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What is a Brick Calculator?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A brick calculator is an essential tool for estimating the number of bricks necessary for masonry projects. It is popularly used by building contractors and do-it-yourself homeowners working with bricks. By calculating a number of factors about the project, users can avoid buying too many or too few bricks for the job.

One of the best things about a brick calculator is the fact that most are free. These are not bulky construction site pieces of hardware or complex multi-button calculators favored by high school scientists. Brick calculators are easily found online or as part of construction software programs and come in a variety of styles. Some offer a lot of flexibility, while others only ask for a few pieces of input, but all of them aim to simplify this often confusing mathematical equation.

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The basic information required of a brick calculator is a wall's surface area and the size and type of brick being used. The most important factor of the two is the wall's area. While some calculators ask for the width and height separately and others ask for them already multiplied together, these numbers are essential to the project as a precise measurement keeps costs low and the brick count close to perfect. Since the tool divides the surface area by the approximate size of a brick, even small miscalculations can result in dramatically wrong numbers. It is very important to measure the wall's height and width properly before entering it into a brick calculator.

Each brick calculator handles the question of bricks differently. Some allow users to choose a specific brick type, such as standard, masonry block, oversize, utility, and more. Some simply ask the user to input the dimensions of the brick. Whatever the method, the end product is the second most important element in brick estimation.

Once the dimensions of a wall and the size of the brick are entered into the calculator, the user will be given the approximate number of bricks needed to finish the project. A standard brick calculator will simply provide an estimate for a flat wall with no other elements. Additional features like doors, windows, and architectural eccentricities must have their surface area factored in and will change the number of bricks needed. No matter what type of project, from a backyard wall to building a state of the art hospital, a brick calculator can be an essential part of construction that demands a user's accuracy.

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matthewc23
Post 4

@Izzy78 - That is definitely a tricky situation. If you are getting close to starting the project, I am assuming you probably have some sort of path laid out already. What I would suggest is taking a string or something and running it along the length of the path and then take that total length and calculate it like a rectangle.

My guess is that you will probably end up slightly underestimating the number of bricks you will need, so it might help to add on a few more just in case. If you have easy assess to a place that would sell the bricks, you might just be able to go back and buy how ever many you need

after you get toward the end of the project.

Depending on what pattern you are going to use, you might need to factor in the number of bricks that are going to be cut.

In response to the last question, yes, a modular brick is the normal red paver brick.

Izzy78
Post 3

My neighbor is looking to put in a new brick walkway in her backyard. The problem is that she doesn't want it to be a straight line. Instead it will kind of snake along. I have looked at a few paver brick calculators, but I don't really know what to put in for the length and width. Does anyone know of a good way to estimate how many bricks will be needed for something like this?

Also, the ones I have looked at mention a lot of different sizes of bricks. What is the name of a normal brick? I have seen the term "modular" brick used a few places. Is that what I should select or is there a better choice? The walkway will just be using normal red bricks.

jmc88
Post 2

@stl156 - I have been looking for a good brick calculator online and I have also seen a lot of different variations.

When I started reading this, I was mainly thinking about do-it-yourself project, but the last sentence made a good point. If you are putting bricks all the way around a building or something, just being off by a foot or two could mean you are buying hundreds more brick than what you really need. That extra cost would add up really quickly.

I am looking into installing a wall in my back yard that will be about 3 feet tall. I would like to use the landscaping bricks that are kind of triangular in shape. Can you find brick calculators that will use that type of brick?

stl156
Post 1

We just put in a brick patio and fire pit in our back yard and the brick calculator really came in handy. Whenever I was searching around for the calculators I found all kinds of different versions. Like the article says, they can be really detailed or pretty basic.

Since we were going to need a lot, I used one of the more complicated one. You had to put in the size of brick and area of the space, of course, but then you could also enter the percentage of bricks you expected to break and special patterns you expected to use. It really made you think about what exactly you were going to be doing, which was good.

After we put all the numbers in, it output the number of brick you would need as well as the amount of mortar and sand to keep them all in place. Overall, the calculator was pretty accurate. We just ended up with 10 extra bricks altogether.

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