18th Nov 2022 -

Within all building projects, if the windows and doors are not reinforced the wall they are installed in will be fundamentally compromised. To ensure the consistent strength of a wall, lintels will be installed over every door and window to support the weight of the bricks above. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll explore the benefits of opting for steel lintels and the different types and sizes available.

What are Steel Lintels?

Within a brick wall, elements like windows and doors are not designed to support the weight of bricks, leading to damage to both them and the wall at large if installed without support. Alongside the immediate weight of the bricks, the weight of the timber floors within a building (as well as the weight of the roof) will need to be considered. To ensure that the walls within houses and other buildings are structurally sound, lintels will be used. Lintels are essentially strength-graded beams that will be installed within the brickwork above a door or window, holding the weight of the wall in place. While reinforced concrete lintels and stone lintels are available alongside timber lintels in certain buildings, steel lintels are a popular choice in modern construction. As steel lintels are flat they can be easily obscured within brickwork, with bricks often placed over them. In comparison, concrete lintels will often be visible within a finished construction. There is also a wide selection of steel lintel shapes and sizes on offer, with models intended for cavity walls, solid walls, and walls that connect to eaves. 

Steel lintels will be installed during the construction of a building. A lintel beam should be large enough to cover the entire span of the window or door and to have at least 150mm on each side of it, to be properly supported in place. Steel lintels will come in sizes small enough for windows and large enough for double doors. 

A builder wearing a black cap and grey outfit adhering to lintel compliance during the installation process.

What Types of Steel Lintels Are Available?

It’s important to use a lintel that is designed around the wall, both in terms of its length and strength, but also in terms of the type of wall. Here are some of the different steel lintels offered through our website:

  • Cavity Wall Lintel: Most contemporary houses within the UK will be constructed with cavity walls, built from two separate brick walls with a void between them. This means that, when installing a window or door, the lintel must support both walls. Cavity wall lintels will be designed to offer structural support on both sides of a wall. There will be options that come as a single piece, and others such as the IG Thin Joint Lintels, which come as two pieces that can be attached together. This allows cavity wall lintels to be installed during production even when both walls are built at separate times.
  • Solid Wall Lintel: Solid walls exist within older buildings, and also in internal walls. For these options, solid wall steel lintels can be used. Box lintels will feature a hollow rectangular box with a flat base sticking out so that an external layer of bricks can be installed over it. Alternatively, inverted T steel lintels will be designed to go below and between a solid wall that is two bricks thick. 
  • Eaves Lintel: Offering support for openings at the eaves level of a house, these steel lintels will have slightly different dimensions so they can be installed alongside the roof.
  • Timber Frame Lintel: Used for outer walls with timber framing, allowing support across the brick and timber elements.

Oftentimes when looking for steel lintels there will be both standard and heavy-duty options available. Depending on the loading conditions of the wall or building, you may have to opt for a heavy-duty beam. Weight limits will normally be included within the technical information for a lintel.

Need Quality Lintels?

View All Steel Lintels

What Sizes of Steel Lintel Are Available?

Steel lintels are produced in a huge range of sizes, catering for everything from a small window to a large sliding door. Within our range of cavity wall lintels, you’ll find lengths from 750mm to 6600mm

What is the Price of a Steel Lintel?

We sell a range of lintels through our website, with the following prices correct as of the time of writing. For a standard 900mm length cavity wall lintel you will be looking at around £41 before VAT. A 900mm solid wall box lintel will cost around £44 before VAT. For a standard 900mm eaves lintel, the cost is about £35 before VAT. We sell a standard 900mm timber frame lintel for about £26 before VAT. In comparison, our 900mm concrete lintels will typically come with a lower price tag.

A Wide Selection of Lintels For Sale

Building Materials Nationwide works across the building industry with builders, contractors, and skilled DIYers, offering a huge range of building supplies for sale. Through our website, you can browse our range of lintels from manufacturers like IG Lintels, with steel and concrete options available. We aim to offer everything a builder could need, delivered across the UK at a great price. We also offer trade accounts for those working professionally, giving access to express delivery across the UK and the services of a dedicated account manager. Sign up for a trade account today through our website.

View All Steel Lintels