Brick Masonry

The laying of bricks bonded together with mortar is known as brick masonry.

Bricks are made of clay in building construction and architectural structures.

The strength of brick masonry depends on the bonding material and the method of Brick bonds adopted.

Mortar is a mixture of cement and sand or time and sand, or a mixture of sand, where strength is of importance, cement mortar is used.

Common terms used in brick masonry:

Course: A course is a horizontal layer of brick in a wall.


Joint: This wall is a junction of two or more bricks in construction.

Header: It is a brick for masonry work with its largest length at the right angle.

Stretcher: It is brick with its longest side parallel to the face of the masonry work.

Frog in brick masonry: A small depression purposely formed on one side of the brick is called a frog.

The frog is made for two purposes:

The name of the brickmaker may be incised in a frog.

The frog forms a key between two courses of brickwork and is completely filled with mortar when laying bricks.

Face: The surface of a wall exposed to the weather is called a face.

Facing: The material used in the face for the wall is faced.

Back: The internal surface of the wall that is not exposed to the weather is called back.

Backing: The material that makes up the back is known as backing.

Bed: The lower surface of a brick when it is levelled is called a bed.

Hearting: The part of the wall between the facing and the backing is called the hearing.

Closer: At the end of the work of brick courses, a piece of wick placed to close the bond in the construction of masonry is called ‘closer’.

Lap: It is defined as the horizontal distance between vertical joints; if the lap length is 1/4, the bond construction is good.

Bats: It is defined as a brick portion when widened.

video credits

Types of Brick Masonry:

Acid resistant bricks:

Acid resistant bricks are specially made for chemical plants, it is made from a mixture of refractory clay, felspar and some form of silica such as white sand and flint.

Engineering Bricks:

Engineering bricks are those that are mare than normal clay manufacturing bricks.

These Clay Bricks are less porous and absorb less water.


These bricks are very hard; therefore these bricks are used for paving in construction work.

Silica Bricks:

These bricks have a very high percentage of silica ranging from about 95 to 97%; small amount of lime, about 1 to 2%, is added to serve as a binding material.

Silica bricks can stand up to high temperatures up to about 2000 °C; therefore these bricks are used in the construction of chimneys.

Refractory bricks:

Refractory bricks can withstand temperatures up to 1700 ° C; these bricks are therefore used in the manufacture of lime flakes, stove and various types of furnaces used in the metallurgical process.

These types of bricks are manufactured in brick kilns or brick kilns.

Sand-Lime Bricks:

These Sand Lime Bricks are very strong and the hard bricks produced by a process have a chemical reaction and do not have a mere mechanical mixture under pressure.

These bricks are stronger than clay bricks and are similar in colour and texture with sharp edges; therefore these bricks are used for decorative work due to its fine texture and uniform colour.

Blue Bricks:

These bricks are very hard and dense, made from the soil with 7 to 10% iron oxide; these bricks are fired at a temperature of 1250 ° C.

Blue bricks are used for heavy engineering construction work such as bridges etc.

Coloured Bricks:

This type of bricks is rarely used in India, used for decoration work in brick masonry.

This type of bricks have cylindrical holes throughout their thickness; they are light in weight and require less amount of soil for preparation.

Perforated Bricks:

These bricks are mainly used in the manufacture of the panel of bricks for lightweight structures and multi-storey frame structure.

Fire bricks:

These Fire bricks are used for the manufacture of stoves, furnaces and chimneys where bricks are required to resist very high temperatures.

Hollow Brick or Hollow Block:

These type of bricks are also called cavity bricks or cellular bricks.

 It has a wall thickness of about 20 mm to 25 nm and is prepared from special homogeneous clay.

They are lighter in weight, also reducing the transmission of heat, sound and damp.

These hollow bricks are used in the construction of brick masonry.

Fly-ash bricks:

Fly-ash is a fine powder thrown as a large amount of waste material at a thermal power station.

The Fly-ash looks like a pozzolana, it is acidic in nature and its main components are silica, aluminium oxide and ferrous oxide.

Small quantities of fly-ash, lime, and sand and magnesium chloride are used as chemical accelerators in the process of making fly-ash bricks.

Fly-ash, sand and lime are mixed together in the ratio of 8O: 13: 7; hydraulic presses are used to make hydraulic bricks.

Semi-dried bricks are cured in a steam chamber at the appropriate pressure and temperature.

Fly ash Bricks are superior to traditional burnt bricks. In size, technical specifications, compression strength and impermeability.

These bricks are lighter in weight and 10 to 15% cheaper than traditional bricks.

Types of Brick Masonry

Following points require for good Brick Masonry:

  • A good brick masonry should be used which are of a sound, hard, well-burnt and hardened with uniform colour, shape and size.
  • The bricks should be compact, homogeneous, pores free, cracks, defects, air bubbles and stone lumps; these bricks should be soaked in water for at least two hours before use.
  • In brickwork, bricks should be placed on their beds with frogs.
  • The brick course should really focus on horizontal and truly vertical joints.
  • Brick walls should be raised evenly with a proper bond; the height of brick masonry construction should not exceed 1.5 meters in a day.
  • Finished brickwork is cured for a period of 1 to 2 week.
  • A good brick should have a fine, compact and uniform texture; when struck with a hammer, it should give a fine metallic sound, when dropped from a height of about 1 meter on a brick, it should not break.
  • Good brickwork should have compressive relative strength and durability.
  • It should have maximum resistance to weathering.
  • Good brickwork should be fire-resistant.

Advantages of brick masonry:

  1. Brick masonry is cheaper than stone masonry.
  2. The bricks are of similar size.
  3. Brick blocks do not require any dressing.
  4. Bricks are very light in weight.
  5. No complicated lifting equipment is required for brickwork.
  6. There is no problem with its availability.
  7. They do not require transportation for long distances.
  8. Brick can be made by less skilled labourers.
  9. The bonding strength is very good and the brickwork is more durable.

Disadvantages of brick masonry:

  1. Time-consuming manufacturing process.
  2. Brick masonry cannot be used in a high seismic zone.
  3. Bricks have very low tensile strength.
  4. Since bricks absorb water easily, it causes fluorescence when not exposed to air.
  5. A rough surface of bricks can cause mould to grow if not cleaned properly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the types of masonry?

Common materials of masonry construction are brick, marble, granite, and stone construction such as limestone, cast stone, concrete block, glass block, and adobe.

How many types of brick masonry are there?

The four types are brickwork in mud, brickwork in cement or lime mortar – IS class, II class and III class.

Which should be avoided in brick masonry?

Vertical joints occur when the end of a brick corresponds to the end of the underlying brick, vertically.
This leads to a wall of low strength cracks can easily be moved along these joints.

What are the types of masonry walls?

1.Load Bearing Masonry Walls.
2.Reinforced Masonry Walls.
3.Hollow Masonry Walls.
4.Composite Masonry Walls.
5.Post-tensioned Masonry Walls.


Brick masonry increases the thermal mass of a building and makes it resistant to fire.

Masonry tends to be heavy and should be built on a strong foundation, such as reinforced concrete to avoid settling and breakage.


Now I’d like to hear from you, which section was new to you or maybe I missed something. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Leave a Comment