A standard red brick in the United States weighs 4.5 pounds on average. The "standard" brick size in the U.S. measures 3 5/8 inches deep by 2 1/4 inches high by 8 inches long. It is one of the several brick sizes according to the specifications of ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials. Among the other ASTM brick sizes include the modular, jumbo modular, jumbo standard, queen, Roman, Norman, closure, and utility. It should be noted that other countries do not necessarily abide by ASTM's specifications and have their own customary dimensions for bricks.
'Standard' Red Bricks
When it comes to the sizes of bricks in the U.S., a "standard" brick refers to a specific brick unit size rather than identify it as the most commonly used brick. The most commonly used brick in the U.S. for general masonry work is the modular brick. With an average weight of 4.2 pounds, modular bricks have a depth of 3 5/8 inches, are 2 1/4 inches tall ,and have a length of 7 5/8 inches, which is only a bit shorter than the modular brick. One of the heaviest ASTM standard bricks is the thru-wall bricks that weigh a massive 41.5 pounds at 7 and 5/8 inches x 7 and 5/8 inches by 15 and 5/8 inches.
Other US Brick Sizes
In between the modular, standard, and thru-wall sizes, there are several other brick unit sizes. The dimensions and sizes of the bricks and their corresponding average weight are the following.
- Roman: 3 5/8 inches x 1 5/8 inches x 11 ⅝; 4.7 pounds
- Jumbo modular: 3 5/8 inches x 2 3/4 inches x 7 5/8 inches; 5.1 pounds
- Queen: 3 1/8 inches x 2 3/4 inches x 9 5/8 inches; 5.6 pounds
- Jumbo standard: 3 5/8 inches x 2 3/4 inches x 8 inches; 5.9 pounds
- Norman: 3 5/8 inches x 2 1/4 inches x 11 5/8 inches; 6.4 pounds
- Ambassador: 3 5/8 inches x 2 1/4 inches x 15 5/8 inches; 8.8 pounds
- Utility: 3 5/8 inches x 3 5/8 inches x 11 5/8 inches; 10.2 pounds
- Monarch: 3 5/8 inches x 3 5/8 inches x 15 5/8 inches; 12.5 pounds
- Quad: 3 5/8 inches x 7 5/8 inches x 7 5/8 inches; 14.1 pounds
How Many Bricks to Make a Wall
To determine how many bricks are needed to cover a wall, you'll first have to find out the square footage of the wall by multiplying its height by its width in feet.
Example: 10 feet x 8 feet = 80 feet
Next, find out the square footage that each brick will cover by multiplying its height by its length and dividing it by 144. Add 3/8 of an inch to the height and width dimensions to account for the mortar. Using modular bricks as an example, the formula is as follows:
Example: brick-and-mortar width = 2 1/4 inches + 3/8 inches = 2 5/8 inches
Brick-and-mortar length = 7 5/8 inches + 3/8 inches = 8 inches
Brick ft2 = (8 × 2 5/8) ÷ 144
Brick ft2 = 21 ÷ 144 = .1458
Finally, divide the square footage of the wall by the square footage of each brick, and you'll have the number of bricks that you need to cover the wall.
Example: 80 ÷ .1458 = 549 bricks
How Red Bricks Are Made
Bricks are usually made from shale, which is a type of rock that splits easily. The shale is first exposed to the elements to make it easier to work. After two years, it is brought to the manufacturing facility where it is passes through machines that grounds it into powder. It is then mixed with water and then pressed to form into a long continuous rectangular clay block.
The block, which is also called a slug, passes through another machine that slices it into 5 foot long blocks. Afterward, it passes through another machine, which cuts it down further into its final dimensions. The new bricks are placed in a drying chamber for two days to remove excess water to prepare it for firing.
Once the bricks are dry enough, they are fired in a kiln at around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. After one and a half days, the bricks are ready. By this time, the once gray shale slugs have taken on the typical deep red color of bricks.
Standard Brick Sizes According to Country
As mentioned earlier, other countries have their own "standard" brick sizes. The following measurements are in millimeters (mm) since most other countries use the metric system units of measurements.
- Russia: 120 mm x 65 mm x 250 mm
- United Kingdom: 102.5 mm x 65 mm x 215 mm
- Germany: 114 mm x 71 mm x 240 mm
- China and India: 107 mm x 69 mm x 228 mm
In millimeters, the U.S. modular bricks measure 92 mm x 57 mm x 194 mm. The U.S. standard- size bricks measure 92 mm x 57 mm x 203 mm.
Meta description: Red bricks come in several sizes and weights. Find out what the standard red brick weighs and other interesting facts about bricks.