Top 10 Need to Know Brick Masonry Terms and more
There are many specialized terms related to all aspects of brick masonry building. For the DIY, just getting started to build a brick mailbox, all the terms can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to follow explanations if you don’t understand what they mean.
Here you will find definitions of the top 10, must know, brick masonry terms that will get you on your way to understanding what masons are talking about. You will also find detail pictures to understand better the masonry terms. Also, locate the article on how to build a brick mailbox that thoroughly explains all the steps to construct one using all these masonry terms. You will be able to follow the article entirely once you understand all these terms.
Brick Masonry Terms: The Basic Top 10
The junction of two or more masonry pieces leaving a space between the bricks or concrete masonry units that are filled with mortar or grout. If the joint is parallel to the bed of masonry pieces in a course, it is termed as bed joint. If the joint is perpendicular, then the bed joints are termed vertical joints, side joints, head joints, or just joints. You can find below the different mortar joint types.
The bed is the horizontal layer of mortar where brick or stone units are laid.
A perforation or hole on the longer face of a brick made with the object of forming an indentation for the mortar. This hollow depression also reduces the weight and makes it easier to handle. The depth of the frog is usually between 10 to 20 mm. Frogged bricks should lay with the frog upward and fill up with mortar. The reason is to obtain higher strength, stability, and sound insulation.
The shorter side or end face of a piece of brick that is exposed.
The longer narrow side or face of a piece of brick that is exposed.
A continuous horizontal layer of similar bricks or stones that are bonded with mortar in a masonry structure and is one unit high. Find below the different types of courses.
A course of bricks or stones that lie with its longest side parallel to the face of the work. The course of brickwork in which all the bricks are laid as stretchers is known as stretcher course. In the example below it is a course of bricks four stretchers long.
The course of brickwork in which all the bricks are laid as headers is referred to as header course. Three-quarter bats are used for the corners. A header course requires twice as many bricks as a stretcher course making it more time consuming and expensive to build.
Bricks that are set with the narrow side exposed are called soldiers. Bricks laid vertically with its long narrow sides presented (Soldiers) in a row is called a soldier course. Usually used to add visual interest to a masonry structure.
Brick Masonry Terms: The Advanced Terms
In here you will find the rest of the masonry terms that you could run into if you start a masonry project.
Masonry anchors are a metal or strap usually made of brass, stainless steel or galvanized steel. Anchors are used to tying a wall (brick, block or stone) to another structure.
The sharp corner edges of a brick.
Masonry that is composed of variable size rectangular units that have sawed, dressed, or squared bed surfaces, properly bonded and laid in mortar. These masonry units are precisely cut on all faces that are next to other masonry units and normally have very thin joints.
The interior surface of a brick wall which is not exposed is named the back. The material forming the back is called the backing.
The portion of brick that is cut across the width.
Three Quarter Bat
The incline of one surface that meets another of the same body with the angle being anything but a 90-degree angle.
The method of arranging bricks in a pattern so that the individual units are tied together. Bonding is crucial to eliminate consecutive vertical joints both in the body as well as on the face of the wall, as this will create a weak brick structure. It is also referred as the adhesion between mortar and brick or stone units and when attaching several types of masonry walls by overlapping masonry units.
A bull nose brick is a type of brick that has one or some of its corners rounded off. The are typically used to build soft and attractive curved edges to steps, ledges, or in capping walls. There are many types of bull nose bricks.
Single Bull Nose
Double Bull Nose
Single Bull Nose Header
Single Bull Nose Stretcher
Bull Nose Double Stretcher
The act of placing mortar on one face of a masonry unit with a trowel before is laid. You will want to put as much mortar as possible on the end of the brick.
The construction of brick masonry units bonded together with mortar to form walls.
There are four main types of masonry bricks. Here are their definitions.
Walls and other structures made from bricks.
The portion of the brick cut lengthwise in such a manner that its one long face remains uncut. Usually used to end a brick course or building beautiful corners.
Queen Closer (Half)
Queen Closer (Quarter)
CONCRETE MASONRY UNIT
Aka "CMU", "Cinder Block”, “Concrete Block”, "Concrete Brick"; or simply “Block”. A concrete masonry unit that is made from portland cement, water, and any suitable aggregates. It may include other materials.
The vertical or horizontal joints that are used to separate masonry into segments to control cracking.
The surface of a wall that is exposed or the surface of brick or stone that is exposed in finished work.
A very fluid form of mortar used to fill gaps. It is used in construction to seal empty areas, and fill joints like the areas between tiles. It is a mix of water, cement, sand, and usually, a color tint is added to match the masonry unit.
The interior portion of a masonry structure wall between the facing and the backing.
There are eight types of mortar joints.
This is a mandatory carrier signal flag used to indicate, when up, that there is outgoing mail that the carrier needs to pick up in the mailbox. The preferred color by the USPS of the mailbox flag is orange. Find the detail USPS mailbox flag regulations under section "3.7 Carrier Signal Flag".
One who builds or works with stone or brick.
The masonry definition The construction of building materials bonded together with mortar. That which is constructed by a mason; anything constructed of the materials used by masons, such as stone, brick, tiles, etc.
A single construction material, usually brick, used on the exterior walls of buildings for its appearance of solid masonry without the weight and cost and providing a non-load bearing wall. The masonry veneer is fastened to the building's structure, but is self-supporting, and places no additional load on the building. Masonry veneer is primarily used for its appearance and sometimes it is referred as “curtain walls.
A joint formed by fitting together two masonry pieces beveled to an angle, which usually is 45-degrees, to form a corner.
The material used in masonry construction to fill the gaps between the bricks and blocks used in construction. It provides for full bearing, and seals and bonds between masonry units. Mortar is a mixture of sand and a binder like cement or lime. Water is then applied to form a paste which then sets hard.
The process of applying a fine coat of mortar to finish the surface of a masonry wall. Also, the cement mortar coat itself.
It is a projecting course of stones at the base of a wall.
The masonry units used to accentuate a masonry structure corner by adding bricks or stone units that would be different from the wall masonry wall in size, color, or texture. Or simply put, the masonry units used to accentuate the corners of walls in a masonry structure.
When consecutive courses are stepped back from the face of the wall. You would usually step back the ends of courses successively from bottom to top in an unfinished wall to facilitate the resumption of work or bonding with an intersecting wall.
The horizontal or vertical reinforcing bars that are used to reinforce any masonry structure.
A horizontal continuous projecting course of brick or stone that provides an aesthetic appearance to a structure. It is also called a band course.
A masonry tie is a wire or sheet metal device used to connect two or more masonry single section brick walls. They are also used to connect masonry veneers to a structural backing system.
The temporary wall ends where alternate stretchers project out. Projecting masonry units are called tooths.
WAYS TO LAY A BRICK
There are six ways that you can lay a brick and it is given different names.
A small handheld tool with a flat, pointed blade, used to apply and spread mortar or plaster
The openings that are placed in mortar joints of facing material at the level of flashing to allow moisture to escape.
A power masonry saw that uses water to cool a diamond blade that keeps the blade clean and cold to make quick work of cutting masonry units. A wet saw also keeps dust at a minimum and cuts faster than using a dry masonry saw.
Now that you understand all these brick masonry terms you should be able to follow the detailed article on how to build a brick mailbox like a professional or you can try to follow the easier, picture-driven article, how to build a brick mailbox in pictures.
If you have further questions or suggestions on any other masonry terms that we should include, please leave a comment on our site or contact us .