Do you want to learn how to lay bricks but don’t know where to start?
If so, you are in the right place. Laying brick is a satisfying work but it requires patience, determination and practice, as well as the right knowledge and tools to do it efficiently.
Brick laying is the process of taking raw materials (bricks) and combining them with other materials (concrete) to form a solid mass.
What is Brick Laying?
In construction building, bricklaying is the process of combining concrete or mortar with sand or gravel and water to make mud and then layering that mud on a prepared surface. The process is repeated until the desired height is reached.
Then the surface is compacted to remove air pockets and create a level and smooth surface.
It is one of the earliest and most important elements of the construction process. A craft that requires a high degree of skill and is often done by hand.
It is vital that the bricks fit together smoothly and tightly so that there are no gaps or cracks. There are a variety of brick sizes but the process is the same throughout.
In addition, the mortar used to bind the bricks together must be applied in such a way as to produce a strong, durable bond.
What are the tools you need for brick laying?
Bricking is one of the most satisfying building projects you can do. The process of brick laying is slow, tedious work that requires focus, concentration, and patience but with the help of the right tools you can do it efficiently.
The tools listed below would be a good place to start if you are new to brick laying and would like to learn the basics without having to buy expensive tools.
- Safety glasses and gloves
- Brick hammer
- Pointing Tool
- Spirit Level
- Shovel for mixing
- Cement mixer (if available)
- Bricklayers Bolster
- Bricklayers Trowel
- Mortar Materials
- Measuring tape
- Concrete board or hard flat surface
How to lay bricks?
Step by step plan for your bricklaying project:
- Select a level surface that is free from loose dirt or grass.
- Properly measure the area for bricklaying.
- Choose the location for each brick, spacing them evenly and making sure that none of them overlap.
- Spread a layer of mortar over the surface, covering each brick.
- Tap each brick firmly into the mortar, one at a time, using the handle of a trowl.
- Keep layering the bricks, making sure they’re in place and lined properly.
- Once all the bricks are in place, smooth out any rough spots with your tool.
- Continue building up the wall in this way, using the same level surface and repeating the steps written above.
With any type of learning. If you can learn the easy parts, then you will be able to learn the hard parts also. In bricklaying, be patient as you start learning and once you get the hang of it, you will be laying brick like a pro.
What is a mortar for brick laying?
A mortar is a material used to bind the pieces of a wall or other structure together.
The mortar mix in brick laying is different than that used to make concrete bricks. Mortar mix is a mixture of:
- Optional additives
The sand and water are the same all the time, but the other ingredients are different. This allows the mason to create a variety of different textures and colors in the final brick.
In a nutshell, basic mortar has sand, cement plus the right amount of water. The sand and gravel add tensile strength to the mixture. The cement is what makes it hard, strong, and able to resist the elements. It also gives it the ability to “bond” to the sand and gravel.
In brick laying, a mortar is applied between each individual brick to hold them together as the wall is built.
A bricklayer uses a mortar to bind the bricks together and form a wall. The mortar holds the bricks together, connects them, binds them to one another. Without it, the structure would fall apart. He uses a certain number of bricks, lays them in a certain pattern and then fills the empty spaces between each row of bricks with the mortar mix.
Mortar mix ratio for bricklaying
In mixing your mortar the key is to always get to the right consistency. Make sure you allow the proper ratio of cement and your ingredients.
The basic recipe includes sand, lime and cement. Although you can conveniently buy the pre-made version of it, it is helpful to know the basic rationing of a good mortar mix as it is relatively cheaper to mix your own.
The standard mortar ratios for bricklaying would be 1 part cement, 1 part lime and 6 parts sand. (Take note: ratio are by volume, not weight) The package of the mortar mix will also have instructions.
Combine the dry materials, and start adding your water. With your shovel thoroughly mix everything up, while ensuring that all the dry materials are incorporated properly and let the water be fully absorbed until you get to the right consistency.
Foundation For Laying Bricks
There are a number of options available here, depending on your situation. You can either lay the bricks directly onto concrete blocks, which have been laid onto the ground to provide support.
The most common way to lay bricks in on a concrete footing. This is simply a concrete slab, poured and levelled to exactly the same level as your brickwork.
You can use ready mixed or site-mixed concrete for this.
You could also lay bricks on top of a bed of gravel. This will need to be compacted well and should be deep enough that it won’t get wet when its raining.
For your brickwork to be as strong as it can, always lay them on a firm foundation such as gravel, concrete or concrete blocks.