What’s a Soldier Course?

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A soldier’s course is a row of bricks placed on their narrow side to create a border or edging. They can be laid horizontally or vertically and can be made more visually interesting by using contrasting colors or multiple courses. They can be used for various purposes, such as edging floors, patios, or sidewalks, and can be combined with other materials.

A soldiers course is a row of bricks all facing the same direction that have been placed on their sides so that the long narrow side of the brick is showing. Bricks of any size and style can be used to create a soldier’s course, and there are a few variations on this masonry course that can be used to add visual interest to a masonry installation. An experienced mason can do this job, or someone who is reasonably comfortable with masonry can create or repair a soldier’s course.

The idea behind the name is that when you look at the long narrow side of a brick, it is supposed to look like a soldier standing at attention. A soldiers course can be laid horizontally or perpendicular to another course of brick, with soldiers courses commonly used for borders. As borders, they create visual interest and also a clear boundary and demarcation.

One way to make a soldier’s course more visually interesting is to use bricks in a color that contrasts with that used for the rest of the masonry. For example, if a path is paved with red brick, it might be bordered with buff-colored brick soldiers’ courses. The color difference would also help highlight the edge, ensuring people are aware of where the paved area begins and ends.

Another technique is to use multiple courses of soldiers, which can be the same color or in contrasting colors. A quadruple soldier course is usually as far as you want to avoid a project boundary turning into the main project. The bricks in soldier’s courses can also be cut to create curves or chamfered around corners to keep the visual appearance of the bricks crisp and clean.

This type of masonry can be used for edging floors and patios, as well as for doors and windows in structures with brick cladding. A soldier’s course can also be used as a decorative accent on a sidewalk or similar type of pavement, or as an edging for gravel walks. Soldier courses in brick or stone can be combined with masonry done in other materials as well, which can make the masonry more visually interesting or meet specific design goals. For example, people may want to mark out a path in bright bricks that will be clearly visible to the visually impaired so they don’t accidentally stray off the path, or create a raised border that will be detectable by a stick, serving as a warning sign that the route limit has been reached.

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