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The Different Types of Brick Bonds: Which is Right for Your Project?

Updated: May 20

types of brick bonds

Brick bonds play a crucial role in the structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of brickwork. When it comes to construction projects involving brick, choosing the right brick bond is essential. The type of bond used determines the pattern in which the bricks are laid, affecting the strength, durability, and visual impact of the finished structure. In this article, we will explore the different types of brick bonds, their characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages, to help you make an informed decision for your project.

Brick bonds refer to the arrangement and pattern of bricks in a wall or structure. They ensure stability by distributing the load evenly and enhancing the overall strength of the construction. Additionally, different brick bonds contribute to the visual aesthetics of the project, allowing for creative designs and patterns.

Types of brick bonds and their uses

Stretcher Bond

One of the popular types of brick bonds is the stretcher bond. In this bond, bricks are laid in a row with their long faces parallel to the face of the wall. Stretcher bond is relatively simple and cost-effective to construct, making it a popular choice for basic brickwork. However, it may not be suitable for structures requiring high strength or intricate designs.

English Bond

The English bond is a traditional brick bonding pattern that alternates rows of stretchers and headers. Each row starts with a header, which is a brick laid with its short face exposed, followed by a row of stretchers. This pattern provides good structural stability and enhances the appearance of the wall. English bond is commonly used in load-bearing walls and is considered visually appealing.

Flemish Bond

Flemish bond is another popular choice for brickwork. It consists of alternating headers and stretchers in each course, with each header centered over the stretcher below it. This bond creates a visually striking pattern with the exposed headers forming a consistent vertical line. Flemish bond offers good structural strength and is often used for decorative purposes.

Header Bond

Header bond, as the name suggests, involves the exclusive use of header bricks in each course. Headers are bricks laid with their short face exposed. This bond is primarily used for constructing non-load-bearing walls, such as garden walls or partitions. While header bond lacks the structural strength of other bonds, it can create interesting visual effects and is relatively easy to construct.

Stack Bond

Stack bond, also known as running bond, is a simple brick bonding pattern where all bricks are laid in a straight line, with each brick centered over the joint between the two bricks below it. This bond creates a clean and uniform look, but it lacks the interlocking strength provided by other bond types. Stack bond is commonly used for veneer or cladding applications.

Garden Wall Bond

Garden wall bond is a variation of the English bond that features three stretchers between each header. This bond provides a compromise between structural strength and visual appeal. It is often used in garden walls, boundary walls, and other non-load-bearing structures.

Basket Weave Bond

Basket weave bond is a decorative bond that consists of pairs of bricks laid adjacent to each other in both horizontal and vertical directions, forming a woven pattern. This bond is primarily used for non-structural, low-load applications such as pathways, patios, or interior decorative elements. It adds visual interest and texture to the surface.

English Cross Bond

English cross bond is a variation of the English bond that incorporates a square or diamond-shaped pattern within each course. This bond creates a visually appealing design with increased stability. It is often used for decorative purposes, particularly in walls that require an extra touch of elegance.

Flemish Cross Bond

Similar to English cross bond, Flemish cross bond includes a square or diamond-shaped pattern within each course. The main difference is the alternating placement of headers and stretchers in each course. This bond offers a combination of strength and visual interest, making it suitable for various architectural styles.

Diagonal Bond

Diagonal bond is a brick bonding pattern where bricks are laid diagonally, forming an angular design. This bond is visually striking and adds a unique touch to the structure. It is commonly used in feature walls or accent areas to create a focal point. However, diagonal bond requires careful planning and skilled craftsmanship to ensure structural integrity.

Rat Trap Bond

Rat trap bond is an innovative brick bonding pattern that uses bricks laid on edge, creating triangular voids within the wall. This design reduces material consumption and enhances thermal insulation properties. Rat trap bond is often used in sustainable construction projects or areas with a focus on energy efficiency.

Dutch Bond

Dutch bond combines the characteristics of both Flemish bond and English bond. It alternates rows of headers and stretchers, similar to Flemish bond, but also includes a row of stretchers between each header course, like English bond. This bond provides good structural strength and a visually appealing pattern suitable for various architectural styles.


When choosing the right types of brickwork bond for your project, several factors need to be considered. These include the structural requirements, the desired visual appeal, the level of skill available, and the type of bricks being used. It is crucial to consult with a professional architect or professional bricklayer who can provide expert advice based on your specific project requirements. By selecting the appropriate brick bond, you can ensure a structurally sound and visually stunning result.


What are the most common types of brick bonds?

The most common types of brick bonds include:

  • Running Bond: This is the simplest and most commonly used bond, characterized by staggered joints between the bricks, mainly used for its strength and ease of installation.

  • Flemish Bond: This bond alternates headers and stretchers in each row, providing a more decorative finish.

  • English Bond: This type of bond alternates between rows of headers and stretchers, known for its robustness and used in load-bearing walls.

  • Stack Bond: Bricks are stacked directly on top of each other with aligned joints, mainly used for aesthetic purposes rather than structural integrity.


How do I choose the right brick bond for my construction project?

The choice of brick bond depends on both aesthetic and structural considerations. If structural strength is paramount, such as in load-bearing walls, consider using the English or Flemish bond. For decorative or veneer applications, a stack bond or running bond might be more appropriate. The overall architectural style of the building should also influence the bond choice.

What is the difference between stretcher and header bricks in brick bonds?

In brick terminology, a "stretcher" is a brick laid horizontally with its long narrow side facing outward. A "header" is a brick laid flat with its end facing outward. The arrangement of stretchers and headers in different patterns creates various types of brick bonds, each with different visual and structural properties.

Are there any brick bonds that are better for specific climates?

In climates with severe freeze-thaw cycles, bonds with more overlap and interlocking, like the Flemish and English bonds, may provide better durability and resistance to weathering. These bonds help distribute loads and accommodate movements due to thermal expansion and contraction, reducing the risk of cracking.

Can I mix different types of brick bonds in one project?

Yes, mixing different types of brick bonds can be done creatively to enhance the design of a project. For example, using a sturdy bond like the English bond for the structural walls and a decorative bond like the stack bond for accent panels or features. However, it's important to ensure the transitions are well planned and executed to maintain structural integrity and aesthetic coherence.

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