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A person using a rubber mallet to insert a metal lintel into a slot in brickwork

Overview

Installing a lintel is an important step before cutting a hole in a brick wall. The lintel is a flat steel beam that holds the wall up once you have removed the bricks. We'll show you everything you need to know to position and install your lintel correctly.

Steps

1Work out where you can put your hole and mark up

Get a builder or structural engineer to have a look at your house plans to find the right place for your hole. Once you have found the right place, mark the line of mortar the lintel will sit in. The ends of your lintel will rest on top of bricks, so make sure it's 300mm longer than the width of your hole.
A person marking a brick wall using a metal lintel and marker pen

2Cut a gap for the lintel

Use an angle grinder to cut away the mortar. Depending on the thickness of your mortar, you may need to trim some of the brick as well. Then use a masonry chisel and mash hammer to knock out the remaining mortar. Once the bulk of it has been cleared away, use a hammer drill with a long 10mm masonry bit to clean the gap up.
A person using an angle grinder to cut away mortar in a brick wall

3Install the lintel into the gap in the wall

Place the lintel in the gap. Use a mash hammer to gently knock it in. Then prepare some ready mix mortar and mortar the ends of the lintel into place with a trowel. Run your finger along the wet mortar to give it a profile that matches the existing mortar line. Then wipe the bricks down with a wet rag to finish. 
A person using a rubber mallet to insert a metal lintel into a slot in brickwork

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.