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101 Types of Bricks (Size and Dimension Charts for Every Brick Option)

Red brick exterior house

This is your ultimate guide setting out all types of bricks. Each brick option includes size and dimension options showcased in illustrated charts and/or size tables. This is a massively detailed guide to bricks.

The literal foundation of building materials, bricks have been used in one form or another as far back as 4,000 B.C. While the name typically conjures mental images of a dark red, rectangular block, bricks actually come in an incredible number of shapes, sizes, materials, and structural designs. 

Related: 50 Brick Patio Patterns | 78 houses with red brick exterior (good examples) | 30 brick driveway examples (photos)

PDF Version:  Click here for the PDF version of our bricks chart (so you can download it).

Brick Orientation

The way a brick is laid makes a significant difference in the way it supports a structure, stands up to wear-and-tear, and appeals to aesthetics. There are six basic orientations for a standard rectangular brick.

Brick type by orientation

  • Stretcher

 As the name suggests, this orientation faces the long, narrow side of the brick outwards to efficiently “stretch” masonry work into a wall or border. This option gives masons the ability to create large structures in a relatively short period of time by laying bricks on top of one another in a straightforward pattern of layers, called courses.

  • Rowlock Stretcher

A rowlock stretcher tilts the face of the stretcher orientation skyward, facing the long, wide edge of the brick outwards in the process. Like the stretcher, this orientation also helps quickly establish horizontal progress when creating a wall, but has the additional benefit of growing vertically as well. The tradeoff is that it will need additional support front-to-back, as the narrow side isn’t well-equipped to handle varying weight and thickness above.

  • Sailor

A variant of the soldier placement, the sailor brick stands on the short edge of the brick and faces out the wide edge, rather than the narrow one. This offers a flat, vertical structural line, but like the rowlock stretcher, it will need additional support front-to-back to maintain integrity over large swaths of structural build.

  • Rowlock

Finally, the rowlock brick is the soldier orientation when it’s had a few too many – the short, vertical edge of the brick faces outward, offering plenty of front-to-back support at the expense of width while building courses. As the name suggests, this orientation is used to support rows of other orientations in alternating patterns, ensuring overall structural integrity and pleasing patterns in the finished work. 

Modular Brick Sizes and Types

In both new construction and renovation projects, components of a home or a business/industrial building are typically designed to fit together like pieces of a puzzle. That means the surrounding brickwork needs to be predictable in attributes such as shape, size, and load-bearing weight for the sake of efficiency and cost.

Modular brick sizes

 

  • Modular

The modular brick offers approximate nominal dimensions of 2 ⅔ in. x 8 in. x 4 in. A nominal measurement in modular brickwork incorporates not only the specified (manufacturer anticipated) dimensions of the brick itself at203mm x 67mm x 101mm, but also the recommended thickness of the mortar that will connect it to other bricks. A structural modular brick will have 2 or 3 holes pierced completely  through the center and no raised edges for easier planning on the part of builders and masons. 

  • Engineer Modular

Engineer modular bricks use rectangular slots rather than round holes for the brick piercing, and are more commonly used for residential projects like homebuilding due to their larger size –  203mm x 101mm x 101mm approximate nominal / 8 in. x 4 in. x 4 in. specified. These holes through the brick are created to assist in manufacturing, allowing more even cooling of the brick material during creation and lighter weight for shipping and handling during construction.

  • Closure Modular

Pierced with more holes than a traditional modular brick, these bricks measure 3 ⅕ in. x 8 in. x 4 in. in approximate nominal dimensions and 203mm x 81mm x 101mm in specified dimensions. With more hollows/holes for the mortar to “grab onto” built into the brick, these are used to finish corners and edges, hence their name. 

  • Roman 

Named for their area of origin, Roman bricks are flat, slender bricks with an approximate nominal dimension of 2 in. x 12 in. x 4 in. and specified dimensions of 304mm x 50mm x 101mm. They’re used to deliver a distinct and attractive finish for building fronts, columns, and other areas where aesthetics are valued on equal footing with structural integrity. Their smooth appearance, typically unmarked by rough finishes or piercing, is memorable and pleasing to the eye. 

  • Norman

Like Roman bricks, the Norman style is named for the first group of historical people to have used it. Very similar in size to the Roman brick, Norman varieties have approximate nominal dimensions of 2 ⅔ in. x 12 in. x 4 in. and specified dimensions of 304mm x 67mm x 101mm. The big difference between the two, other than height, is that Norman bricks have rectangular piercings for mortar flow-through, while Roman bricks do not. 

  • Engineer Norman

Building quite literally on the height of the Norman-style brick, the Engineer Norman variety adds a bit more material to work with, measuring 3 ⅕ in x 12 in. x 4 in. in approximate nominal dimensions and 304mm x 81mm x 101mm in specified dimensions. Like its shorter namesake, this brick also features pierced slots for the mortar to grip, ensuring a better overall hold as the courses are built atop one another. 

  • Utility

The utility modular brick is similar to the base modular brick in several design concepts – plain-sided, pierced with holes that are round – with the key differences found in overall height and depth. These bricks feature approximate nominal dimensions of 4 in. x 12 in. x 4 in., making them particularly easy to match with other building components like windows and door frames. The specified measurements of each utility brick are 304mm x 101mm x 101mm. 

  • Meridian

For building purposes that require more individual brick length than the utility brick can provide, the meridian adds a third more length, offering approximate nominal dimensions of 4 in. x 16 in. x 4 in and specified dimensions of 406mm x 101mm x 101mm. The extra four inches of length over the utility style allows for more flexibility and stability in offset patterning, while the pierced holes ensure good mortar grip.

  • Double Meridian

In building scenarios where more of both height and length are needed in the individual brick sizing, the double meridian brick offers a solution. The “double” refers to the height over the standard meridian’s 4 inches, with the double coming in at approximate nominal dimensions of 8 in. x 16 in. x 4 in. and specified dimensions of 406mm x 203mm x 101mm. The cores on this brick are also considerably larger and squared off, rather than rounded, making the brick a “hollow” construction brick. 

  • 6-Inch Through Wall Meridian

With approximate nominal dimensions of 4 in. x 16 in. x 6 in. and specified dimensions of 406mm x 203mm x 152mm, this hollow brick style is half the height of a double meridian, but builds on the style with an extra two inches of depth. The large squared-off cores allow easier handling for masons, delivering the outer durability of brick without the weight demands of a more solid brick with smaller, circular cores.

  • 8-inch Through Wall Meridian

Similar to “‘solid” brick styles, hollow meridian bricks come in several sizes that can be overlapped and combined into virtually any modular brick building project. This brick size, measuring in at 4 in. x 16” x 8” in approximate nominal dimensions and 406mm x 101mm x 203mm in specified dimensions, is the middle size of the through wall meridian trio of options, adding on an additional 2 inches of depth over the smallest through meridian brick. 

  • Double Through Wall Meridian

Closing out the assortment of modular brick option is the double through wall meridian, a hefty yet hollow brick style that, with approximate nominal dimensions of 8 in. x 16 in. x 8 in., stands as the largest through wall meridian brick option. This size adds another two inches of height to the 8 inch style just below it in scale, giving builders a substantial hollow brick modular option for large jobs with substantial demands on coverage in courses. The specified dimensions of this brick are 406mm x 203mm x 203mm. 

Related: Cinder Block Dimensions Chart

Non-Modular Brick Sizes and Types

Non-modular bricks drop the nominal dimensions of their modular counterparts, offering specified dimensions and actual dimensions alone. These bricks may be cut to fit unusual applications, and aren’t made to fall neatly into the standard wall / doorframe / windowframe measurements that modular bricks are. 

Non-modular brick sizes and types

 

  • Queen

A non-modular queen brick features large square cores for mortar flow through, with specified dimensions of 2 ¾ in. H x 7 ⅝-to-8 in. L x 2 ¾-to-3 in. D. Because this commonly-used brick format has evolved and changed with the history of masonry, the sizes of a queen brick can vary slightly between manufacturers and will typically be called out in sales information if this is the case.

  • King

A non-modular king brick is, unsurprisingly, larger than its queen counterpart. With an additional squared core built into a more substantial length, the specified dimensions of this brick come in at 2 ⅝-to-2 ¾ in. H x 9 ⅝-to-9 ¾ in. L x 2 ¾-to-3 in. D.

  • Standard

A standard non-modular brick incorporates a design element known as a frog – a divot in the center of the brick that gives it a shallow tub-like appearance. it serves the same purpose as cores do, giving the mortar a place in which to flow and “grip” as it dries. The specified dimensions of this classic brick style are 2 ¼ in. H x 8 in. L x 3 ½-to-3 ⅝ in. D. 

  • Engineer Standard

Very similar in appearance and design to the modular engineer brick, this style features the same five rectangular core placements and varies only in measurements, coming in at a smaller 2 ¾-2 13/16 in. H x 8 in. L x 3 ½-3 ⅝ in. D in specified dimensions.

  • Closure Standard

Rounding out the non-modular group is the closure standard brick, a close cousin of it’s modular counterpart. Built with the same circular cores and nearly the same dimensions, it’s also used to finish corners and edging with its clever flow-through design that offers a firm mortar grip. The specified dimensions of this style are 3 ½-to-3 ⅝ in. H x 8 in. L x 3 ½-to-3 ⅝ in. D.

8-Square Brick Options

8-Square bricks are also known as “oversized” bricks, and are designed to be used in large-scale institutional building projects, such as schools, office buildings, and hospitals. The additional height of the bricks gives masons the ability to create long, high walls without compromising overall stability. Long, deep cores that pierce through the entirety of the brick ensure that construction is built to last.

8-Square Bricks Chart

8-Square bricks are also known as “oversized” bricks, and are designed to be used in large-scale institutional building projects, such as schools, office buildings, and hospitals. The additional height of the bricks gives masons the ability to create long, high walls without compromising overall stability. Long, deep cores that pierce through the entirety of the brick ensure that construction is built to last. 

Overall, the six styles of 8-Square bricks are designed to work together, with matching 7 ⅝ in. heights to build an even course that remains steady as wall height increases. 

The 8SQ and the 8SQ 1 are essentially the same brick in terms of overall specified dimensions – 7 ⅝ in. H x 7 ⅝ in. L x 3 ⅝ in. D – with the 8SQ1 also featuring scoring at the mid-point that  visually bisects, via the front face, the area in the brick containing central core hole. The 8SQ External shortens the brick length by a little less than two inches, measuring 6 in., and adds a roof-like angle onto one edge with each slant edge measuring 2 in. in length.

The 8SQ Stretcher-Header and the 8SQ Corner Stretcher-Header are also virtually identical: both measure 7 ⅝ in. H x 7 ⅝ in. L x 3 ⅝ in. D with a ¾ in. D lip intended to overlap brick coursework. The key difference is that the 8SQ Corner Stretcher-Header omits the circular cores found through the 8SQ Stretcher-Header. 

The 8SQ Outer-Inner finishes the group with a unique “bent edge” design that can be used to build angular walls and borders. This brick measures 7 ⅝ in. H x 8 in. L (6 in. for the body, 2 in. for the angular offset) x 3 ⅝ in. D.

Lipped Bricks Types and Sizes

Lipped bricks are crafted with hollow frog-like structure on their underside, serving a similar purpose to the coring details on hollow bricks. This space allows them to sit on a brickwork course evenly, with plenty of space for mortar to flow in, settle, and dry. The end result is a smooth, even top edge to walls, borders, and decorative components of larger brickwork projects. The overhanging edge on lipped bricks, whether vertical or horizontally-oriented, is standardized at  ¾ in. for easy planning and incorporation.

Lipped bricks chart

Radial Bricks

a. Internal radial bricks

Internal radial bricks feature a flat front and a curved internal edge – to the observer on the outside of the brickwork, a course of Internal Radial Bricks would simply appear as a traditional wall or edge. On the other side, however, the curved areas would connect to form a smooth, circular angle. These bricks are used inside of a curved wall for an even edge that doesn’t require excessive mortar to connect.

Internal Radial Bricks - size chart

b. External radial bricks

On the opposite end of the masonry brick spectrum from internal radial bricks, External Radial Bricks provide a means to create curved edges ranging from gentle slopes in vertical walls to tighter, consciously-circular builds like institutional garden borders or decorative wishing wells. in order to determine the arc length necessary on an individual brick for circular projects, the overall width and length of the desired finished product can be multiplied and divided by 144.

External radial brick types and sizes

Flat Arch Bricks

Resembling a squared wedge shape (FA1-A) or a parallelogram (FA1-B) in style, Flat Arch Bricks are used primarily to build brick masonry arches, either as standalone decorative components in a non-brick wall or incorporated as part of a larger brick border or building wall. In some cases, these bricks may also be used as part of a brick sidewalk or pathway, used to introduce curvature or used vertically at the ground level as decorative edging.

Flat Arch Brick Dimensions (Chart)

Sills

The term sill derives from the old English word syll, meaning “style” and the Germanic word schwell, meaning “threshold.” These 9 Sill Brick styles are invaluable for providing iconic looks on windows and doorways across the country. Their smooth, rounded edges and crisp angular options provide builders with a variety of options for considerations like water run-off and overall aesthetic appearance.

Sill Bricks - shapes and dimensions chart

Copings

The top of brick masonry walls are finished with Coping Bricks of varying shapes and sizes. These brick styles are not only crucial for protecting the mortared brick coursings underneath them, they’re vital for moisture management as well. The degree of curvature (or lack thereof), height, and size of a coping will determine where water flows down structures during storms. The right coping keeps water from pooling on the brickwork itself and also directs it away from the base of the structure. Additionally, coping bricks offer a great deal of aesthetic quality when used decoratively.

Copings sizes and dimensions charts

Tread Bricks

Stairs and walkways alike owe their strength and beauty to the hard work of Tread Bricks. These relatively flat, smooth, and rounded-edge styles are used in conjunction with conventional rectangular bricks to build outdoor stairs for home and institutions alike. The comparatively short height of tread bricks ensures more even settling on mortar and other bricks, while the rounded edge offers comfort of both the aesthetic and physical variety. Rounded-edge steps are more comfortable for sitting and look elegant on homes of every size; tread bricks may also be used to create pathways or pathway edges on properly-leveled, reinforced ground.

Tread bricks sizes and dimensions chart

Corner Bricks

While the rectangular or squared dimensions of most standard bricks can create straight border lines, variations in topography, structural stability, and even style can dictate a need for variation. Corner Bricks offer masons the flexibility to create anything from a one-off exception built into a wall to avoid an obstruction to a planned octagonal (or other geometrically-inspired) shape in their brickwork. These work in tandem with standard bricks to remove the restrictions of straight-angle-only building while laying courses.

Corner bricks sizes and dimensions chart

Water Table Bricks (on the flat)

Similar to coping bricks, Water Table Bricks (“on the flat”are designed to direct water away not only from the brickwork structure itself, but also its base. Pooling water can cause long-term damage and weakening to both mortar and brickwork, compromising stability and safety of the structure. “On the flat” style water table bricks do perform this duty, but are mostly used as an incorporation to add decorative elements to brickwork. When used to create columns and rows within a wall of traditional brickwork, they add both decorative textures and shadowing.

Water Table Bricks - on the flat - sizes and dimensions chart

Water Tables – Rowlock

While “on the flat” style water table bricks are used primarily for decorative purposes, Rowlock Water Table Bricks are created with more function than form in mind. The notches, divots, and angular lip designs available in this group of bricks do still have plenty of style capabilities, but they also work hard to redirect water off of walls, sills, roofs, and more. Depending on the slope and size of their vertical stack within the coursings, this water-redirection may be a gentle effect or a dramatic one with substantial distance away from the footing.

Watertable bricks - Rowlock chart

Brick FAQ

1. What are bricks made from?

Bricks have a history, and an ancient one at that. We’re talking thousands of years ago. The earliest bricks were made from clay found in various regions, or from just plain old mud. Both clay and mud were shaped and molded into rectangular or brick shapes and were sun or air-dried, which made them strong enough for use in various houses or structures of the time, such as mudbrick houses. Bricks made later involved ceramics (fired bricks)that were fired to harden them for use.

Red clay was another natural source for fired bricks, which were baked and fired on all sides. These types of bricks were used in road paving, foundations, flooring and houses. Kilns that were temperature controlled and fueled by wood or coal ensured that these clay bricks were fired and glazed in the right process. The bricks were made by mixing clay and water and then trampling that same clay by a team of oxen. It was then turned to a paste and placed in wooden frames of standard brick size and later smoothed over with a wire bow device. Once removed from the frames, the bricks were stamped with their place of origin and the bricks were loaded and placed in a kiln. Once fired and baked, the bricks were removed for cooling and packed onto pallets for distribution. This entire procedure was done by hand and was laborious, hot and dirty work.

Bricks made today have progressed a notch or two. They are used just as they were in ancient times as building materials, pavers, walkways, walls, fireplace fronts and anything else masonry related. In the past, the term brick was defined through its clay consistency. Now, bricks are considered rectangular units with the main ingredients being minerals derived from clay that include shale and kaolin. This consistency makes up the unit (or brick) along with lime, sand and concrete materials with added amounts of barium, barium carbonate, manganese and other additives.

2. Are bricks porous?

Even though bricks are a solid and strong material, they are porous. Porosity is a unique characteristic of brick. Any moisture or rainwater will soak into a brick in a matter of time, which is due to an intricate circulation system within a brick. It takes in moisture more quickly than any other type of building material. In addition, any mortar that secures a brick in place also acts as a sponge, so both the brick and mortar are going to be susceptible to moisture retention. If any underlayment, sheathing or framing that is placed behind or in support of brick has not been properly secured from moisture, mold can develop. It’s important that anything backing brick needs to be installed correctly.

3. Are bricks environmentally friendly?

With bricks being formed from natural sources from the earth, they are considered an environmentally friendly material as well as a sustainable material. Clay bricks contain no chemicals or complicated components to harm the earth. Most building plans today that utilize sustainable guidelines allow for the re-use of bricks. With brick being made from natural elements, they are deemed environmentally friendly.

4. Are bricks flammable?

Bricks are considered non-combustible and non-flammable. The chances of fires occurring with bricks are minimal. If bricks are exposed to a fire, there is no release of any kind of toxic gases, and the bricks themselves are able to be reused in renovation projects.

5. Are bricks expensive?

The cost of bricks varies and will depend on the type of brick, color, quality, fabricating process as well as any additional costs for labor and installation. Bricks do tend to be more costly than other exterior materials, like vinyl and wood. Face brick will cost anywhere from six ($6) to a little more than ten ($10.50) per square foot. Brick siding tends to be a less expensive choice for homeowners as opposed to the use of full bricks. When you think of the cost of brick and the longevity of this material, you have to conclude that the structure, strength and sustainability of brick creates years of solid use, so any up front expense is going to result in long term savings.

6. Are bricks good insulators?

Brick is not thought of as a good thermal insulator. Most insulation in construction use is of the light and airy variety that is able to trap air, such as plastic, wool and foam. Brick is heavy, so it’s not the best of insulators, though it’s often sold as a heat insulator. That aspect is due to the structural traits of different bricks that have qualities that promote insulation. If brick facing is used on a home, it’s the wood framing and insulation within the framing that is going to keep the space insulated.

7. Are bricks biodegradable?

In comparison to other construction materials, brick doesn’t erode, decay, rust or rot. It is literally impossible to ruin. The elements wont damage it, and weathering only improves its appearance. The biodegradability of bricks comes with crushing and recycling it right where it falls either through a total demolition or knocking down any areas of brick found in a structure. Once it is crushed it returns to the earth or can be re-used to form new bricks.

8. Are bricks recyclable?

Brick is considered totally recyclable and is often allowed to remain in buildings where demolition has occurred and renovations have been planned. Most building codes allow for brick to be re-used for exterior or interior use in new or older structures.

9. Are bricks heat resistant?

Bricks are resistant to heat, particularly since they are fired and baked in a kiln. Regular brick that is of a more porous nature will, however, fall apart at over 1000+ degrees Fahrenheit. Bricks on their own will be more resistant to heat than say a brick wall, as walls contain mortar. In spite of any degree of tolerance to heat, brick is one of the best materials for resistance to heat and fire.

10. Can bricks be painted?

Bricks can be painted, but it is not recommended because of the fact that paint traps moisture and bricks are a porous material. Bricks can soak up moisture from humidity in the air, wet soil surrounding a structure or good old rain. The amount of moisture taken in will hinge on the quality of the brick and whether there is any outer protection on the brick. Painting bricks involves using the right kind of paint that is vapor permeable. If the wrong type of paint is used, moisture can be trapped within the brick and can cause deterioration of a bricked area. You’ll know if there is trapped moisture in a painted brick if there are indications of blistering with the paint. So, if you are going to paint bricks, it’s important to use the right kind of paint that repels moisture.

11. Can bricks be reused?

Bricks can be reused but there are some steps that need to be taken in order to get them ready for use. Sometimes bricks have to be reused if the project calls for it, but they need to be properly prepared. Any remaining or old mortar that held the bricks together needs to be removed. If proper cleaning isn’t done, any future placement of new mortar can be compromised because of possible moisture retention. Removing old mortar can be a laborious operation, especially if the mortar is an older and softer variety. Using different types of harder mortar may create problems with a reused brick. Bricks that are going to be reused may be brittle because of exposure to the elements or simply due to age, so it’s a good idea to thoroughly check the quality of any bricks before reusing them.

12. Can bricks be stained?

Bricks can be stained with the use of a masonry stain that is a penetrative one. An iron-oxide brick tint can also be used in staining. It’s important to note that most bricks are clay based and have been fired and cooled, which makes them susceptible to absorbing stains and tints. You do need to make sure that the brick can be stained. If it has had sealant applied to it, or if it is a non-absorbent brick, it may not take a stain. In order to test a brick for staining, run or splash some water over the brick. Any beading up or running off of the water will indicate that the brick will not accept the stain. If this happens, you may need to remove any sealant with a stripper or lacquer thinner to prepare the brick for any type of stain.

13. Can bricks be sealed?

Bricks can be sealed. Since brick readily absorbs moisture, it is advisable to seal it. Over time, any steady absorption of water can cause cracks and crumbling within a brick. Applying sealer to any exterior areas of brick can protect it from water damage and any plant growth, such as moss or vines. The brick should be thoroughly cleaned before applying the sealant and allowed to completely dry. A good sealer is best applied with a spray pump and spread out with paint roller. Sealing is an added protective measure and makes for savings on any future repairs.

The long history of brick has been one that has carried through to the present, and the questions and answers concerning brick confirm that it is a valuable material for a number of reasons. There are a few disadvantages in brick with moisture retention, material heaviness, possible higher costs and lack of strong insulating qualities, but brick is a sustainable and environmentally friendly material that can be used in most any construction-related situation.

All Types of Bricks Primary Chart

Want all of the substantial brick information above in one convenient place? The image below is a quick visual guide to brickwork styles, shapes, and sizes – ideal for sharing or bringing along to the hardware store. Use this handy Pinterest-friendly brick informational chart with dimensions to help with all of your future masonry projects and brickwork planning.

PDF Version:  Click here for the PDF version of our bricks chart (so you can download it).

Next: 50 Brick Patio Patterns | 78 houses with red brick exterior (good examples) | 30 brick driveway examples (photos)

 

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