Bricks, blocks and mortar (sand & cement) calculator.
This Calculator/Estimator will provide the quantities of bricks, blocks and mortar (sand & cement)
required for a given area for metric bricks (single & double skins) as well as 100mm, 140mm & 215mm blockwork. It will also provide approximate
brick work prices.
Please enter the dimensions in the white fields below and click calculate to display the results. See below for advice on brickwork.
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Mix Design - mortar is a combination of binder (cement or
lime) with sand. Either with or without fillers or additives such as
plasticiser. Good mortar design fills the voids in a well graded sand with
the binder or filler. This is what produces the ratio.In general
it is good practice to use the weakest possible mortar mix that is compatible
with the brick or block being used and the exposure, unless otherwise
specified. This mortar mix will exhibit less shrinkage and produce a superior
brick/mortar bond, weaker mixes also tend to be more flexible.
Aesthetics - The colour and joint profile chosen will affect the overall
appearance of the brickwork.Whether the
aim is to contrast against the brickwork or blend subtly there is a wide
Durability - Water and frost are the main elements that will affect
brickwork. However, as the frost resistance of the mature mortar increases
with the proportion of cement, designation (i) and (ii) mortars are
considered more suitable for severely exposed applications such as in
copings, cappings and cills and below DPC level. Designation (i) mortars
should be used for paving.
are high levels of soluble salts and/or the brickwork is likely to be
saturated for periods then the Ordinary Portland Cement should be replaced
with sulphate-resisting Portland cement.
Rain - Resistance to this can be achieved or increased by good
adhesion, well filled joints and an appropriate joint profile.Tooled
bucket handle or weather struck joints are the most appropriate for exposed
areas. Whilst recessed joints are only suitable for moderate exposure.
Structural - In design calculations, it is assumed that both the
compressive strength value of the appropriate mortar designation is achieved
in practice and that the joints are completely filled with mortar. This
underlines the importance of good building practice.
Adhesion - Strength of bond is affected by the suction rate of the
brick, the mortar constituents, water content and the weather.
suction rate of a brick exceeds the optimum value of 1.5kg/m2/min, it is
recommended that the bricks are wetted prior to laying, particularly in hot
& dry weather conditions.
Brick Mixing - Natural materials such as clay bricks have
characteristic variations in shade, colour and texture. However because
patching or colour banding would not be desired in the finished work, it is
important to blend the bricks. Although
this is carried out at manufacturing there is still a need to further carry
out this process on site, this is best achieved mixing from as many packs as
possible and mixing from corners rather than layers to maximise colour
Mortar - The correct preparation is key to the overall aesthetics,
durability, weather resistance and structural performance. In general
terms the correct proportions of binders and sand is necessary for consistent
mortar strength, avoidance of colour variation and a good bond between brick
& mortar. This should be achieved by the use of batching boxes or
buckets, avoid the use of shovels for proportioning by volume.
Docking It is accepted practice for bricks with a high absorbency to
be wetted prior to laying. This procedure adjusts the suction rate of the
brick to promote good adhesion between the brick and the mortar. However,
bricks should not be soaked during the process as this could lead to
subsequent staining problems. See above. Bricks with a low suction rate
should never be wetted because they might 'float'; mortar that is mixed too
wet will have the same effect.
Tooling The bricklayer uses his skill and experience in determining
when to begin tooling the joints after placing the bricks in mortar. Early
tooling should be avoided as this can produce a dragged effect on the mortar
surface and the cement fines may be drawn to the surface resulting in an
unsightly patchy bloom on the joints in the mature work.
Winter working If the temperature of unhardened mortar is less
than 40C,the performance of the joints produced will be inadequate.
Consequently, bricklaying should stop when the air temperature
reaches 30C and falling, unless the mortar temperature can be
maintained at a minimum of 40C until it has hardened. Bricklaying can be
resumed when the air temperature rises to 10C and is expected to
continue rising to above 30C over the bricklaying period.
Further information can be found on our
other brick/mortar calculator.