modular brick sizes

Modular bricks were introduced to make it easier to insert standard sizes of doors and windows into walls. Modular doors and windows, and courses of modular bricks, all fit into a 4 inch × 4 inch grid. 

For bricks, the 4-inch module includes the thickness of the mortar joints. The most common joint thicknesses are 3/8 inch and ½ inch. If a closure modular brick, for example, which has nominal dimensions of 4 × 4 × 8 inches, were intended to be laid with a ½ inch joint, its actual dimensions would be 3½ × 3½ × 7½ inches.

In 1991, a joint committee of the Brick Industry Association and the National Association of Brick Distributors settled upon standard names for certain brick sizes. Names below are those assigned by the committee unless the name is marked with an asterisk. Regardless of the committee's laudable effort, in ordering bricks it is essential to order, not by name or nominal dimensions, but by specifying actual dimensions.

1 course = 1 module (4 inches)

Name Nominal Dimensions,
inches
closure modular (jumbo closure*) 4 × 4 × 8
utility (jumbo utility*) 4 × 4 × 12
6-inch jumbo* 6 × 4 × 12
8-inch jumbo* 8 × 4 × 12
meridian (Atlas*) 4 × 4 × 16
6" through-wall meridian 6 × 4 × 16
8" through-wall meridian 8 × 4 × 16

drawing showing how jumbo closure bricks can be set to fit into a four-inch module

 

1 course = 2 modules (8 inches)

Name Nominal Dimensions,
inches
double meridian 4 × 8 × 16
double through-wall meridian 8 × 8 × 16
name not known 4 × 8 × 8

2 courses = 1 module (4 inches)

Name Nominal Dimensions
Roman 4 inches × 2 inches × 12 inches

drawing showing how Roman bricks can be set to fit into a four-inch module

 

2 courses = 3 modules (12 inches)

Name Nominal Dimensions,
inches
name not known 4 × 6 × 8

3 courses = 2 modules (8 inches)

Name Nominal Dimensions.
inches
modular (standard*) 4 × 2 2⁄3 × 8
1-inch veneer* 1 × 2 23 × 8
Norman 4 × 2 23 � 12
SCR* 6 × 2 23 × 12

drawing showing how standard bricks can be set to fit into a four-inch module

The name "standard" should now be reserved for a non-modular brick with nominal dimensions of 4 × 2¾ × 8.

3 courses = 4 modules (16 inches)

Name Nominal Dimensions,
inches
double* 4 × 5 13 × 8
triple* 4 × 5 13 × 12

drawing showing how double bricks can be set to fit into a four-inch module

A survey in 2002 found no suppliers of these double and triple bricks in the United States, but they appear to be available in Australia and New Zealand, and to some extent in the United Kingdom.

5 courses = 4 modules (16 inches)

Name Nominal Dimensions,
inches
engineer modular 4 × 3 15 × 8
engineer norman (Norwegian*) 4 × 3 15  × 12
6-inch Norwegian* 6 × 3 15 × 12

drawing showing how Norwegian bricks can be set to fit into a four-inch module

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