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Brick Masonry Definition

Brick masonry is a highly durable form of construction. It is built by placing bricks in mortar in a systematic manner to construct solid mass that withstand exerted loads. There are several types of bricks and number of mortars which  can be used to construct brick masonry.

The bond in brick masonry, which adheres bricks together, is produced by filling joints between bricks with suitable mortar. Special cautions shall be practiced while mortar is mixed and placed since it greatly affect the performance and durability of masonry structure.

Types of Brick Masonry Work

1. Brick Work in Mud

  • The mud is used to fill up various joints brick masonry work.
  • Thickness of the mortar joint is 12 mm.
  • it is the cheapest type of brick masonry
  • employed for construction of walls with maximum height of 4 m.
Brick work in mud

Fig. 1: Brick work in mud

2. Brick Work in Cement

This type of brick masonry is construction by laying bricks in cement mortar rather than mud which is used in brick work in mud. There are three major classes of brick work in cement which are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1 Different classes of brick work in cement and their descriptions

Classes Descriptions
First Class
  1. Cement of lime mortar is used,
  2. The surface and edges of bricks are sharp,
  3. And the thickness of mortar joints doesn’t exceed 10mm
Second Class
  1. Ground moulded bricks are used,
  2. Bricks are rough and shape is slightly irregular,
  3. The thickness of mortar joint is 12 mm.
Third Class
  1. Bricks are not hard ,rough surface with distorted shape,
  2. Used for temporary structures,
  3. Used in places where rainfall is not heavy.
Brick work in cement

Fig. 2: Brick work in cement

Types of Bricks

There are different types of brick used in the construction of brick masonry which include:

  1. Common Burnt Clay Bricks
  2. Concrete Bricks
  3. Sand Lime Bricks (Calcium Silicate Bricks)
  4. Fly ash Clay Bricks
  5. Engineering Bricks
  6. Other Brick Types include bullnose, channel, coping, cownose and hollow bricks.
Types of masonry bricks

Fig. 3: Types of masonry bricks

Brick Masonry Construction

Materials and Equipment Used in Brick Masonry Construction 

  1. Mortar Mix or Mason Mix Bricks
  2. Tape measure
  3.  hammer
  4. Hose, level, or theodolite
  5. Trowel Level
  6. Wheelbarrow
  7. Goggles
  8. Jointer
  9.  And other equipment according to project ans personal preferences

Brick Masonry Construction Preparations

  1. Check the level of the ground using level, theodolite or transparent hose level.
  2. Set the layout of the structure.

    Setting out layout of masonry structure

    Fig. 4: Setting out layout of masonry structure

  3. Trace of building axis and wall alignment using gypsum powder, chalk, or similar, marking the trenches for foundation.
  4. After that,install foundation wall, cure foundation for minimum two days before beginning of brick masonry construction.
  5. Distribute bricks in several stacks along project site to cut time and effort later.
  6. Wet bricks few hours prior to the work. Not only does this avoid absorbing too much water from mortar but also improve adherence of bricks and mortar.

Brick Masonry Construction Procedure

  1. Initially, mix the mortar with water and blend it until a smooth and plastic mortar is produced.

    Mortar Preparation

    Fig. 5: Mortar Preparation

  2. After that, place the mortar on foundation line evenly using trowel (25mm thickness and one brick wide is recommended for laid mortar).
  3. Then, lay the first course of stretcher bricks in the mortar. Start with second brick, apply mortar to the head joint end of each brick, After that shove the bricks into place firmly so that the mortar is squeezed out of all side of the joints.

    laying bricks

    Fig. 6: laying bricks

  4. Utilize a level to examine the course for correct height. ensure that bricks are plumb and level.
    Plumb line of brick masonry

    Fig. 7: Plumb line of brick masonry

    Checking level of brick masonry

    Fig. 8: Checking level of brick masonry

  5. Place another mortar line alongside the first course, then begin laying the second course.
  6. Use the two half bricks to begin the second to ensure that the first two courses are staggered for structural purposes.
  7. To finish the second course of the lead, lay three header bricks and make sure that they are plumb and level.
  8. The third and fifth courses consists of stretchers similar to the first course. The fourth course begins with single header, followed by stretchers. Use the level to make sure that the lead is true on each course. Lastly, this pattern of brick laying is used till the target height is reached.

Points Considered in Supervising Brick Masonry Constructions

The following points should be observed in the construction of brick masonry:

  • Use good quality bricks.
  • Ensure that brick courses are perfectly horizontal.
  • Verticality of the wall should be ensured by frequently checking with plumb-bob.
  • Whenever work is stopped brick masonry should be left with toothed end.
  • Use of brick bats should be avoided.
  • Raising walls by more than 1.5 m in one day shall be prevented.
  • Raise face joints to a depth of 12 to 20mm so as to be used as a key for plastering or pointing.
  • Brick masonry should be regularly cured for 2 weeks.
  • The thickness of mortar joints shall be 10 mm both horizontally and vertically.
Brick bat

Fig. 9: Brick bat

Read more:

Tolerances and Workmanship for Reinforced Masonry Construction as per ACI

Checklist for Masonry Wall Construction

Madeh Izat Hamakareem

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