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A Flemish binding is a masonry pattern that is highly ornamental in nature, which makes it popular for rows of brick that will be visible. The Flemish title was widely used for homes historically, before bricks were replaced by other building materials, and in the region where brick is still used, it continues to be popular. It can be used for load-bearing walls in a home as well as garden walls and partitions. Like other types of masonry, it can be worked in contrasting colors if desired to create more visual interest.
Before describing this pattern, it may be helpful to provide information on two terms used in brick construction: headers and stretchers. Headers are bricks oriented with the short side facing out, while stretchers are oriented with the long side facing out. Understanding the difference between the two can help people visualize what the Flemish bond looks like. There are also numerous illustrations that can be found through the image search functions on many search engines, for those who are more visually inclined.
In the Flemish bond, a course is established that alternates headers and stretchers. Then a course is placed on top, with the headers on the previous course being centered under the stretchers on the new course. The course placed on top of this is oriented like the first course and so on, creating an intricate pattern alternating with the long and short sides of the brick. To bring more contrast to the pattern, sometimes headers are made from brick of a different color or brick that has been treated to darken it so that the headers stand out.
Various masonry techniques can be used in the corner and edges to create a smooth transition. In cases where only one wall will be visible, it is not uncommon to use this pattern only on the visible parts, and to use an easier technique on walls that cannot be seen to make construction faster and avoid having to tamper with the masonry in the corners.
Flemish masonry masonry, also known as Dutch masonry masonry, has long been prized as aesthetically pleasing and visually interesting. Creative masons can alternate brick courses even further, with a Flemish binding block up to a certain height, followed by courses laid out in other patterns. Because this design is popular, faux masonry made from materials other than brick, such as vinyl and laminate, can be produced in a Dutch pattern.