How to Calculate How Many Bricks to Build a Wall

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.

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

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.