchers between the headers in each row, and the headers centred over the join between the two stretchers in the row below.

Old Royal Bank? Wolfville Nova ScotiaWNS

Flemish Garden Wall Bond
A variant of Flemish Bond, with three stretchers between each header, and the header centred over the stretcher in the middle of a group of three in the row below.   
 
 Flemish Garden Wall BondSB

Dutch Bond (Note that English Cross Bond is sometimes called Dutch Bond as well)
A variant of Flemish Bond, with the headers not centred above the stretchers of the row below. Instead the headers are nearly above each other, shifted over by half their width.
Please contribute to this web site by sending me a photograph of this pattern.  Credit will be given.  <david.reid@acadiau.ca>

English Bond:
A pattern in which rows of stretchers alternate with rows of headers. The joins between the stretchers are centred on the headers in the row below.  All the stretchers are centred above the stretchers below, and all the headers are centred on the headers below.
For more photos and information see the Canterbury Buildings web site
English BondHAM

English Cross Bond (sometimes called Dutch Bond, but different from the Dutch Bond described above):
A pattern similar to English Bond, in which rows of stretchers alternate with rows of headers. It is different in that the stretchers are centred on the joins between the stretchers immediately below them, so that alternating rows of stretchers are aligned. 
English BondHAM

Double English Cross Bond
A pattern similar to English Cross Bond, but with two rows of stretchers alternating with two rows of headers. Where a row of headers is above or below a row of stretchers the stretchers are centred on the headers. Where a row of stretchers is above or below a row of stretchers, one row is shifted over by one fourth the width of a stretcher. Where a row of headers is above or below a row of headers, one row is shifted over by one half the width of a header. Mathematically this pattern displays the symmetry p2.  

Please contribute to this web site by sending me a photograph of this pattern.  Credit will be given..  <david.reid@acadiau.ca>
Please contribute to this web site by suggesting additional patterns  <david.reid@acadiau.ca>

 

Brick Patterns Used in Pavements

Description Illustration

Herringbone: 
A pattern composed of diagonal rows of bricks, alternating direction. Mathematically this pattern displays the symmetry pgg.
Herringbone is sometimes used in "nogging" in timber frame buildings.  See the Canterbury Buildings web site

WNS

Basket weave
:

A pattern made up of pairs of bricks placed in a square grid so that the join between each pair is perpendicular to the join of the four pairs around it. Mathematically this pattern displays the symmetry p4g.

(Thanks to Juli Bruno for editing this image)
Basket WeaveWNS
Pinwheel
A pattern made of four bricks surrounding a square half brick, repeated in a square grid. Mathematically this pattern displays the symmetry p4.
temp 
 
Photos of this pattern can be seen on the web site of PortStone Paver Systems.

Please contribute to this web site by sending me a photograph of this pattern.  Credit will be given. <david.reid@acadiau.ca>
De LaRobia or Della Robbia Weave

A pattern made of four bricks surrounding a square eighth brick, resembling woven cloth. Mathematically this pattern displays the symmetry p4g.

derobia
 
JLL

PinwheelCW
Broken Basket Weave

This pattern was contributed by Josh L. Link who came up with it independently, and who calls it "Broken Basket Weave". He was inspired by Della Robbia. He wrote "If you know what the correct name of [this] bond ... I would like to know. Until someone corrects me on the name I am claiming it for my own. But with all of the genius craftsmen from the past I would say I am guilty of wishful thinking."
Broken Basket Weave
JLL
Please contribute to this web site by suggesting additional patterns    <david.reid@acadiau.ca>

Links and references:
Walton & Sons Masonry Typical Brick Bonds

diydata.com: Brick Bonds
Field, Robert. (1999). Geometric patterns from tiles and brickwork. Tarquin publications: Stradbroke, Diss, Norfolk, UK.
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