They are well known for their excellent customer service and the level of technical support they are able to offer. One question they are asked is whether their cladding systems are suitable for creating different brick bonds and patterns. Here, director Richard Haines gives us some advice on just that, “Generally, most brick bonds and simple patterns are easy to replicate using our cladding systems. Whilst most do not require any adaptions to the backer panel, some will need bricks slips or whole bricks to be cut to size.
The most common bond is stretcher or half bond. This bond requires the least amount of cutting brick slips to size, using the whole length (the stretcher) of the slip. This bond is the quickest and easiest to install on our systems. Once plumb lines have been established, the brick slips slot into place leaving a 10mm vertical joint. This bond can be made visually more interesting by having bands of different colour bricks or by inserting a soldier course.
Header bond is similar to Stretcher bond but with the key difference that the short end of the brick (the header) is exposed. To create this appearance with brick slips, a standard brick slip needs to be cut to size. This has cost and time implications for the project. Please also bear in mind that not all slips are the same, for example it is possible to cut two headers from a brick slip from our Britannia brick slip Range, but a Classic Range brick slip with a tumbled edge cannot be cut into a header as it will leave a straight edge and lose its character. In this case, headers have to be specially cut from whole bricks.
English Bond has alternating courses of stretcher and header brick slips. The header slips will have to be cut to size but the backer panel and installation method remains unchanged.
This bond is quite often used where work adjoins older, existing masonry, especially in architecturally sensitive settings. It is achieved by alternating stretcher and header brick slips in each course. As with English bond, this style necessitates brick slips being cut to size. The suitability of the brick type and lead times for cutting should be checked at the earliest opportunity. Smaller pieces called closers are also required to maintain the bond pattern. These are usually cut on site as required.
Simply stretcher slips “stacked” on top of each other. Although this can be a weak bond when constructed traditionally (and is usually reinforced), this is not a problem when installing with our cladding systems. The look is easily achieved without the associated downsides.
Not so common in the UK, but this finish is achieved by using two stretchers and then a header in an alternating pattern in each brick course.
Our panel systems are designed for horizontal brick courses. But soldier courses are possible by cutting out the two unwanted ribs from the skin. The skin is manufactured from high impact polystyrene meaning that it can be cut using a craft knife. Before the bricks are fixed in the vertical position, the cut is sealed with construction adhesive.
It is also possible to create simple patterns such as diamond shapes using contrasting brick colours. Simple patterns usually do not require adaptation of the backer panel. A competent installer should not have difficulties incorporating simple patterns into the brickwork.
More complicated patterns such as herringbone require careful planning and should only be attempted by an experienced installer. For these more technically challenging patterns, we would normally suggest forgoing the backer panel and arranging the pattern directly onto a flat substrate. There are of course time and cost implications when incorporating a complicated pattern into the design, which should be taken into account when designing and planning your project.”