Water table (architecture)

A water table is a projection of lower masonry on the outside of a wall, slightly above the ground, or at the top of a wainscot section of a wall (in this case also known as a sill).

Brick water table at Reads Landing School in Minnesota

It is both a functional and architectural feature that consists of a projection that deflects water running down the face of a building away from lower courses or the foundation.[1][2] A water table may also be primarily decorative, as found near the base of a wall or at a transition between materials, such as from stone to brick. The top of the water table is often sloped or chamfered to throw off water.[3]

Water table behind St. George's Church, Norwich

Often a damp course is placed at the level of the water table to prevent upward penetration of ground water.[4]


  1. ^ Dietrich, Bud. "Water Table". Houzz. Houzz Inc. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Accent banding" (PDF). stonelegends.com. Stone Legends. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  3. ^ Parker (1888), p. 327
  4. ^ Technical Notes 2 – Glossary of Terms Relating to Brick Masonry


  • Parker, John Henry (1888), A Concise Glossary of Architure, london: Parker and Co