Selecting the Right Lintel

Specifying the correct lintel is of a vital importance for any structural project. Whether you are building a small extension or a few houses, we have an online tool that will assist you in choosing just the right product for the job. Our Lintel Selector is a user friendly feature that enables you to select a lintel fit for purpose. All you need is the basic information:

 

  • Wall construction: is it cavity wall, timber frame, external solid wall, internal solid wall?
  • How thick the masonry is going to be: you will need to know how thick your blocks, bricks or stones are going to be.
  • Loading conditions: Is the lintel going to carry extra light, light, standard, heavy, extra heavy or extreme loads?


Wall construction will impact on the size and shape of the lintel required. Open-back and open-back-returned lintels are most common for cavity walls and suitable for standard duty through to extra heavy loading conditions, including direct roof and attic truss loading.

Lintels for external solid walls are available in three distinct types: a single element lintel that is designed to support a single leaf of brickwork; a two-part lintel shaped to carry two separate leaves of 215mm total thickness fair face brick wall; and a box profile lintel with a toe, for use in solid brick or block walls of 200-215mm thickness. 

There are also three types for internal wall lintels: corrugated lintels that offer a cost-effective solution for light loads; channel lintels for standard duty applications; box lintels to deal with heavier loads and wider openings. 

Once you have chosen the wall construction and thicknesses of masonry, you will need to work out the required length of the lintel. This is simply done by adding 300mm to the width of the structural opening. That extra length provides 150mm bearings at each end of the lintel, which are essential for achieving the lintel’s full performance.

Finally, the value of load – the weight which is to be supported by the lintel - should also be considered. The total load is the sum of all dead loads (the static mass of the building components such as the masonry, floor and roof structure with coverings) and the imposed loads (which are measured based on the building’s use), both determine the form of uniformly distributed loads (UDLs). Calculating the correct figure will enable you to choose the correct product by comparing your calculation result with lintel’s Safe Working Load (SWL).

If you’re unsure which lintel to select and would prefer to discuss your requirements, we have a team of highly experienced and friendly engineers on hand. If you are not skilled in calculating loads, there is no need to take risk – we are here to assist you. 

Catnic Steel lintels provide a number of benefits – light weight, ease of installation, and durability due to our unique Duplex Corrosion Protection System. Our recently introduced range of Thermally Broken Lintels also adds extra thermal efficiency.

We can also provide a wide range of special lintels which can be used for unique building designs such as curves, corners and bays.

All Catnic lintels are manufactured according to the requirements of the European Harmonised Standard EN845: Part 2 - 2013 and fulfil the conditions for CE Marking in accordance with annex ZA of EN 845-2: 2003 to comply with Construction Products Regulation (EU) No. 305/2011. Our products are tested for their structural performance, thermal performance and corrosion resistance, to ensure best performance and reliability.

For everything you need to know about specifying lintels for your next project, visit our lintel section here.