The Basics of Masonry

Colorado Springs Masonry involve constructing structures from bricks, stone, concrete, and other materials. Many masonry projects require a professional, but there are also many tasks that an experienced DIYer can tackle.


Repointing a cracked brick arch is an important repair that you can do yourself. This prevents serious brick damage and saves you money in the long run.

Brick is a popular construction material found in many buildings. It is usually rectangular and made from clay. It is used in masonry to form walls and other structures. It is also commonly used as a pavement for roads and walkways. Bricks are available in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. It is important to choose the right kind of brick for a project. The selection depends on factors such as color, surface texture, density, weight, absorption, pore structure, frost resistance, and mechanical strength.

Bricks are normally laid in a pattern known as a bond. The bonds are used to create a specific aesthetic effect and can add to the strength of a wall. It is also important to understand how a particular bond can affect the structural integrity of a wall. There are a number of different types of bricks and bonds. The type of brick and bond that are chosen can make or break a masonry project.

When building a wall with brick, it is important to understand how to use the proper tools and techniques. These include laying the bricks with mortar and using a level to ensure the wall is straight and plumb. It is also important to know the different types of brick and how they are constructed.

The most common brick is burnt clay brick, which is one of the oldest building materials and is still very popular in modern times. It is manufactured by pressing wet clay into molds, drying them, and firing them in kilns to harden the brick. It is possible to achieve higher strength levels by pressing the clay harder and firing it longer, but this increases the cost of the brick.

There are also different grades of brick that are produced. The best-quality bricks are called “first-class bricks,” which are molded by table-molding and fired in large kilns. They have standard shapes and sharp edges and are more durable than other classes of bricks. Third-class and unburnt bricks are less durable and can only be used for temporary structures.


Stone is a material that has been created by geological processes, giving it different textures and colors. It is used for decorative elements like pillars and porticos, as wall cladding, and as flooring materials. It is also used in the construction of kitchen work surfaces and tables, bathroom vanity units and basins, fire surrounds, and staircases. Stone is a durable material that requires little maintenance and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. It is also an energy-efficient building material, regulating temperature and reducing the need for heating and cooling.

The process of making masonry uses stones that are cut to precise dimensions and laid together using mortar or cement. This type of masonry is called “ashlar” masonry, which refers to the finely chiseled surface of the stones. Its strength comes from the tensile forces that it can resist. In modern masonry, the use of post-tensioning allows for greater efficiency by applying a compressive force to the stones. This is achieved by steel tendons either threaded through ducts within or along the surfaces of the stone elements.

Another type of masonry is called “rubble masonry,” which uses rough or unfinished stones in mortar to make walls. The outer layers of a masonry wall are usually finished with a different material, such as brick or concrete. This type of masonry is less expensive than ashlar masonry, but it can be difficult to construct.

A lintel is a flat stone that forms part of the masonry structure over a window or doorway. It helps to hold the door or window in place and prevents the hinges from damaging the masonry.

Masonry was one of the earliest trades for humans and has been around for millennia. Initially, it was done by hand and with primitive tools, but over the years, machines have made the job much easier for masons. Today, stonemasons use electric and gasoline-powered abrasive saws and mortar mixers, which can get the job done faster and with more precision than hammers and chisels.

If you want to become a stonemason, you need to have good hand-eye coordination and moderate physical fitness. You can learn on-the-job training from experienced stonemasons, or you can study at a college that offers courses in masonry and related subjects.


Masonry has become a building material of choice for many reasons, including its strength, economy, durability, fire resistance, and sound attenuation. It requires minimal maintenance and can be made to look very attractive. It also helps to insulate a building and save energy, making it easier on the environment and on the owner’s pocketbook.

Masonry structures are often clad in stone or brick, which adds to their beauty and functionality. Stone masonry is durable, looks good, and resists weathering, while brick is inexpensive, fire-resistant, and watertight. Bricks and concrete blocks come in a variety of sizes, finishes, and colors. Concrete blocks are larger than traditional clay bricks, making them more convenient to work with and allowing construction to progress faster.

A masonry structure made with bricks or concrete is usually filled with mortar, which is a combination of cement, sand, and aggregate. The mortar provides structural support for the masonry units, and it also helps to seal joints. The mortar may be colored to match the color of the masonry units or to help hide the joint line. Some concrete masonry construction uses prestressed concrete, which increases the strength of the concrete by either pretensioning or posttensioning. In the pretensioning method, lengths of steel wire, cables, or ropes are laid in the empty mold and stretched before pouring the concrete. In the posttensioning method, the concrete is poured while it is being stressed by some means, such as mechanical pressure or the weight of concrete forms.

The sturdiness of a concrete masonry unit makes it a popular choice for foundations, walls, and floors in homes, schools, and office buildings. It also offers the flexibility of varying the thickness and height of walls to accommodate different floor levels. It is important to note, however, that concrete masonry structures need proper reinforcement to support heavy loads, such as floors and roofs.

The construction of a masonry building using concrete block, bricks, or pavers can qualify the project for LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) credit points. This is because masonry construction generally uses recycled materials, is made with local products, and is shipped short distances to the job site. It also reduces the amount of waste generated during installation, and, in the case of Nitterhouse Masonry Products, customers return unused concrete blocks to the company for reuse.


Masonry is a type of building construction that uses individual units (usually brick, stone like marble or granite, or cast stone) that are joined together with mortar. Its durability depends on the quality of the mortar, the workmanship, and how the units are assembled. Masonry is used for a wide range of construction projects, including walls and building facades. It can also be used as a material in landscaping projects.

Stone masonry is a skilled trade that requires the use of hand-held tools and specialized machinery. It can be labor-intensive and expensive, but it provides an attractive and long-lasting finish to a building. The most common stones used in masonry include igneous and metamorphic rocks like granite, limestone, and sandstone. These are often combined with cement and other materials, such as fly ash, to create a mix that is stronger and more durable than pure rock.

The first step in masonry construction is to extract the stone from surface pits or quarries. It is then prepared for use at the site, either with hand-held hammers, mallets, and chisels or with machine-powered saws and molding machines. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to prepare a single piece of granite for a project.

Granite is a coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock that is rich in quartz and feldspar. It is the most common plutonic rock in the Earth’s crust and is formed by the cooling of magma. It can occur in a variety of forms, from dikes and sills to foliated masses that form gneiss or schist.

A masonry contractor can also use various types of stone in his work, including basalt, trap rock, and sandstone. It is important to understand the characteristics of each type of stone before deciding how to use it in a construction project. It’s also useful to learn how different dealers use the term “granite.” In some cases, the word may be used to refer to any hard rock that is not marble. This can lead to confusion for consumers, salespeople, and designers.