Understanding Brick Veneer: 5 Terms You Should Know

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Since very early civilization, brick has been one of the world’s most preferred building materials. It is strong, durable, and easy to make from materials found in most part of the globe. It is also, however, quite heavy and labor-intensive to use in construction projects. In cultures like ancient Rome and ancient Egypt, slave labor was used to build structures out of brick, but in modern times, it is not inexpensive to hire bricklayers to work on major construction jobs.

Enter brick veneer. This two-dimensional material is designed to be attached to the exterior walls of a building, giving the look of brick, without the weight and the expense associated with the real thing. Brick veneer products can be made from authentic bricks that have been shaved down or from synthetic materials that look legitimate. As you read this guide, you will learn more about some of the terms you should know if you are thinking about having brick veneer added to your house.

Wythe – In regard to bricklaying, “wythe” simply means “layer.” When structures are constructed of solid brick, multiple wythes must be laid to ensure stability. In the case of brick veneer, however, only a single wythe is necessary.

Wood frame structure – In terms of brick veneer, “wood frame structure” simply refers to whatever building the veneer is being installed on. This might be a residential home, a commercial building, or even an outbuilding on a farm, depending on the specific situation. When properly adhered, brick veneer pieces should be one inch from the wood frame structure to prevent water that leaks through the brick to drain. Otherwise, it can cause mold infestations and other issues.

Running bond – “Running bond” is the name for the most common pattern in the world of bricklaying. It is something you’ve probably seen hundreds of times in your life, with each wythe of brick slightly staggered, so the mortar joints are at their most stable. Generally, running bond patterns involve bricks that are the same size, color, and texture for a uniform look. Two fairly common variants of this style are known as “one-third running bond” and “header bond.” Talk to your contractor if you’re interested in something less conventional than a running bond pattern.

Stack bond – “Stack bond” is a more contemporary bricklaying pattern that has risen in popularity in recent years. It involves mortar joints that are lined-up, both horizontally and vertically. This makes it noticeably weaker than running bond, so it is not uncommon for professional bricklayers to recommend that this pattern be used only on accent walls, rather than over an entire building.

Flemish Cross bond – “Flemish Cross bond” has more flair than many other bricklaying patterns, with two brick colors being used to create a fun cross motif. Many buildings in Europe, including some palaces, make use of Flemish Cross bond.

If you are thinking about having brick veneer installed on your North Carolina or South Carolina home, we hope you’ll let the Hatch Homes team handle your project for you. Our skilled team will do the job right the first time, so you’ll never have to worry about whether or not your new brick veneer is going to last. We love watching houses transform for our clients, and we look forward to helping you create the home you’ve always dreamed of for you and your family.

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Hatch is your partner for exterior remodeling.