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# What is a Brick Calculator?

Article Details
• Written By: Patrick Roland
• Edited By: C. Wilborn
2003-2019
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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.

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.