Brick faces

Bricks, Special Bricks, Brick Cuts and Pointing

If there is a special project you have in mind and you are not sure how to accomplish it, it is handy to know that there are several “purpose-made” bricks to help. If you are not aware of them, there is a table below. We have also included the names of the various parts of a brick, and different pointing techniques you may need.

The parts that make up a brick and what they are called

Stretcher Face

Header Face



Arris – edge


Image of the parts that make up a brick and their names

Brick Shapes

Image of all the different types of brick that are available
The different types of brick available

Brick Cuts

Image of the different types of brick cut that are available and their different names
The different types of brick cuts and their names


Pointing Methods

An image of all the different types of poiting methods available and the names of each


Positions of bricks

Stretcher: a brick laid horizontally, flat with the long side of the brick exposed on the outer face of a wall
Header: a brick laid flat with the short end of the brick exposed
Soldier: a brick laid vertically with the narrow (“stretcher”) side exposed
Sailor: a brick laid vertically with the broad side exposed
Rowlock or Bull Header: a brick laid on the long, narrow side with the small or “header” side exposed
Shiner / Bull stretcher: a brick laid on the long narrow side with the broad side exposed

Bricks bonding patterns

The bond of the brickwork in which the bricks are placed in a pattern of headers and stretchers gives the wall strength and stability.

English bond is made up of alternating courses of stretchers and headers. This produces a solid wall that is a full brick in depth.  English bond is easy to lay and is the strongest bond for a one-brick-thick wall.

Flemish bond is created by alternately laying headers and stretchers in a single course.  The next course is laid so that a header lies in the middle of the stretcher course below.

Stretcher bond is one of the most common bonds.  It is easy to lay with little waste and composed entirely of stretchers set in rows, offset by half a brick.

Another two types of bricks bonding patterns:-

Header Bond – is created by rows of headers, only displaced by half a brick on each row. This bond is often used to create curved brickwork.

Stack bond – is a pattern made up of rows of stretchers with each stretcher centred on the stretcher below it.  All joints run vertically down the entire wall.