Lintel installation tips

Lintel installation: 17 essential tips

Andrew ALL, Concrete Lintels, Steel Lintels 3 Comments

Installing lintels is pretty straightforward but we often get asked for advice and tips on the installation of both our prestressed concrete lintels and steel lintel products.

Here we round up 17 tips, which can be found in various parts of our brochure but have collected for you in one handy blog post.

General installation tips for steel and concrete lintels

Prestressed concrete lintel installation tips

Recommended bearings for concrete lintels depend on the length of the opening.

1. The lintel should be bedded on mortar and levelled both along the lintel and across its width. Full bricks, blocks or padstones should be used as bearing areas. DO NOT bear lintels onto cut blocks.

2. Prior to installation, the lintel should be examined carefully for any defects, or signs of damage.

3. All external wall lintels must be installed with a flexible damp proof course or cavity tray.

4. Masonry must not overhang any flange by more than 25mm.

5. Masonry above the lintel should be allowed to cure before applying floor or roof loads.

Installation tips for concrete lintels

6. Recommended bearings are 100mm for openings of up to 1m, and 150mm for openings over 1m.

7. Minimum recommended lintel depth is 140mm in order to absorb the shock loading of a concrete floor.

8. Precast flooring units should be laid on a mortar bed across the whole wall width and should not be dragged over supports.

Installation tips for steel lintels

Composite lintel installation tips

Composite lintels should be adequately propped during construction, at maximum centres of 1.2m.

9. Inner and outer leaves supported by the lintels should be raised together to avoid excessive eccentricity of loading.

10. In the case of cavity walls, the cavity tray should extend not less than 50mm beyond the cavity return.

11. The minimum recommended bearing length is 150mm.

12. Composite lintels should be adequately propped during construction, at maximum centres of 1.2m. The props should not be removed until the mortar has cured.

13. For channel lintels ensure that the inner leaf channel is filled well-cured masonry before work proceeds over. Masonry needs to be built tightly against the vertical section of the channel and a mortar joint added to the top of the masonry so that the loads from units above are spread evenly over the inner flange of the lintel.

14. For RS lintels (rolled steel lintels) a minimum bearing of 200mm is required.

15. RS lintels must be laterally restrained and adequately propped during construction at maximum 1.2 metre centres.

16. Open back eaves lintels must be built in with a course of blockwork positioned tightly against the up-stand of the lintel.

17. For TF lintels (timber frame) a tight fitting timber batten should be placed at mid span to help prevent any lateral deflection.

Don’t forget to check out our 10-step guide to installing a cavity lintel.

If you would like more installation tips and advice then sign up for our monthly digest, or get in touch with us via a contact form below. You can also have a look at out lintel glossary for more information on the terminology used.

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Comments 3

  1. I am a garden designer and am designing a 1.2m floating bench between ‘side tables’ and 2 block built raised planters. I plan to use 1.5m pre-stressed concrete lintels and have pads for the bearing and am now trying to find out the dimensions of the lintels I would need to use to support the seated weight of 2 persons.
    Any suggestions would be most welcome!
    Thank you.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Susan,
      Thanks for your inquiry. As our products are manufactured for use in construction, we cannot offer any advice, nor can we guarantee our products beyond their standard intended use. that said, the average person exerts a force of about 608 newtons, so I will leave it to you to decide if one of our lintels is suitable. Thanks again.

  2. Hi there.
    I’m going to install your standard concrete lintel above a fireplace opening. The lintel I originally bought had dimensions of 100x140x900, but I bought another lintel with dimensions of 100x65x900 The bricks I’m removing above the opening have a depth of 100mm, but I want to install the lintel that has the depth of 65mm to allow extra space behind the lintel to allow enough room for the register plate and stove pipe. Would this 65mm lintel be acceptable, or does the depth of the lintel need to be exactly the same depth as the bricks above it once installed.
    Thank you.

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