Concrete, steel or brick lintels?

Concrete, steel or brick lintels?

Brick Lintels: Traditional and Aesthetic Appeal 

Brick lintels have been used for centuries and are known for their traditional and aesthetic appeal. They seamlessly blend with the masonry of the building, providing a cohesive look. Brick lintels are suitable for smaller openings and are often chosen for their warmth and charm. However, it's important to note that they may not be as strong as steel or concrete alternatives, making them less ideal for larger openings or buildings with heavy loads. 


Steel Lintels: Strength and Versatility 

Steel lintels are widely appreciated for their strength and versatility. They can support substantial loads and are often used in modern construction projects. Steel lintels are advantageous for large openings or spans where the load-bearing capacity is critical. Their slim profile also allows for more design flexibility, as they can be easily concealed within the wall. It's important to consider corrosion resistance, so opting for galvanized or stainless steel can enhance longevity, especially in humid or coastal environments. 


Concrete Lintels: Durability and Stability 

Concrete lintels are valued for their durability and stability. They offer a robust solution for various structural needs and can support heavy loads. Precast concrete lintels are popular for their consistent quality and ease of installation. However, their bulkier appearance may not suit every architectural style. As with steel, ensuring proper reinforcement and protection against environmental factors is crucial for maximizing the lifespan of concrete lintels. 


Choosing the Right Lintel for Your Project: 


Consider the Load Requirements: 

  • Determine the size of the opening and the load it will bear. 
  • For larger openings or heavier loads, steel or concrete lintels may be more suitable. 

Architectural Style 

  • Consider the aesthetic preferences and architectural style of your building. 
  • Brick lintels may be more appropriate for traditional or heritage designs. 


Environmental Factors: 

  • Assess the environmental conditions of your location. 
  • In corrosive environments, like coastal areas, corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel or galvanized steel are recommended. 


Budget and Maintenance: 

  • Factor in your budget for both initial costs and long-term maintenance. 
  • While steel and concrete may have higher upfront costs, their durability can result in lower maintenance expenses over time. 


Choosing the right lintel is a critical decision in the construction process, impacting both the structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of your building. By considering factors such as load requirements, architectural style, environmental conditions, and budget constraints, you can make an informed decision between brick, steel, and concrete lintels. Ultimately, the right choice will contribute to a safe, durable, and visually pleasing structure. 

Whether concrete or steel, Condell can provide the right lintel for your project. Check our full range of lintels.