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Types of Masonry Joints

There are several styles and kinds of masonry joints. The masonry joint is the area of mortar in between your brick, block, or stone. On brick and block the vertical joints are referred to as head joints and the horizontal joints are referred to as bed joints.

The way in which you tool, or joint your masonry work is not only for aesthetic purposes. In drier climates masonry joint style is strictly personal preference. While some styles of jointing are more resilient to weather, when you live in a climate like Michigan where you have high precipitation and constantly shifting seasons jointing style can be structural and more than just personal preference.

The first style of jointing is the concave joint. Concave joints are shallow and seal against the face of the brickwork evenly. The two most common tools used on a concave joint are the s-jointer (named for its appearance) and the barrel jointer. There are a variety of sizes that s-jointer and barrel jointers come in. The concave joint also is good at concealing small irregularities in masonry construction.

The “V” joint is very similar to the concave joint. It is also a very weather resistant form of jointing. The primary difference between the “v” joint and the “s” joint is the “v” joint provides a very small line in the center of the mortar joint. The “v” joint is not nearly as common as the concave joint.

Another style of joint is the weather joint. The weather joint is the most weather resilient style of joint. This is because it seals evenly against the bottom edge of the brickwork and allows moisture to drain off of it.

The fourth style of mortar joint is the rake joint. The rake joint is a deeper joint than the concave joint and can look very appealing on more textured or uneven brick. The rake joint is achieved through the use of either a tool called a rake jointer (skate) or by wire brushing the mortar between the bricks out to the desired depth.

The fifth style of jointing is the squeezed or weeping joint. A weeping joint is when you lay your brick on top of your mortar and do not scrape any of the excess mortar away. While this may sound like the easiest and worst appearing of the joints, for the trained mason this is actually the hardest type of joint. As a mason laying brick becomes second nature like breathing. This means that without any thought at all the mason will oftentimes find his trowel scraping away the excess mortar between the joints in order to apply the mortar to the head joint of the next brick he lays. I speak from personal experience when I tell you it can be quite frustrating to have to relay the same brick several times because you are so used to scraping away the excess mortar as you lay the brick. The weeping joint is the only joint not pictured below.

The sixth style of jointing is the flush joint. The flush joint is the easiest of the joints for a mason to construct. The flush joint is typically used under walls that are going to be painted or not seen. It is where the mason simply scrapes the excess mortar out from between the bricks. No additional tooling is required.

The beaded joint is a raised and rounded, bead-shaped segment of the mortar away from the mortar surface producing an old-fashioned, formal design. Although beaded joints can create interesting shadows, they are not recommended for exterior use due to their exposed ledges. Beaded joints allow moisture to penetrate your masonry work.

The eight style of joint is the struck joint. The struck joint provides poor weather resistance but will emphasize the bed joints of your masonry construction nicely.

The final style of jointing is the grapevine joint. The grapevine joint is a combination of the struck joint and the “v” joint. This style of jointing is not very weather resilient but does give the appearance of a somewhat deeper joint. The grapevine is a very shallow joint with a line running through it.
I hope this information has proved useful for anybody looking to perform masonry construction. If you have an interest in a free consultation about your masonry construction, or an interest in a free estimate, please contact Mark Maupin of Brick Repair LLC at 248-895-7752. For more information on the effects of weather on masonry construction and masonry repair visit http://michiganchimneyrepairr.com/WintersandMichiganMasonry.aspx
Types of Masonry Joints

Michigan Chimney Repair, Masonry Construction, Fireplace Construction, and Masonry Contractor. Brick Repair LLC is happy to serve the following communities: Auburn Hills, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield township, Brighton, Canton, Clarkston, Clawson, Commerce, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Ferndale, Drayton Plains, Eastpointe, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Grosse pointe, Highland, Highland Park, Howell, Hunington Woods, Keego Harbor, Lake Orion, Lathrup Village, Lincoln Park, Livonia, Madison Heights, Milford, New Hudson, Northville, Novi, Oak Park, Orchard Lake, Orion, Orchard Lake, Ortonville, Pontiac, Redford, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Romulus, Roseville, Royal Oak, South Lyon, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Sylvan Lake, Troy, Utica, Walled Lake, Waterford, West Bloomfield, White Lake Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County, Livingston County