|Worcester Guildhallfigure of Queen Anne|
(ell brown on Flickr)
Although I knew there would be differences, I was surprised how many there were (see the list below - and that's not all). Now, some might argue that the differences aren't all that important; after all, the three lengths of Norman brick - 11-7/16, 11-1/2, and 11-5/8 inches - are all considered nominal 12-inch. Similarly, 3-1/2 and 3-5/8 inches would be considered nominal 4-inch.
However, looking at it from another perspective, the three nominal 12-inch lengths give mortar widths of 9/16, 1/2, and 3/8 inch - the widest being 50 percent larger than the smallest. Depending on the mortar color, the appearance could be quite different.
|Courtesy Brick Institute of America|
Bond patterns suffer the same problem that affects brick sizes; they also have various names that are not consistent. You might think that running bond is a universal term, meaning brick courses that lap each other by half a unit, but it's not. Another term used for this pattern is stretcher bond, and running bond itself comes in at least two flavors - 1/2 running bond and 1/3 running bond. Although it is possible to lap brick at any dimension, laps that are multiples of the brick width are most efficient and attractive, as they don't end up with odd pieces at the corners.
Longer brick provide more options for bond patterns. A 1/2 running bond is similar in appearance to that of 8-inch brick, though the head joints are obviously farther apart. If each successive course is offset four inches from the one below in the same direction, a stair-like effect appears. If the courses are offset four inches in alternating directions, pairs of vertically aligned joints appear. All visual effects are emphasized by high contrast between the mortar and brick colors.
|A good looking bond pattern, but not what was expected.|
Gregg Borchelt, President and CEO of the Brick Industry Association (BIA), adds, "Actual dimensions are just that, and are not known until the brick is delivered. Specified dimensions have tolerances in the ASTM standard for that unit, and the combination of specified dimensions and tolerances give a range for actual dimensions."
Refer to BIA Technical Notes 30 - Bonds and Patterns in Brickwork for more information. Whenever you're working with brick, it's best to refer to BIA Technical Notes.
|3||2-5/8||9-5/8||King, Economy Modular|
|3||2-3/4||9-5/8||Engineer King, King|
|3||3-5/8||11-5/8||Saxon, 3-Inch Utility, 3" Bed Economy Norman|
|3-1/8||2-3/4||7-5/8||Slim Jumbo Modular|
|3-1/2||3-1/2||11-7/16||Norman Titan, 100 Saxon/Utility 4"|
|3-1/2||3-1/2||11-1/2||Norman Titan, 100 Saxon/Utility 4"|
|3-1/2||3-1/2||15-1/2||100 Giant 4"|
|3-5/8||2-1/4||7-5/8||Modular, Standard Modular|
|3-5/8||2-5/8||7-5/8||Engineer, Engineer Modular, English, Oversize, Full Bed Depth Queen, Danish Hand Mould|
|3-5/8||2-5/8||9-5/8||Full Bed King|
|3-5/8||2-3/4||7-5/8||Engineer, Engineer Modular, English, Oversize, Oversize Modular, Full Bed Depth Queen|
|3-5/8||2-13/16||7-5/8||Engineer, Engineer Modular|
|3-5/8||2-13/16||11-5/8||Engineer Norman, Norwegian|
|3-5/8||3-5/8||7-5/8||Economy Modular, Closure, Econo, Modular Economo|
|3-5/8||3-5/8||11-1/2||Economy, Jumbo Utility, Saxon, Utility|
|3-5/8||3-5/8||11-5/8||Economy, Economy Norman, Utility, Jumbo Utility, Saxon, Giant Norman, Monarch|
|3-5/8||3-5/8||15-5/8||100 Giant 4", Meridian, Monarch|