How to Calculate How Many Bricks to Build a Wall

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure

  • Calculator


Include finish bricks in your count, such as those that will be used to close the top or ends of the wall.

Don't include measurements for bricks where a door, window or other break in the brick sequence are planned in your calculations.

To estimate the number of bricks needed to build a wall, first measure a single brick.

A wall built from brick not only adds security and strength to your property, it also provides a pleasing geometric backdrop for the landscaping. Because of the bricks' size and weight, homeowners generally arrange to have the amount needed for a large project delivered by the masonry company or lumberyard. Doing so requires that you estimate the number of bricks needed before placing the order.


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Step 1

Measure the length and thickness of one of the bricks that will be used in the wall. A standard brick is 2-1/4 inches wide and 7-1/2 to 8 inches long. Add 1/2 inch to both the length and thickness to account for the mortar joint between adjacent bricks. For example, a brick that is 2-1/4 inches by 7-1/2 inches, plus mortar joints, will occupy 2 3/4 inches by 8 inches.

Step 2

Measure the length of the space for the wall and convert the number to inches. Divide the length in inches by the length of a brick plus mortar joint. For example, a wall 36 feet, 8 inches long is 440 inches long (36 X 12 = 432 + 8 = 440). Each course (single layer) of bricks will need 440 / 8 = 55 bricks.


Step 3

Determine the desired height of the wall in inches, and divide the height by the thickness of a brick and mortar joint. For example, a wall 72 inches tall requires 26.18 courses of 2-3/4-inch-wide bricks; rounded up to 27 courses.

Step 4

Multiply the number of bricks per course (55) by the number of courses (27) to obtain the number of bricks in a single-thickness wall or veneer. For our example, the number is 1,485 bricks. Double that number for a double-thickness wall. Bricklayers generally add 5 percent to the estimate to cover broken or wasted bricks, for about 1,560 bricks in this case.



Kelvin O'Donahue

Kelvin O'Donahue has been writing since 1979, with work published in the "Arizona Geological Society Digest" and "Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists," as well as online. O'Donahue holds a Master of Science in geology from the University of Arizona, and has worked in the oil industry since 1982.