What is Lintel? 7 Different Types of Lintel Used in Building

What is Lintel?

A lintel is a horizontal member, which are usually placed over the opening portion of a building like doors and windows. Lintel behaves just like a beam. It carries the load of the masonry work over the opening part, and transfers all the load to the supporting walls. The lintels should have at least 20 cm bearing on masonry on either side.

What is Lintel? 7 Different Types of Lintel Used in Building

Different Types of Lintel

In this article, we will discuss about the different types of lintel used in building construction. lintel can only be classified according to the materials used in their construction. They are –

  1. Timber Lintel
  2. Stone Lintel
  3. Brick Lintel
  4. Reinforced Brick Work Lintel
  5. Steel Lintel
  6. R.C.C Lintel
  7. Thin Lintel

Note: Thin lintel is an another type of lintel which is classified according to their thickness.

1. Timber lintel

Timber lintels were very common in use in the olden days when technology was not very advanced. Also at present time, some wooden lintels are used in building. But now it has become difficult and expensive due to the lack of timber availability.

Timber lintels
Timber lintel

It is also easily affected by white ants and other insects and that is why it is not preferred for modern construction. They are combustible and therefore not suggested for use in fireproof construction. The minimum depth of wooden lintels should be 7.5 cm. Timber lintels may be in a single piece or of built-up type.

Timber lintels should be made of sound and hard wood. The best and recommended wood for timber lintel is teak, sal, rosewood etc.


They are flammable and therefore not suggested for use in fireproof constructions. 

The depth of the timber lintels should not be less than 7.5 cm, and width should be equal to the thickness of the opening.

Timber lintel can be of a single piece or of built-up type.

Without the proper seasoning, the timber is liable to decay as well as destroyed by fire.

If the timber lintel used for large spans, it should be designed using flexural formula.

2. Stone Lintel

Lintel made of stone is called as a stone lintel. Stone lintels are very common in areas where the stone is widely available. They can be used as single pieces or in groups of several pieces. Stone lintels have good compressive strength but poor in tensile strength and therefore they are not suitable for a long span. If it used over a span of 1 m, then most of the load should be relieved by providing a relieving arch.

Stone Lintel
Stone Lintel

The thickness or depth of the stone lintel may be considered on the basis of the thumb rule that the thickness of the lintel should be 1 mm for every 10 mm span. We all know that the stone is not easy to handle and also required dressing work before it used, and hence prove costly.

3. Brick Lintel

The brick lintel is an another types of lintel which are mainly used for a short span, not more than 90 cm. Usually, first-class bricks are used to build brick lintels, which are either laid on end or on edge.

In the construction of brick lintel, first of all, a temporary supporting timber structure is constructed. The thickness of the lintel should be multiple of brick courses.

As I said before, for long spans and in case of heavy loads, this lintel should not be used. However, if this lintel is to be used for a large span, then reinforced brick lintel may be used.

Full article will be coming soon…


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