Flemish Bond vs Common Bond: Pros and Cons

Whether you are building a garden wall or re-bricking your home, a major decision you will have to make at the beginning of your project will be between common or Flemish bond. Common bond bricklaying has you offset each layer of bricks by a half width, where Flemish bond bricklaying has a brick end showing between lengths of brick. Before you make your decision, you will want to look at the pros and cons of each.

Flemish Bond Pros

As a decorative wall, nothing beats Flemish bond bricklaying. Putting a half-bat brick amongst the longer brick lengths adds a nice touch without taking away from the wall’s overall look. A row of Flemish bond can be easily incorporated into a low garden wall for a classy look. 

Flemish Bond Cons

Since you will need to cut half-bats to include in your Flemish bond wall, the job will be more labor intensive. In addition to cutting more bricks, you will need to consciously lay out your brickwork before starting to ensure your mortar joints don’t line up. More joints also mean more weak points that require additional support as your wall grows higher. 

Common Bond Pros

With a half-brick offset, laying a Common bond row of bricks is simple when you use a trowel, mallet and level. Mortar joints can be kept balanced by eyeballing your work and keeping them at a regular thickness. Since Common bond bricklaying involves fewer joints, your wall will be sturdier and able to support more weight. 

Common Bond Cons

When you lay plain bricks with the Common bond method the result will be a plain looking wall. The decorative finish you want will depend on the project you are working on. You can always jazz-up a Common bond wall by using a fancier brick.