Masonry – The Art and Science of Building With Brick, Stone, and Concrete

Brick is a construction material made from clay that is usually red or brown and rectangular. It is a common building material used in many different types of structures. It is a popular choice because it is less expensive than other materials, such as stone and concrete, and it is also durable. To learn more, visit Masonry Charleston SC.

Masonry ContractorsMany different types of brick are available on the market, each with its unique characteristics. The type of brick selected for a particular project will depend on several factors, including color, surface texture, density, pore structure, water absorption, and thermal characteristics. The bricks may also be classified based on their forming method, origin, quality, and texture.

A brick that is unglazed is usually called a firebrick, while a glazed brick is typically referred to as an engineering brick. Engineering bricks are often used in basement foundations because of their high compressive strength, low porosity, and resistance to chemical damage. These bricks are also more resistant to abrasion than other types of brick, making them ideal for use in walls and pavements that will be subjected to heavy traffic.

During the construction process, masonry teams must pay close attention to the details of their work. For example, the mortar between bricks needs to be smooth and consistent to prevent sagging or cracking. The bricks must also be trimmed to the proper size for a given structure, and they should be properly cured to ensure they are strong and durable.

In addition, masonry materials must be carefully protected from moisture and other environmental hazards. This is why it is important to seal any exposed surfaces that can be easily accessed with tools or equipment. This will help to prevent the growth of algae and other organisms that can cause structural damage to the brickwork.

Masonry bricks can be laid in a variety of ways, depending on the type of structure being built. One popular method is English bond, which uses alternating courses of stretchers and headers. This type of construction is typically used for residential buildings, and it requires regular inspection using a spirit level and plumb bob to verify the straightness of the walls.


Masonry is an ancient art that uses stone and brick to build structures. It has a long history, dating back to ancient Egypt and Babylon. It is a type of construction that can provide many benefits to homeowners and businesses. Masonry can add to the overall aesthetic of a building and help boost its value. It also can be used to protect buildings from damage caused by natural disasters.

One of the most common types of masonry is brick. Bricks are lightweight, which reduces the dead load on the structure and makes it more flexible. It is easier to construct with less skilled labor than other types of masonry, and can be used for both structural and decorative purposes. Bricks can also be adhered with different types of mortar, which helps to reduce costs. Openings for doors and windows are easily made with brick masonry, which can help to reduce construction costs.

Other types of masonry include stone and concrete. Stone masonry is more expensive than brick, but it is more durable and has a higher aesthetic appeal. It is often used for heavier structures, such as piers and abutments of bridges. Stone masonry requires specialized skills to construct, and is often more time-consuming than other types of masonry.

Unlike brick, stone masonry is not limited in color or size. It can be carved to create more complex shapes. This type of masonry is often used in cathedrals and other large religious buildings. It is also used to construct tombs and other structures that require a high level of craftsmanship.

Stone masonry requires careful planning to achieve the desired result. It is important to have the correct materials and skilled workers on site to ensure that the building is constructed correctly. It is important to clean and dress each piece of stone before it is put in place, and to carefully bed them into the mortar. The stones should be well-fitted, and no dressing or hammering which would loosen them should be allowed to take place after they are in position.

Another method of stone masonry is called ashlar masonry. This type of masonry is suitable for walls that are to be constructed up to a height of 6 m. The stones are roughly shaped, and their faces are arranged to show face joints running irregularly in all directions.


Concrete is one of the most common construction materials. It is used to build foundations and other structural components of buildings, as well as sidewalks and patios. It is often mixed with other materials, such as brick, stone and mortar, to form masonry structures. For example, concrete blocks are commonly used to build walls for houses and commercial buildings. Stone masonry is also a popular choice for building material because it produces sturdy, lasting structures.

Masonry is a specialized type of construction that requires expert knowledge and skills to create durable structures. It can be difficult to identify professionals with the right expertise to handle masonry projects. Recruiting and hiring experienced construction workers who can handle complex building projects with ease can make it easier to launch a successful building project.

The main difference between concrete and masonry is that concrete is made in a factory, while masonry is done on-site. Concrete is a mix of Portland cement, water and aggregates, such as crushed rock or sand. The cement is what binds the aggregates together to create the solid, hard-as-rock material known as concrete. This mixture is then transported to the worksite in buckets, wheelbarrows or trucks, where it is combined with masonry materials on-site by skilled masons.

While concrete is a complete building material on its own, it is typically reinforced with metal to add strength and reduce the risk of cracking. The reinforcement is usually wire mesh, steel bars or rebar. It is also common to use concrete plus steel rebar in CMU (concrete masonry units) open-cell walls.

Mortar is a binding agent that holds bricks, concrete blocks and other types of masonry materials together. It is typically sold in bags as a dry pre-mix that you combine with water. When mixing, it is important to follow the directions on the package for best results. Using a mechanical mixer is the best way to ensure consistency and uniformity of the mortar. Typically, the water is added first, followed by the sand and cement. Mixing should continue until the mortar is stiff, but not too dense. There are several different mortar mixes available to suit different applications, and they should be selected according to the type of masonry that will be used in the construction.


Many historic masonry buildings are covered with stucco, a plaster-like finish that can be troweled or brushed onto exterior walls. It is made of sand, lime, and cement, and can be textured to achieve a variety of finishes. It was popularized in the Victorian era when elaborately designed stucco facades and villas dominated the seaside resorts of England and Wales.

Stucco is a flexible building material that can withstand expansion and contraction caused by shifts in the ground beneath it. When correctly installed and maintained, it can last for decades. However, improper installation can result in cracking and water intrusion.

A stucco facade acts as a building’s “skin” by creating a weathertight enclosure that protects the underlying structure from rain, wind and sun. It can also be used to vary the appearance of a masonry wall or conceal deterioration. It is often specified in revival styles of architecture as a way to add ornamentation or to highlight specific architectural features such as a door or window.

When properly executed, a stucco finish will last for generations. Historic masonry and stucco can be painted, but color selection should consider the property’s color rating and review process requirements.

When repairing historical masonry, infill brick and stone must match the existing in visual characteristics and hardness. It is important to use a mortar that will not discolor adjacent surfaces over time. It is also important to regularly check the surface of a stucco building for soluble salt activity. The salts within the pores of a stucco surface can cause the unsightly bloom of efflorescence or, more severely, a crumbling surface known as cryptoflorescence. This is caused by repeated wetting and drying that carries the salts to the surface where they crystallize.

It is important to work with a contractor who understands the nuances of working with different types of masonry and stucco. They should be familiar with the appropriate mortar and stucco mixes for the Vieux Carre (see Mortar & Stucco Mixes, page 06-8). When working with brick or concrete block, it is necessary to use metal lath to prevent moisture damage.