Masonry Construction Based on Material: Choose the Right Material for Your Project

Masonry Construction Based On Material

Table of Contents

What is masonry construction?

Masonry construction is the art and craft of building with bricks, stone, concrete blocks, or other masonry units. Masonry units are laid in courses and bonded together with mortar. Mortar is a mixture of cement, sand, and water, and it acts as a binder and adhesive.

History of masonry construction

Masonry construction is one of the oldest building crafts in the world. Some of the earliest known masonry structures, such as the pyramids of Egypt, were built over 4,000 years ago. Masonry construction has been used to build a wide variety of structures throughout history, including temples, palaces, churches, castles, and fortifications.

The different types of masonry construction

There are many different types of masonry construction, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types of masonry construction include:

  • Brick masonry construction: Brick masonry construction is the most widely used type of masonry construction. Brick masonry structures are strong, durable, and fire-resistant.
  • Stone masonry construction: Stone masonry construction is used to build structures with a natural stone finish. Stone masonry structures are very durable and can last for centuries.
  • Concrete masonry construction: Concrete masonry construction is a newer type of masonry construction that uses concrete blocks instead of bricks or stone. Concrete masonry structures are strong, durable, and relatively inexpensive.

The advantages and disadvantages of masonry construction

Masonry construction has a number of advantages over other types of construction, including:

  • Durability: Masonry structures are very durable and can last for centuries.
  • Strength: Masonry structures are very strong and can withstand high loads.
  • Fire resistance: Masonry structures are fire-resistant and can help to protect occupants and property in the event of a fire.
  • Versatility: Masonry construction can be used to build a wide variety of structures, from small residential homes to large commercial and industrial buildings.

However, masonry construction also has some disadvantages, including:

  • Cost: Masonry construction can be more expensive than other types of construction, such as wood frame construction.
  • Weight: Masonry structures are very heavy, so they require a strong foundation.
  • Labour requirements: Masonry construction requires skilled labour, which can be difficult to find in some areas.

The different materials used in masonry construction

The most common materials used in masonry construction are bricks, stone, and concrete blocks. However, other materials, such as glass blocks and adobe, can also be used.

  • Bricks: Bricks are made from clay and are fired in a kiln. Bricks are available in a variety of sizes, colours, and textures.
  • Stone: Stone is a natural material that can be quarried from the earth. Stone is available in a diverse range of colours and textures.
  • Concrete blocks: Concrete blocks are made from a mixture of cement, sand, and aggregate. Concrete blocks are available in a variety of sizes and strengths.

Brick masonry construction

The different types of bricks used in masonry construction

  • Common bricks are the most widely used type of brick in masonry construction. They are made from clay and are typically fired in a kiln. Common bricks are strong and durable, and they are relatively inexpensive. Common bricks are typically used for interior walls and foundations.
  • Face bricks are used to create the exterior finish of a masonry structure. They are available in a variety of colours and textures, and they can be used to create a variety of architectural styles. Face bricks are typically more expensive than common bricks, but they can add significant aesthetic value to a building.
  • Engineering bricks are designed to meet specific performance requirements, such as high strength or fire resistance. They are often used in commercial and industrial construction projects, such as bridges and warehouses. Engineering bricks are typically the most expensive type of brick.
  • Special-purpose bricks are designed for specific applications, such as paving bricks or chimney bricks. Paving bricks are typically made from a denser clay and are fired at a higher temperature than other types of bricks. This makes them more durable and resistant to wear and tear. Chimney bricks are designed to withstand the high temperatures and corrosive gases produced by combustion.

The properties of bricks

  • Strength: Bricks are a very strong building material. The compressive strength of bricks typically ranges from 2,000 to 10,000 psi. This means that a brick can withstand a compressive force of 2,000 to 10,000 pounds per square inch.
  • Durability: Bricks are also very durable. They can withstand the elements for centuries. Bricks are resistant to fire, water, and insects.
  • Water absorption: Bricks are a porous material, which means that they can absorb water. However, the water absorption rate of bricks is relatively low, typically ranging from 5 to 15%. This means that bricks are not likely to become saturated with water.
  • Thermal conductivity: Bricks have a relatively low thermal conductivity, which means that they do not transfer heat very quickly. This makes bricks a good material for insulating buildings.

Brick masonry construction techniques

  • Laying bricks: Bricks are laid in a mortar bed. The mortar bed is made from a mixture of sand, cement, and water. Mortar acts as a glue that binds the bricks together.
  • Striking joints: Once the bricks have been laid, the mortar joints are struck. This involves using a trowel to remove excess mortar and to create a smooth, finished joint.
  • Building corners and arches: Building corners and arches requires specialized skills and techniques. Corners are built by alternating between stretcher bricks and header bricks. Stretchers are laid lengthwise, while headers are laid crosswise. Arches are built by using wedge-shaped bricks called voussoirs.
  • Brick masonry bonding patterns: There are many different brick masonry bonding patterns. The most common bonding pattern is the running bond pattern. In a running bond pattern, the bricks are laid in alternating rows of stretchers and headers. Other common bonding patterns include the stack bond pattern, the Flemish bond pattern, and the English bond pattern.

Common mistakes to avoid in brick masonry construction

  • Using poor quality mortar: The mortar used in brick masonry construction must be of good quality. Poor quality mortar will not bind the bricks together properly, which can lead to structural problems.
  • Not laying the bricks level: It is important to lay the bricks level. If the bricks are not level, the wall will not be plumb.
  • Not filling the mortar joints completely: The mortar joints must be filled completely to prevent water from infiltrating the wall.
  • Not curing the mortar properly: Mortar must be cured properly to develop its full strength. This means keeping the mortar moist for several days after it has been applied.

Stone masonry construction

The different types of stones used in masonry construction

  • Natural stones are rocks that have been formed by geological processes over millions of years. Some of the most common natural stones used in masonry construction include limestone, sandstone, granite, and marble.
  • Cast stones are man-made stones that are created by pouring concrete into moulds. Cast stones can be made to look like natural stones, but they are typically less expensive and easier to work with.

The properties of stones

  • Strength: The stone must be strong enough to withstand the loads that will be placed on it.
  • Durability: The stone must be able to withstand weathering and other environmental factors.
  • Water absorption: The stone should have a low water absorption rate to prevent it from becoming damaged by frost or moisture.
  • Thermal conductivity: The stone’s thermal conductivity will affect how well it insulates the building.

Stone masonry construction techniques

  • Dressing stones: This involves shaping the stones to the desired size and shape.
  • Laying stones: This involves placing the stones in a mortar bed in a way that creates a strong and durable structure.
  • Striking joints: This involves filling the spaces between the stones with mortar and smoothing out the surface.
  • Building corners and arches: This requires specialized skills and techniques to ensure that the corners and arches are strong and stable.
  • Stone masonry bonding patterns: There are a variety of different stone masonry bonding patterns that can be used to create different architectural effects.

Common mistakes to avoid in stone masonry construction

  • Using stones that are too weak or have too high of a water absorption rate.
  • Not using enough mortar.
  • Not properly striking the joints.
  • Not properly building corners and arches.
  • Not using the correct bonding pattern.

Concrete masonry construction

The different types of concrete blocks used in masonry construction

  • Solid concrete blocks are made from a mixture of concrete and aggregate, and they are solid throughout. Solid concrete blocks are the strongest and most durable type of concrete block, and they are often used in foundation walls and other structural applications.
  • Hollow concrete blocks are made from a mixture of concrete and aggregate, but they have hollow cavities throughout the block. Hollow concrete blocks are less expensive than solid concrete blocks, and they are more lightweight and easier to work with. Hollow concrete blocks are often used in non-structural applications, such as interior walls and partitions.

The properties of concrete blocks

  • Strength: Concrete blocks are very strong, and they can be used to build structures that can withstand high loads.
  • Durability: Concrete blocks are very durable, and they can withstand the elements and last for many years.
  • Water absorption: Concrete blocks have a relatively low water absorption rate, which makes them resistant to moisture damage.
  • Thermal conductivity: Concrete blocks have a relatively high thermal conductivity, which means that they can transfer heat and cold quickly. This can be a disadvantage in climates with extreme temperatures, but it can also be an advantage in climates with moderate temperatures, as it can help to keep buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Concrete masonry construction techniques

  • Laying concrete blocks: Concrete blocks are laid in a similar way to bricks, but they are typically mortared on all four sides. This helps to create a strong and durable bond between the blocks.
  • Striking joints: Once the concrete blocks have been laid, the mortar joints are struck with a trowel to create a neat and finished appearance.
  • Building corners and arches: Concrete blocks can be used to build corners and arches by cutting the blocks to the desired shape and size.
  • Reinforcing concrete masonry: Concrete masonry can be reinforced with steel rods or mesh to increase its strength and durability. Reinforcement is often used in foundation walls and other structural applications.
  • Concrete masonry bonding patterns: Concrete blocks can be laid in a variety of bonding patterns, such as running bond, stack bond, and herringbone bond. The chosen bonding pattern will affect the appearance and strength of the masonry structure.

Common mistakes to avoid in concrete masonry construction

  • Not using enough mortar: It is important to use enough mortar when laying concrete blocks to create a strong and durable bond.
  • Not striking the joints properly: Striking the joints properly helps to create a neat and finished appearance, and it also helps to seal the joints and prevent moisture from penetrating the masonry structure.
  • Not reinforcing the masonry properly: Reinforcement is important in foundation walls and other structural applications to increase the strength and durability of the masonry structure.
  • Not using the correct bonding pattern: The chosen bonding pattern will affect the appearance and strength of the masonry structure. It is important to choose the correct bonding pattern for the application.

Other types of masonry construction

Veneer masonry construction

Veneer masonry construction is a type of masonry construction in which a thin layer of masonry units is attached to a backing wall. The backing wall can be made of wood, concrete, or masonry. Veneer masonry construction is typically used to create the exterior finish of a building, but it can also be used to create interior walls.

The different types of veneer masonry construction

  • Anchored veneer: Anchored veneer is attached to the backing wall using metal anchors. The anchors are typically spaced every 16 inches to 24 inches.
  • Adhered veneer: Adhered veneer is attached to the backing wall using a mortar adhesive. The mortar adhesive is applied to the back of the masonry units and to the backing wall.

The advantages and disadvantages of veneer masonry construction

Advantages:

  • Veneer masonry construction can be used to create a variety of architectural styles.
  • Veneer masonry construction is durable and low-maintenance.
  • Veneer masonry construction can help to insulate the building.
  • Veneer masonry construction can increase the value of the building.

Disadvantages:

  • Veneer masonry construction can be more expensive than other types of exterior cladding.
  • Veneer masonry construction requires skilled labour to install.
  • Veneer masonry construction can be heavy, so it is important to make sure that the backing wall is strong enough to support it.

Common mistakes to avoid in veneer masonry construction

  • Not using enough anchors or not spacing the anchors properly.
  • Not using the correct type of mortar adhesive.
  • Not allowing the mortar adhesive to cure properly before attaching the masonry units.
  • Not leaving enough space between the masonry units and the backing wall to allow for drainage.

Gabion masonry construction

Gabion masonry construction is a type of masonry construction in which wire baskets are filled with stones or other materials. Gabion masonry construction can be used to build a variety of structures, including retaining walls, seawalls, and noise barriers.

The different types of gabion masonry construction

  • Standard gabions: Standard gabions are made of rectangular wire baskets that are laced together.
  • Welded mesh gabions: Welded mesh gabions are made of welded wire mesh baskets.

The advantages and disadvantages of gabion masonry construction

Advantages:

  • Gabion masonry construction is durable and low-maintenance.
  • Gabion masonry construction is flexible and can be used to create a variety of shapes and structures.
  • Gabion masonry construction is permeable, so it allows water to flow through it. This can help to reduce erosion and flooding.
  • Gabion masonry construction can be used to create habitats for plants and animals.

Disadvantages:

  • Gabion masonry construction can be more expensive than other types of masonry construction.
  • Gabion masonry construction can be heavy, so it is important to make sure that the foundation is strong enough to support it.
  • Gabion masonry construction can be difficult to install.

Common mistakes to avoid in gabion masonry construction

  • Not using the correct type of wire baskets.
  • Not filling the wire baskets properly.
  • Not lacing the wire baskets together tightly enough.
  • Not installing the gabion masonry on a stable foundation.
  • Not allowing for drainage.

Conclusion

Masonry construction is a versatile and durable building method that has been used for centuries. Masonry structures can be made from a variety of materials, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a masonry construction material, it is important to consider the strength and durability, fire resistance, weather resistance, appearance, and cost of the material. You should also consider the specific application of the masonry structure.

If you are planning a masonry construction project, be sure to consult with a qualified architect or engineer. They can help you to assess your needs and choose the right material and construction methods for your project.

Here are some key takeaways from this blog post:

  • Masonry construction is a durable and versatile building method that can be used to create a variety of structures, including houses, schools, office buildings, bridges, and churches.
  • The most common masonry construction materials are brick, stone, and concrete blocks.
  • Each type of masonry construction material has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.
  • When choosing a masonry construction material, it is important to consider the strength and durability, fire resistance, weather resistance, appearance, and cost of the material.
  • You should also consider the specific application of the masonry structure.
  • If you are planning a masonry construction project, be sure to consult with a qualified architect or engineer.

I hope this blog post has been informative. If you have any questions about masonry construction, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Learn more: What is Concrete Made of, Carpenter Services

FAQs

  1. What are the different types of masonry construction materials?

    The most common masonry construction materials are brick, stone, and concrete blocks.

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of masonry construction material?

     Brick:
    Advantages: Strong, durable, fire-resistant, versatile
    Disadvantages: Requires skilled labour, time-consuming to construct
    Stone:
    Advantages: Durable, strong, fire-resistant, aesthetically pleasing
    Disadvantages: Heavy, expensive, requires skilled labour
    Concrete blocks:
    Advantages: Durable, strong, fire-resistant, relatively inexpensive
    Disadvantages: Heavy, requires skilled labour

  3. How do I choose the right masonry construction material for my project?

    Masonry is a type of construction technique that involves building structures using individual units, such as bricks, stones, or concrete blocks, held together with mortar.

  4. What are the types of masonry walls?

     When choosing a masonry construction material, there are a number of factors to consider, including:
    Strength and durability: Masonry structures are often designed to last for many years, so it is important to choose a material that is strong and durable.
    Fire resistance: Masonry structures are generally very fire-resistant, but some materials are more fire-resistant than others. If fire resistance is a major concern, you should choose a material that has a high fire resistance rating.
    Weather resistance: Masonry structures are often exposed to the elements, so it is important to choose a material that is weather-resistant. This is especially important in climates with severe weather conditions.
    Appearance: Masonry structures can be made from a variety of materials, each with its own unique appearance. If you have a specific aesthetic in mind, you should choose a material that will help you to achieve it.
    Cost: Masonry materials can vary in price, so it is important to factor cost into your decision-making process.

  5. What are some common mistakes to avoid in masonry construction?

    Some common mistakes to avoid in masonry construction include:
    – Not using the right type of mortar for the material and application.
    – Not laying the masonry units in a level and plumb manner.
    – Not properly bonding the masonry units together.
    – Not using reinforcing steel in masonry structures where required.
    – Not curing the masonry properly.

  6. How do I maintain a masonry structure?

    – To maintain a masonry structure, it is important to inspect it regularly for cracks, damage, and efflorescence. Efflorescence is a white or grey powder that can form on the surface of masonry structures when water dissolves salts in the masonry and then evaporates.
    – If you find any cracks or damage in a masonry structure, it is important to repair them promptly. Efflorescence can be removed by brushing it away with a stiff brush and then washing the area with water.
    – You can also protect your masonry structure from the elements by applying a sealant. Sealants can help to prevent water from penetrating the masonry and causing damage.
    By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your masonry structure lasts for many years.

0 Comments

There are no comments yet

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 − seven =