Today, the skin versus structure characteristic of brick veneer plays a significant role in the available variety of styles when it comes to home exteriors. Brick is arguably the oldest building material today, and its small, durable, modular, features, as well as the fact that brick requires minimal maintenance and can easily be made from local materials, have all made it a favored way of building for centuries.
Brick is porous and because of this characteristic, brick veneer sidings act as rain screens, especially because water usually finds a way into the interior of homes through openings such as cracks in mortar joints. Brick veneers come in several different patterns of brick coursing, a course representing the horizontal layer of bricks.
Types of coursing
Running bond: This is arguably the most commonly used type of brick coursing available today and it entails layers of brick, arranged one atop the other and staggered such that the vertical mortar joints do not line up. The staggered joints in this traditional brick pattern provide strength and stability to the wall. In a running bond pattern, the color, size, and pattern of bricks are usually the same. However, there are several variations to this, such as:
• One-third running bonds, also known as stretcher raking bonds, which feature vertical joints set away from the bricks’ middle for every other layer both above and below every course.
• Header bonds featuring similar overall patterns as running bonds but with the short side (brick header) in place of the long side (brick stretcher) set as the surface exposed.
Stack bond: This is the most modern and advanced brick veneer pattern since it is more effective as a rain screen compared to the others. Both the horizontal and vertical joints are aligned in this pattern, creating a visually lighter design compared to the traditional running bond. The stack bond coursing is, however, a bit weaker than the other types of coursing.
Common bond: Panels created in this kind of brick pattern closely align with the appearance of traditional, load-bearing brick walls, which usually comprise of several layers of brick, one behind the other. The bricks are laid perpendicular to the wall after a few courses, tying the layers together to give the wall an enhanced structural stability and exposing the headers or brick ends to view. A common bond pattern allows alteration of the color or texture of bricks at the header course, which provides added flexibility when it comes to design.
Flemish Cross bond: This is a brick siding pattern that incorporates a regular pattern of diagonals, diamonds, or crosses to a brick wall, providing an elegant finish. This design introduces a bit of style to an otherwise bland wall of brick regardless of whether or not a very finely set pattern, or the same color is used. Flemish Cross bond presents a fun way to design the outlook of your using brick veneer.