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Flemish-Bond Laid Bricks


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I always thought alternating the headers and stretchers was strictly a matter of aesthetics, but I noticed a building with Flemish-bond brick today and the building didn't appear to have (visible) lintels above the doors or windows.

So I'm curious. Are the bricks interlocked in some way that obviates the need for lintels? Or were the lintels likely hiding behind the mortar joints?

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I always thought alternating the headers and stretchers was strictly a matter of aesthetics,...

The headers "bond" the wythes together. In a 2-wythe wall (the wall is 2 bricks thick) The inside surface bricks are bonded to the outside surface bricks.

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...but I noticed a building with Flemish-bond brick today and the building didn't appear to have (visible) lintels above the doors or windows.

So I'm curious. Are the bricks interlocked in some way that obviates the need for lintels? Or were the lintels likely hiding behind the mortar joints?

A majority of the brick & stone buildings that I inspect (17th, 18th & early 19th century) don't have lintels or even headers as we think of them today. The joined mortise & tenon window and door frames are the only structural support for the masonry walls above. You don't want to be yankin'-em out to install vinyl-framed windows!

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Thick stone walls will have some timber headers above the openings behind the joined frames too.

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tn_200982423755_header.jpg

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Yep. Kinda cool, it is......

That window isn't holding up the entire wall; it's really only holding up a relatively small area of masonry directly over the window.

Think about it as an arch; most of the wall load is bearing on the wall sections either side of the window, not on the window.

If you've ever pinned a masonry wall to remove a section, it's amazing how "self supporting" double wythe walls really are.

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Thanks for the info. I kinda figured you two would be the ones to 'splain it to me.

It's only downtown, in the oldest houses that were built barely pre-1900, that I find Flemish-bond brick installations. They're normally pristine . . . unlike their newer cousins in the 'burbs.

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