What are the basics of laying bricks?

FAQ Category: 

  • Building with bricks
Bricklaying Terms. See the Glossary for more terms.
Important bricklaying tools

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Preparation

  • Plan site layout e.g. position of building, material stores, access etc.
  • Store and protect all materials to minimise saturation and contamination.
  • Control the wetting of bricks in hot, windy weather.
  • Do not lay surface saturated bricks.
  • Set out at ground level to locate all openings before commencing bricklaying.
  • Lay out dry and minimise broken bonds.
  • Prepare and take care of gauge rods - they are important quality control equipment.
  • Work all levels from one datum.

Protection of brickwork

The best treatment is to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place - so protect the wall as work progresses from mortar droppings. After the first course of bricks has been laid - protect the base of the wall by laying sand, straw, sawdust or plastic sheeting along the ground. This minimises mud splashes and damage from mortar droppings.

As clay brickwork should be kept dry as possible during construction, cover the walls at the end of each day's work and during rain in order to keep brickwork free from mortar stains.

At the end of each working day clean the toe boards closest to the wall and turn the boards back to prevent rainfall from splashing mortar and dirt onto the brickwork.

Process & Techniques

  • Mix small batches of mortar to suit building rate and 20 minute initial set timing.
  • Bed all DPC's on fresh mortar
  • Blend face bricks from a number of packs to minimise colour bonding.
  • Plumb, level and square brickwork
  • Fill all mortar joints solidly to minimise water penetration.
  • Clean mortar dropping from cavities regularly