Bricklaying in any environment can be a tricky job. We often think of the task as simply stacking bricks with some mortar, however, there are some techniques and tools you can use to make sure your bricklaying looks neat and professional.
Here are some common tips for you to think about during your next bricklaying project.
Good mortar goes a long way
When mixing your mortar it is absolutely essential that you get the correct consistency so that your wall is strong enough to stand the test of time. When mixing, you want to develop a paste-like consistency. This will allow you to spread the mortar easily on the brick surface and make your work run smoothly.
“Key” the mortar before laying
After you’ve mixed your mortar and laid your bricks down, use a trowel to apply the mortar to the surface of the bricks. Before applying the next row of bricks on top of the mortar, “key” your mortar to give it texture. This means that you use the pointed edge of your trowel to make a series of indentations in the mortar. By keying the mortar you will add strength to your brick structure.
Always stagger the joints
When bricklaying, it is incredibly important to remember to stagger the joints to give your structure strength. This means that you will need a good amount of half bricks to create your structure, so be sure to order them when buying your bricks.
Don’t leave any holes in the mortar
After you’ve made your structure be sure to check all of the mortar for any gaps or holes that you may have missed. These gaps and holes can be very damaging to your structure over time by allowing water to enter.
Put a small amount of mortar on your trowel and thoroughly inspect the joints, applying needed mortar to any gaps or holes. Scrape away any excess with your trowel.
Use a jointing bar for a great look
To finish off all of the visible sides of your structure, use a jointing bar. A jointing bar is a tool used by bricklaying professionals to smooth out all of the mortar. The bar is curved on one side and will create a small indentation in your mortar.
To use your jointing bar, start by sliding your jointing bar over the vertical joints. Be sure not to press to hard and damage the mortar. Finish off with the horizontal joints and smooth out any necessary edges. This will give your structure a beautiful and professional look.