Procedure of Brickwork in Masonry Construction

Procedure of Brickwork in Masonry Construction

Brickwork is a fundamental element of masonry construction, providing strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal to buildings. To ensure the quality and longevity of brickwork, it is essential to follow a standardized procedure and adhere to specific guidelines.

This article outlines the step-by-step process for brickwork, including material selection, soaking of bricks, laying techniques, curing, and necessary protections.

Brickwork in Masonry Construction

1. Materials for Brickwork:

The first step in constructing brickwork is to gather the necessary materials. The quality of bricks and mortar significantly impacts the strength and integrity of the structure.

A. Bricks:

Choose bricks that conform to standard specifications, exhibiting good brick earth, thorough burning, and a deep cherry red or copper color.

Ensure the bricks have regular shapes with sharp edges, emit a clear ringing sound when struck, and are free from cracks, chips, flaws, and lumps.

Bricks should not absorb water more than one-sixth of their weight after one hour of soaking.

Standard bricks should have a crushing strength of 105 kg/ or 1500 lbs/

B. Mortar:

Use mortar of the specified grade, and ensure the materials used for mortar meet standard specifications.

For cement mortar, employ fresh Portland cement or pozzolana Portland cement.

Sand should be sharp, clean, and free from organic and foreign matter. Use coarse or medium-sized sands for rich mortar and local fine sand for weaker mortar.

The proportion of cement-sand can vary from 1:3 to 1:6, or as specified. Measure the materials accurately using a measuring box.

Dry-mix cement and sand to achieve a uniform color, then gradually add clean water to achieve a workable consistency. Thoroughly mix the mortar by turning it at least three times.

Use only freshly mixed mortar and avoid using old or stale mortar.

2. Soaking of Bricks:

To enhance the bonding strength between bricks and mortar, it is crucial to soak the bricks properly before laying them.

Fully submerge the bricks in clean water for 12 hours prior to use.

Continue soaking until air bubbles cease to appear.

3. Laying of Bricks:

The laying technique and arrangement of bricks play a significant role in the stability and appearance of the structure.

Lay bricks in English bond, unless specified otherwise, and ensure a solid bond between bricks.

Maintain a true horizontal alignment for each course, and ensure walls are plumb.

Avoid directly aligning vertical joints from consecutive courses; instead, align them vertically with the alternate course.

Exclude damaged or broken bricks from use.

Place clean-cut bricks as closers near the ends of walls, but not at the edges.

Use well-shaped bricks for facework.

Maintain mortar joints not exceeding 6 mm (1/4 inch) in thickness and fill them completely.

Orient bricks with frogs (indentations) facing upward, except for the top course where frogs should be placed downward.

Limit the height of brickwork to 1 meter or 3 feet at a time. If a section of the wall needs to be delayed, create a 45-degree angle stepping.

Ensure corbelling or projections do not exceed 1/4 brick in one course.

Rake all joints and clean the wall’s faces at the end of each day’s work.

4. Curing of Brickwork:

Proper curing is essential to enhance the strength and durability of brickwork.

Keep the brickwork wet for at least 20 days after laying.

Flood the tops of walls at the end of each day’s work, creating a small weak mortar edging that contains at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water.

5. Protection for Brickwork:

Protecting brickwork from the elements during construction is crucial as the structure is in its vulnerable, “green” state.

Shield the brickwork from the effects of sun, rain, frost, etc., that could potentially damage it.

6. Scaffolding for Brickwork:

Proper scaffolding ensures the safe and efficient construction of brick walls.

Provide necessary and suitable scaffolding with strong supports and members capable of withstanding all expected loads.

7. Measurement of Brickwork:

Accurate measurement of brickwork helps estimate costs and quantify the work done.

Measure brickwork in cubic meters or cubic feet.

Differentiate between various types of brickwork with different mortar compositions.

The thickness of the wall should be measured as multiples of the brick size, such as 10 cm for a half brick, 20 cm for one brick, 30 cm for 1.5 bricks, and so on.

The rate should include the cost of the complete work, including scaffolding, tools, and plants.


Brickwork is a vital component of masonry construction, and following a standardized procedure is crucial to ensure its strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal.

By adhering to the guidelines outlined in this article, including proper material selection, soaking of bricks, laying techniques, curing, and necessary protections, builders can create robust and long-lasting brick structures. Paying attention to these details and following industry standards will result in high-quality brickwork that stands the test of time.

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