Types of Arches

Their are various types of arches used in construction of houses.

The structure constructed with the help of wedge-shaped bricks or stone combined with a mortar that curves over the opening to support the weight of the wall above it, along with the other super-imposed loads is called an arch.

Due to the wedge-shaped portion of bricks or stones, the units support each other and the loads make them more compact and make it possible to transmit the pressure downward in their support.

Different types of arches in houses:

1.Flat arches:

In flat arches, the angle made by skewbacks is 60° with horizontal, hence it makes an equilateral triangle with intrados as the base.

The intrados is actually flat but a slight increase of the camel about 1 cm to 1.5 cm per meter width of the opening is given to the intrados to achieve smaller settlements, while extrados is placed horizontally.

These arches are suitable up to 1.5m for light loads.

2.Brick arches:

Brick arches are mainly classified as rough brick arches, axed brick arches or rough cut brick arches, gauged brick arches and purpose-made brick arches.

These types of arches are classified as rough brick arches and axed brick arches as follows:

A) Rough brick arches:

When the arches are constructed without cutting the ordinary bricks into the shape of voussoirs it is termed as rough brick arches.

In such arches, the joints are made wedge-shaped to obtain the arch curve with more thickness at the extrados and less thickness at intrados.

Due to the greater thickness in the extrados and the lower thickness in the Intrados, the entire view of the arch is not so good-looking or beautiful so this arch is not used for exterior brick masonry work.

B) Axed brick arches:

In Axed brick arch, the brick axe is used to cut the bricks info wedge-shape.

Due to cutting the bricks to the shape of a wedge, the thickness of the joints is similar to the radial line, which is not seen in rough brick arches.

Since bricks are cut to wedge-shapes and not finally dressed, the appearance of this arch is not good-looking or pleasant.

3.Stone arches:

Stone arches are commonly used for stone and brick structures, door and window openings & porches, while these types of arches are classified as follows:

A) Rubble arches:

These rubble arches are constructed with the rubble stones which are dressed by hammer and made roughly to required shape and size of the voussoirs.

B) Ashlar arches:

When the stones are dressed completely to make them into proper shape and when such stones used in the construction of arches, it is termed as ashlar arches.

4.Gauged arches:

In this gauged arch, wedge shape arch is accurately prepared.

Hard bricks cannot be used in such an arch because it is more difficult to cut the hard bricks to an accurate and precise wedge shape.

In stonework, stones are dressed to a true wedge shape, sometimes bricks are specially made in a wedge shape, these specially made bricks are called rubber bricks which are directly used in arch construction.

5.Semi-circular arches types:

In semi-circular arch, the center lies on the springing line and curve so obtained is like a semi-circle.

In these arches, skewback is horizontal hence load transferal to the abutment is completely in a vertical direction.

6.Relieving arches:

This relieving arches is specially constructed to relieve the lintel from a load of masonry hence a timber lintel is required to place over the wider opening.

These arches are generally constructed above the lintel as the size of the lintel due to the provision of the relieving arch can be reduced.

7.Corbel Arches:

Due to its shape, this type is termed as corbel arch.

These types of arches are used in each course are cantilevered or corbelled one over the other until the two symmetrical sides meet or intersect at point ‘O’.

8.Segmental arches:

This segmental arches are the primary type of arches used for buildings by which the center of arch lies under the springing line.

Within the segmental arch, the truss transferred in inclined direction to the abutment.

9.Horse Shoe Arches:

Horse shoe arch is a horseshoe shape that curves more than a half-circle, it is generally considered for vastu provisions.

10.Pointed Arches:

Pointed arches is also known as Gothic arch.

In such arch, the circles of two arcs meet at the top hence triangle is formed, it can be either isosceles or equilateral triangle.

11.Venetian arches types:

Venetian arches have pointed arches but its crown is darker than that of the spring which has 4 centres, all situated on the springing line.

12.Florentine Arches:

The florentine arches are semi-circle shape and the remainder of the arch is just like the Venetian arch which has three centre malls situated on the springing line.

13.Stilted Arches:

Silted arches consist of a semi-circular arch with two vertical elements on the spring, the middle of the arch is situated on the horizontal line through the highest of the vertical part.

Also read: Types of Foundation, Types of Trusses & Types of Structures


All types of arches transmit a superimposed load to the pavement through friction between the surfaces of the voussoir and the cohesion of the mortar.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of Constructionor.com, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

1 thought on “Types of Arches”

Leave a Comment