everything to know about lintel

Everything to know about Lintel

A lintel is a typical building component. Lintels above windows and doors like apertures are a convenient way to sustain the weight above the opening if we wish to make an opening like doors or windows in a building. Although lintel construction is straightforward and widely utilized, our goal is to provide a theoretical definition of the lintel. Why is this important? It will enable you to determine what are lintels and help you choose the best type of lintel for your construction project.

There are many architectural considerations to take into account whether creating a new building or rehabilitating an existing one. A residence or building’s structural soundness and visual appeal can help to guarantee its safety, usability, and aesthetic appeal. To accomplish these goals, you can utilize lintels over your windows or doorways if your project is on a stone or brick structure.

everything to know about lintel

Well in this article we’ll be discussing the answers to questions related to lintel.

  • What is the definition of a lintel?
  • What are the types of lintels?
  • What are the benefits of lintel?

So, let’s dive in!


What is the definition of a lintel?

A lintel is a beam that is positioned across the top of a wall opening in construction. Lintels, which are placed above open areas like doors and windows in buildings, support the weight of the structures above them. Typically, the beams match the width of the wall, extend past either end of the aperture, and fit into the wall without any gaps. Lintels come in a range of materials based on the structure’s support requirements, the contractor’s desire, and the aesthetic of the building. They are primarily utilized in brick and masonry structures. Lintels, which are like an arch but flat and simpler to install, can be a significant structural component of a building

It may be a purely structural object or a decorative architectural element. The lowest span of windows is known as a sill, although, unlike a lintel, it does not support weight to maintain the strength of the wall. Modern lintels are also known as beams in beam-and-block slabs or ribs in rib-and-block slabs, and they can be constructed out of prestressed concrete. These prestressed concrete lintels and blocks can be used as parts that are stacked and supported to create a concrete slab for a suspended floor.

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What are the types of lintels?

There are two ways to categorize lintels:

  • Classification Based on Span
  • Classification Based on Materials

Classification Based on Span

  • Lintel beam or Cut lintel
  • Lintel band or Continuous lintel

Lintel beam or Cut lintel

this kind of lintel beam is offered only above openings. Precast or on-site casting are also options for these lintel beams. To ensure that the load is effectively transferred to the door and window frames, bearings are installed. These lintels are frequently used in load-bearing constructions.

Lintel band or Continuous lintel

This lintel runs throughout the span of the building. It functions as a second tie beam, joining the structure’s columns together. The majority of it is composed of reinforced cement concrete. These lintels are appropriate for frame construction and buildings on wide soils. & Earthquake-prone regions.

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Classification Based on Materials

  • Timber lintels.
  • Stone lintels.
  • Brick lintels.
  • Steel lintels.
  • Plain cement concrete lintels.
  • Reinforced Cement Concrete lintels or RCC lintel.


Timber lintel

Natural wood is used to make timber lintels, primarily Redwood. One of the earliest kinds of lintels ever built by humans is this one. For construction, firm, sound wood that has had enough time to season must be used.

Typically, the lintel’s depth is equal to one-twelfth of its width. You can use a single plank of wood or a built-up system made of two or more strips of wood that have been bolted together.

The more expensive, less sturdy, and more flammable timber lintel beam is held in place by the steel bolts. The vulnerability of a timber lintel to fire is its biggest flaw. It is less resilient and fragile. It requires sufficient airflow. If not, the beam will be destroyed by the rot.


  • Easy to construct.
  • Can be used to temporary structures.
  • No formwork is needed.
  • No curing period is required.


  • If not properly maintained, wood may degrade.
  • Compared to the other options, it is highly expensive.
  • It is flame-sensitive.
  • The forces exerted on the lintel by tension, compression, and shear are difficult for the wood to withstand.
  • Permanent structures do not employ this style of the lintel.

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Stone lintels

As a lintel, rectangular pieces of stone can be used. This particular region, where the stone is easily accessible, is where this form of the lintel is most frequently employed. In the unlikely occasion that the opening is particularly long, two pieces of wood are nonetheless linked to create the lintel’s openings. They are only employed in mountainous structures since they are very heavy and there aren’t any other materials available to build them with. Its use is inextricably linked to stone-masonry buildings. It is necessary to use stone lintels in accordance with the knowledge of distinctive layering.

The stone lintel’s thickness has a big role in its design. The thickness is assumed to be 4 cm as a general rule. The minimum thickness should be 8 cm for every 30 cm of span. Such a lintel beam will be stable and sturdy. The stone lintel has a few drawbacks as well.


  • It offers an attractive appearance and a very nice sight.
  • If the stones are accessible locally, it is quite affordable.
  • it is ideal for brief periods.
  • No need for curing or formwork.


  • Its tension is really weak.
  • When subjected to shock waves, earthquakes, and vibrations, it struggles.
  • If it can’t be found locally, it could be expensive.
  • it cannot be used for a long period.

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Brick lintel

Lintels are constructed from premium brick that is well-burnt and lasts a long time. Options include coursed bricks laid horizontally over openings, bricks on edge, and bricks on their ends. When the entry is small (less than 1m) and the load is light, this type of lintel is used. Depending on the span, their depth varies from 10 cm (one brick thickness) to 20 cm. Plain blocks offer less end joint shear resistance than bricks with mortar-filled frogs.

When the weight is light, brick lintels can be a good building material to use. The end joints of bricks made for this purpose frequently feature depressions called frogs that can aid prevent shearing. This technique is sometimes called a “joggled brick lintel.”


  • It is the most affordable kind of lintel.
  • ideal for brief periods.
  • The thermal coefficient of the lintel and the masonry is the same because they are both constructed of the same material. As a result, thermal stress-related cracks can be prevented.


  • Bricks are not robust enough to serve as a lintel.
  • Bricks are tension-weak.
  • Brick lintels are only capable of supporting small loads.
  • Long spans are not suitable for it.
  • To support the bricks during building, formworks are required.
  • A minimum of 2 to 3 weeks must pass for the cure.

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Steel lintel

Prefabricated GI sheets, rolled I section, or angle sections are used to create steel lintels. A pipe separator can be used to keep the required minimum space between sections if more than one is employed. To strengthen the concrete’s resilience to corrosion and other environmental factors like fire, steel parts may also be incorporated into the concrete. If not, anti-corrosive coatings should be applied to the steel portions.


  • Long spans may be covered using it.
  • Steel is lightweight, making it simple to handle and move.
  • Steel is a strong material that can be formed into any shape.
  • The construction process is accelerated by the prefabrication of steel.
  • No formwork or curing is required.


  • It is prone to catching fire.
  • It is vulnerable to corrosion.

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Plain cement concrete

Plain cement concrete lintels.

The behavior of the plain cement concrete lintels and that of the stone lintels is comparable. They excel at compression but struggle with tension.


  • ideal for brief periods.
  • It is reasonably priced.
  • It is simple to put together.
  • Using a prefabricated PCC lintel is quite practical.


  • Its tension is really weak.
  • Long distances cannot be covered by it.
  • It is not resilient to shock waves, earthquakes, or vibrations.
  • If concrete is cast on-site, formworks are required to support it during construction.
  • If it is cast in place, a minimum 28-day curing period is required.

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Reinforced Cement Concrete lintels or RCC

Reinforced Cement Concrete lintels or RCC lintel.

Because of their rigidity, load-bearing ability, strength, fire resistance, affordability, and convenience of use, reinforced cement concrete lintels are a common choice. The concrete lintels are strengthened by bars along the bottom and sheer stirrups. Concrete boot lintels can be a beautiful and affordable option when positioned over cavity walls.


  • The resistance to tension, compression, shear, and deflection makes it the optimum lintel for meeting all design requirements.
  • Construction can move more quickly when using precast RCC lintels.
  • It is available for extended periods.
  • For the design requirements it meets, it is reasonably priced.
  • It is simple to put together.


  • To support the concrete during building, formworks are required.
  • A minimum cure time of 28 days is required.

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What are the benefits of lintel?

The following are the benefits of lintel;

  • They’re easy to make and have a simpler appearance.
  • The finishing supports of lintels do not receive an excessive load. Thus, it is not necessary for them to be built so strongly.
  • The lintel may be easily centered, and the frames are also reasonably priced.
  • When the stress is applied uniformly, it can support a significant amount of weight.
  • They appear basic and delicate.

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Lintel FAQs

What is a lintel vs header?

Lintels, which are frequently found in masonry or brick buildings, give stone structures their structural support. Headers, on the other hand, are more common in timber structures. Building arches that curve over an entryway, window, or other opening is frequently more difficult.

What is lintel and Chajja?

Lintels have the same width as walls, but the thickness that must be provided depends on the size of the aperture. The projection that is placed outside the wall to shield the doors and windows from the rain is known as a chajja. Typically, R.C.C. is used to make them. Stone slabs are provided as chajjas in affordable housing.

What is the difference between a lintel and a frame?

A horizontal element that spans an aperture, door, or window is called a lintel. The lintel is typically installed over openings, such as doors and windows. Typically, it is neither a framing member nor a component of the structural frame.

What is a lintel in windows?

Buildings often use lintels as structural supports. To sustain the weight of the structure above, they are fixed horizontally above openings like doors and windows. Bricks, concrete, wood, or metal can all be used to make lintels.

What are the 4 types of lintels?

Brick, timber, steel, and concrete lintels are the four basic forms of lintels.

What is the function of the lintel?

A horizontal component called a lintel is used to cross wall openings. It works in a manner akin to an arch. To give shade and cover, lintels are installed above the windows and are attached to a sunshade. Compared to arches, lintels require far less centering.

Can a lintel be a beam?

A sort of beam (a horizontal structural feature) known as a lintel or lintol spans openings like portals, doors, windows, and fireplaces. It could be a combination embellished structural piece or a decorative architectural element.

What is the difference between a tie beam and a lintel?

There are many distinct components that go into building a house, including several beams that act as the structure’s skeleton. A lintel enables all those windows to let in the lovely Florida sunshine, while a tie beam enables those vaulted ceilings and second levels.

That’s all for this article where the answers to the following questions about lintel are discussed;

  • What is the definition of a lintel?
  • What are the types of lintels?
  • What are the benefits of lintel?

I hope it was helpful, if so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.