Basic Guide Brick Wall Construction

There are three main types of masonry brick walls, namely cavity, solid, and veneer. Each style of wall has its unique strengths and features. But there is one common element that unites all three. There is one element that unites all three: deterioration. This can be caused by many reasons. As brick repair specialists, our masons want to take this opportunity to describe the three types brick walls and signs that indicate deterioration.

interior brick wall construction and repairs in connecticut
Interior brick walls add character and texutre to any home or building.

Types of Brick Walls Used in Construction


Veneer walls are typically made up of one layer full-sized bricks, tied to steel or wood studs. The structure’s weight is not carried by the brick, but the inner wall. This type of wall serves an aesthetic purpose, and is usually located on the outside of the structure. Because a single-layer wall has low insulation, insulation is attached directly to the studs and is not part of the masonry.


However, solid masonry brick walls have two or more layers, which are attached during the brickmaking process and held together by metal ties, or header bricks. A load-bearing wall is created by placing header bricks parallel to the wall plane. Solid walls are the most durable brick masonry wall, offering brick and mortar durability, wall thickness, strength and bonding. A traditional fireplace is a solid masonry wall.

Next are cavity walls.


Only the outer layers of brick are required. Inner support is also needed. Between the outer layer of brick and the inner support, there is an air gap. The inner support may be another brick wall, wood wall or concrete block wall. Cavity walls make a good masonry system to stop water penetration. The air space acts as a water barrier.


Brick repair in Connecticut can be required for many reasons. The most common reason for brick repair is decay, also known as spalling. Spalling happens when moisture gets trapped within the brick and expands via the freeze/thaw cycle. You must be alert to signs of brick deterioration in order to maintain the integrity of your building. Spelling is not the only sign of brick deterioration.

  • Missing mortar or cracks
  • Delamination
  • Efflorescence refers to white stains caused by water extracting salts in brick.
  • Broken bricks or loose bricks


We can help you, regardless of what kind of brick wall it is, when there are signs of deterioration. We remain the leading team for brick repair expert in Connecticut and are committed to providing single-source solutions, quality workmanship, and safety.

Masonry Repairs and Restoration
Bricklayer worker installing brick masonry on exterior wall with hands and tools

There are many types of common bricks used in construction

Bricks are versatile materials. Bricks have many building uses, including strengthening and stabilizing buildings. They are laid flat and then bonded to make a structure. Bricks average eight inches in length and four to five inches in thickness. These are the most popular types of bricks used for masonry.

Bricks made of Common-Baked Clay

Common Burnt Clay Bricks, the oldest and most common construction material, are still in use. They are used in the construction of a variety structural members, including foundations and columns. The bricks are made by pressing into molds. After drying, they are fired in a firebox. These bricks do not have any special aesthetic appeal and are mostly used for general purpose work. Burnt clay bricks are best used for walls and require plastering.

Sand Lime Bricks

Sand lime bricks are made by high-pressing a mixture sand, lime, and water (no additives) and then autoclaving it to make a white construction material. These bricks offer several advantages over clay bricks. For example, they have a grayish appearance rather than the usual reddish. The shape is smoother and does not require plastering. Sand lime bricks are highly recommended for architects because they offer excellent fire resistance, sound insulation, heat & humidity accumulation, as well as good acoustic performance.

Engineering Bricks

There are two types available in engineering brick: the Class A and more commonly used Class B. This type of brick is not known for its beauty, but rather for its physical characteristics. Engineering bricks are produced at high temperatures. They form dense bricks with high compressive strengths and low water absorption. Some Class A engineering bricks may be used to make damp proof course bricks. These bricks must have a compressive force greater than 125N/mm2 as well as a lower water absorption of less than 4.5%. Class B engineering bricks must achieve a compressive force of over 75N/mm2 with a water absorption lower than 7 percent. Engineered bricks have excellent load bearing capabilities, damp-proof properties and chemical resistance. These bricks are often used in special projects and may cost more than traditional bricks.

Concrete Bricks

Concrete bricks (also known as concrete block, concrete masonry units (CMU) or concrete block) are used in wall construction. This brick can be produced in a variety of colors, and can even be colored during production. This gives it a great aesthetic appearance for fences and facades. Concrete bricks are typically made with a mix of powdered concrete, water, sand, and gravel. This results in a light gray brick with a fine surface texture, high compressive strengths and a high level of compression. Blocks are made with concrete that contains a greater percentage of sand, gravel, and water than those used in general construction.

Fly Ash Clay Bricks

Fly ash clay bricks, which are made from clay and flyash at around 1000 degrees Celsius, are made. These bricks are very competitive with conventional clay bricks. Fly ash bricks have many indirect benefits. They can save labor costs and reduce mortar consumption.

However, studies have shown these bricks tend to expand when exposed to moisture or water. This brick type is also harmful to the environment due to an increase of thermal power stations. Fly ash is a major pollutant of water and air. It also causes large land losses. This problem can be solved by government agencies using fly-ash together with clay in brick manufacturing.

Brick Modifications and Shapes

Bricks of rectangular shape are not appropriate for use in all masonry construction situations. Bricks must be modified. You will need such bricks for plinths, walls corners, and coping.


There are many bricks with special sizes. These are the most important.


  • Squint Brick. They shape the outer or inner corner of a wall.
  • Splay Brick. Most suitable for indoor use with vents, windows, and plinths.
  • Coping Bricks. They are used to coping the walls and give them a great appearance.
  • Bullnose Brick. Bullnose bricks are used along the wall’s sides to achieve round corners.
  • Cownose brick. Similar to bullnose bricks, but with both sides being rounded. Also called double bullnose bricks.


Brick Classifications


There are many types of brick, but you only need to know two: backing and facing bricks.

  • Facing bricks can be used to cover the exterior of buildings. This means that they must be strong enough for weather extremes like rain and storms.
  • Backing bricks. Although facing bricks are supposed to be pleasing to the eye, back brick are used for support.
brick wall repairs, brick wall construction, brick veneer
Raked mortar joint in a brick wall.

Different Types of Brick Bonds Used in Brick Walls

Brick Masonry can use a variety different types of bonds.


Stretcher Bond or Running Bond

This bond is also known as a walking or running bonds. This bond is probably the most common. However, it is not suitable to be used as a standalone structural wall. Instead, a structural wall behind it is constructed using wall ties. This bond is commonly used for garden walls, brick veneers and other common walls. 

Header Bond

Brick masonry with header bonds consists of all bricks arranged in header courses. This type of bond can be used to make thick brick walls.

English Bond

English brickwork is made up of bricks that are laid in layers of headers or stretchers. The traditional way of laying a course is often replaced with a course of headers followed by 3-5-7 courses of stretch courses. 

Flemish Bond

These are bricks that can be used to make headers or stretchers for every course. To maintain an even distribution of headers, they are placed directly in the middle stretcher. Flemish bonds, as with many other bonds, are suitable for modern masonry buildings. 


As you can see, this only covers the basic components of brick masonry units. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about brickwork and masonry in Connecticut, as well as provide a quote for brickwork and brick restorations. Contact McAree Mason Contractors today!