PART J - REINFORCED BRICK
When added strength is needed, brick walls, columns, beams, and foundations are reinforced in the same
way as in concrete construction.
3-33. Spacing. The minimum spacing between steel reinforcing bars should be 1 1/2 times the
diameter of the bar itself. When you lay reinforced bricks, the thickness of the mortar joint should be
1/8 inch more than the diameter of the steel bar itself. This allows for 1/16 inch of mortar between the
surface of the brick and the reinforcing bar.
3-34. Bars. Reinforcing steel can be placed in both horizontal and vertical mortar joints.
a. Horizontal Bars. Lay horizontal bars in the bed of mortar, and then push them down into
position. Spread the mortar on top of the bar, and smooth it until you have a bed joint of the proper
b. Vertical Bars. Place vertical bars in the vertical joints. Hold them in position by wood templates
at the proper bar spacing, or wire them to the horizontal bars. Then lay brick up around the vertical bars.
c. Stirrups. Z-shaped steel reinforced bars, called stirrups, are shaped to fit the mortar joints. Place
the lower leg of the stirrup under the horizontal bars. You may need to make the mortar joint thicker at
this point (Figure 3-36, page 3-39).