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Designing in Brick - Understanding Popular Brick Shapes


Brick is one of the most consistently popular building materials among architects, designers and builders alike, due in large part to brick’s versatility to adapt to a variety of designs. 

Glen-Gery boasts an extensive selection of brick shapes to correlate with our comprehensive line of extruded, molded and handmade brick as well. Here we’ll break down a few common brick shapes used in residential design.



flat arch


Flat Arches
Glen-Gery’s flat arches achieve the look of the classic jack arch with the cost of custom dimensions for every brick in the arch. Flat arch pieces, except for the keystone, are the same size and shape and have parallel sides. The voussoirs are designed with a 70° skew-back angle and 3/8” nominal mortar joint.

circle arches


Circular Arches
These arches are manufactured only from architects’ full-size details and must include specific information including the type of arch, rise, dimension of the masonry opening, thickness of the mortar joint and radii of the arch. It also must be determined whether it is a one- or two-brick arch.

water table


Water Table
Rowlock and on-the-flat water tables, historically used to reduce water penetration, are now used by architects and designers to achieve decorative design details. These details can vary from the use of a single style for simplicity to a combination of styles to achieve highly ornate and intricate brickwork.

In addition to their traditional use, these shapes can be used to add dimension to flat walls, rotated to form door and window jambs, or inverted to form cornice brickwork. Continuity of design can also be transferred into the landscape by using the water tables as caps for walls or edging accents for walkways.



Sills, Copings & Treads
The basic function of copings and sill is to reduce the potential for water penetration. This is easily and attractively accomplished with a variety of Glen-Gery brick shapes. Their profiles, whether angular or curvilinear, add distinctive detailing to wall caps, windows, and door openings. Tread shapes are manufactured to properly finish brick steps and other paving applications.


View more shape drawings here!

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