How to Calculate The Number of Bricks per m2 of wall?
The first thing anyone will want to know before they embark on a building project is “How many bricks do I need?” It’s a good question and one that is not always easy to answer.
Several factors will affect the answer including the size of the brick, the type of wall you are building, and the mortar joint thickness. In this article, we will focus on the size of the brick and how that affects the number of bricks in a square meter.
So, What is the Size of a Brick?
In South Africa, the standard size for a standard brick is 220 x 106 x 73mm. This means when laid end to end, without mortar joints, you will need approximately 4 and a half bricks to fit into a meter.
When you stack the bricks one on top of another, without mortar joints, you will need about 13 bricks to get up to a meter.
There are usually two common types of brick wall thicknesses used in South Africa; a half-brick wall and a one-brick wall.
A half-brick wall is typically a brick wall of only a single layer of bricks. This type of wall is usually 110mm thick.
A one-brick wall on the other hand is made up of two layers of bricks. The thickness of a one-brick wall is 220mm.
Half-brick walls are used as internal walls to divide rooms and spaces inside a building.
One-brick walls are used as external walls or load-bearing walls that support the weight of the roof and upper floors of the building.
Mortar Joint Thickness
Another important factor that will affect the number of bricks in a square meter is the mortar joint thickness. The mortar joint is the space between each brick that is filled with mortar.
The thickness of the mortar joint is typically between 10 and 20mm. The most common thickness used is 10mm.
Now that we have all the information we need, let’s calculate the number of bricks in a square meter for each type of wall.
How Many Bricks per Square Metre of Wall – Half-Brick Wall
For a half-brick wall, we need to take into account the thickness of the wall and the mortar joint.
Given that the thickness of the mortar joints is 10mm, to fit a width of 1m you will need around 4,5 bricks laid in a straight line. Next, we will need to build up to 12 courses of a brick wall to get to a height of 1m.
We now have to multiply the width by the height = 4.5 x 12 = 54.
This means to build a m2 of half-brick wall we will need approximately 54 bricks
How Many Bricks per Square Metre of Wall – One-Brick Wall
For a one-brick wall, we now know from the discussion above that a one-brick wall is made up of double skins of half-brick wall – 220mm thick.
As such, we can now multiply the number of bricks for a half-brick wall by 2 (ie. 54 x 2 = 108).
This means to build a one-brick wall we will need approximately 108 bricks.
To cater for wastage, it is always advisable to add 5-10% to your calculations.
So, there you have it – a quick and easy guide on how to calculate the number of bricks you will need for your next building project.
How Many Blocks per m2 of Wall
In addition to bricks, another common building material used in South Africa is blocks. Blocks are larger than bricks and as such, fewer blocks are needed to build a square meter of wall.
The most common size block used in South Africa is 440x215x100mm. This means it will take approximately 2 and a half blocks to fit into a meter when laid end to end, including mortar joints.
When you stack the blocks one on top of another, without mortar joints, you will need just over 5 blocks to get up to a meter. Our calculations will then be
5 x 2.5 = 12.5
This means it will take just over 12 blocks to build a square meter of the wall when using 440x215x100mm blocks.
As with bricks, the number of blocks you will need will also be affected by the thickness of your wall and the mortar joint thickness.
How Many Maxi Bricks per m2 of Wall
Maxi Bricks are a popular choice for building projects as they offer several advantages over traditional bricks.
Maxi Bricks are larger than standard bricks, measuring 290x140x90mm. This means it will take just under 4 bricks (3.33) to fit into a meter when laid end to end, including mortar joints.
When you stack the bricks one on top of another, without mortar joints, you will need around 10 blocks to get up to a meter. Our calculations will then be
10 x 3.33 = 33.3
This means it will take approximately 34 Maxi Bricks to build a square meter of wall.
As with standard bricks, the number of Maxi Bricks you will need will also be affected by the thickness of your wall and the mortar joint thickness.
In conclusion, the number of bricks or blocks you will need to build 1m2 of the wall will depend on several factors including the type of brick or block, the size of the brick or block, and the thickness of your wall.
As already mentioned above, when calculating the number of bricks or blocks you need, it is always advisable to add a 5-10% margin for wastage.
This will ensure you have enough bricks or blocks to complete your project without having to make any last-minute trips to the store.