Standard Brick Sizes

A guide to standard brick sizes and bonds

 

When it comes to standard brick sizes, there are quite a few more variations than you may have initially thought. Not only do standard brick sizes vary from country to country, we also have different ways of building with bricks, special bricks, different brick bonds, different mortar options, and different ways of determining brick dimensions. We will take a closer look at all of these factors in the following post. 

Standard Brick Sizes

 

UK

 

A standard UK brick size is 215mm long x 102.5mm wide x 65mm high according to British Standards. 

 

Standard UK Brick Size

 

The length of the brick is equal to twice its width plus one 10mm mortar joint, and three times its hight plus two standard mortar joints. 

 

To learn more about coordinating brick dimensions see our Brick Dimension Tables Explained Guide – with free pdf download. 

 

USA 

 

In case you are wondering, a standard US brick size is 8 inches long x 3 5/8 inches wide x 2 1/4 inches high. 

 

Standard US Brick Size

 

Australia

 

A standard Australian brick size is 230mm long x 110mm wide x 76mm high.

 

Standard AUS Brick Size

 

For the purpose of this post, however, we will be focusing on UK standards. 

Special Bricks

 

Special bricks are used to create different designs, shapes, features and detailing. There are a few British Standard special bricks that are widely available, these include:

  • Angles
  • Arches
  • Bonding
  • Bullnose
  • Plinth

 

 

Credit Forterra https://www.forterra.co.uk

 

It is also possible to get non standard bespoke bricks from different brick suppliers. 

Brick Bonds

 

Bricks can be laid in many different ways, creating a variety of patterns. 

 

The most popular brick bond patterns in the UK are:

 

  • Stretcher bond
  • Stack bond
  • English bond
  • Flemish bond
  • Header bond

Stretcher bond

Stack bond

English bond

Flemish bond

Header bond

Types of Brick Mortar

 

Mortar joints can be finished with different profiles. The purpose of the finishing joints is to ensure rain is deflected away from the joint, but also there is an aesthetic element to the joint design too. 

 

The most commonly used mortar joints in the UK are:

 

  • Recessed (not suited to exposed areas)
  • Weathered Struck
  • Bucket handle or curved recessed
  • Flush

 

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2 Comments

  1. I love this blog, thanks for publishing these articles. It’s so interesting to compare the UK approach to architecture and construction with the US practices I know.

    Here in North Carolina, we traditionally use lots of brick because the soil has a very high percentage of (red) clay. But in 35 years, I’ve never seen a frogged version. Our brick always has three cores.

    Another interesting variation is the size. We differentiate “modular” (7.625 inches long) from “standard” (8 inches long). Ironically, standard is almost never used. All the buildings I measure or design use modular so that the six orientations (stretcher, header, rowlock, shiner, soldier, sailor) all course without cuts. I can’t even find any local brick suppliers that sell the standard size. The only time I might see it is where longer veneer stretchers are needed to match larger 16″L CMU units behind and there aren’t any other orientations.

    We’re quickly loosing our brick traditions here. The labor is expensive and the detailing quite complicated with modern concerns for building envelope issues. Properly done, long, thermally broken brick ties are necessary to reach beyond 4 inches of rigid insulation and a healthy 2 inch air/water cavity behind the brick. And, contrary to the general public’s perception, brick doesn’t stop bulk water, so a quality water resistant barrier (WRB) is still required back behind the cavity on the face of framing. It’s hard to coordinate this with the brick ties.

    Reply
    • Thank you Steve, really interesting to hear your comments. Much appreciated. Emma

      Reply

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