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Masonry FAQ

This Masonry FAQ page is here for the unanswered questions that anyone may have concerning stone, brick, block, or any other aspect of masonry.



Block Wall Investigation

Problems big or small, there is someone that can help you figure it out. Just asking will get amazing results.

chimney falling apart

Have any of you masons gone to school for the masonry trade? What school did you go to and how well did you learn? Was you satisfied with their training coarse?

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Do you have a great story or just simply good ideas concerning the masonry trade? What about questions, are you stuck with a masonry dilemma and don't know which way to turn? Share it! We would be glad to hear it. masonryworktools and other participants will be glad to help, surely someone has been there and done that.

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Laborer trying to become a mason 
I have been working with my father in laws masonry company as a laborer and have become quite interested in working my way up to becoming a mason. In my …

MASONRY CONTRACTOR 
I was in the masonry field for over 40 years I owned a commercial masonry company for 25 years. I come out of a family of masons and that's the way it …

How Solid the Foundation under It All? 
What are the requirements for a solid cement foundation under the firebox (700 pounds) and the masonary heat chamber? Footing depth; 8 inch block?, re …

Leaning chimney 
Inside my house, in the attic area,the chimney is leaning. Someone said it is supposed to, to assist with draw. Another person said it is falling down. …

home owner 
Can an exterior "brickface" (NOT REAL BRICK / STONE)home be cleaned / power washed?

Shower pan 
What is the proper cement or mortar mix to lay down a shower pan? Underlayment is black paper and hot mop. Tile will be placed on top of pan as final …

Home owner of historic home 
I recently purchased a 115 year old double wyth brick home in northern Michigan. The bricks on the exterior wall are in pretty good shape. It has been …

General Contractor 
I work in Maryland and Virginia. 35 years ago I started as laborer/gofer for a mason who spent a lot of time training me on how to prepare the brick, …

commercial bread oven  
can masonry mortar be use for bakery oven? can it be subjected to fire if so what temperature

UNIRULER 
Hello We just wanted to inform you of our new product called the UNIRULER!! It is the first folding ruler of its kind. Having the ability to scribe …

homeowner 
what would be the total diameter of chimney with a 13x13 inch clay flue liner. thanks.

Charlie Cummins owner of brickcertification.com and thank you for having me on your great website. 
My story is this. In addition to Training People to lay brick, block, and stone, I have now started a Consulting for Brick, Block, and Stone Contractors. …

dual termination (same fuel type) in to single flue 
Hello, I have a question with regards to national code standards and what they say about terminating like fuel burning devices in to a single flue. My …

Housewife 
We have discoloration on the inside brick, where the fireplace opening is. What can we clean that brick with?

My Question 
What is the gap tolerance between flue lining and cylder block wall?

Tools 
What is Bavel? What is American Bond?

chimney construction 
what is refractory mortar

housewife 
I am making bird bath's, it calls for concrete but I was told to use mortar. Would this work considering it will have water in it. Can I seal this like …

4 inch split block veneer 
I have never seen a technical explanation of the correct way to build a corner lead when using 4 inch split faced block to veneer a house or building. …

Block and Clay flue Gap 
Hello I am building a chimney and I am using 8x8 chimney blocks and 8x8 clay liners. There is a 1 inch gap between the two and I would like to know what …

what is carotex 
what is carotex and can you still get it if not is there any thing like it i can use?

Setting up your line.. 
having just built my very 1st pillar would like to see how you set up line for building a wall etc...

Building an Exterior Chimney and Interior Fireplace on 2nd Floor 
Can I build an exterior chimney and install an interior fireplace on the 2nd floor of the house with no footer under the actual fireplace? Is there a …

Adding a hearth to Pier/Beam structure that has plywood subfloor 
Hello from Austin Tx. We're redoing our fireplace in travertine and adding a hearth. The complication is the house is on pier/beam and has a plywood subfloor. …

r williams 
I have removed loads of ivy that was growing on the front wall of my house,however this has left loads of fibers that are ingrained into the brick. Can …

Home owner replace brick and cap to chimney 
How do I build a concrete cap for my fireplace. I'm replacing 9 courses of brick at top of chimney, their is about 10" of space between the flu and the …

Shaving around the door opening of a brick wall to fix replacement doors 
At the time of installation to replace french doors, I learned that the replacement doors are slightly too large (about 1/2 inch on each side). The doors …

John Swink, PE, LEED-AP 
I was sent a copy of your block laying video in May. It ends with your website address, but i cannot find the video on your website. This is a great …

back draft 
my chimney is built lower than my roof when we lit the fire on a windy day smoke came back down and filled the house i then got a cowl thinking the problem …

bricks from old house to new garage  
Here are 4 pic's from last summer's old farmhouse demolition. Farmer Al allowed me to reclaim all the bricks from this old 1860's farmhouse on his property. …

Seeking volunteers to stone front home located in Raleigh NC  
looking for volunteers to stone face front of home picture attached.Raleigh nc 919-397-2844

architect 
Your info on chimneys is very good, however it should also address the maximum unsupported height above the roof or plate line. The dimensions given in …

Cp 
I've been a remodeling carpenter since 1987, self employed. Getting ready to build our house finally.The house has a frost wall. Intend to use 12" block …

Painted Stone and Mortar Basement 
Hello, I have a 1920s house that has a stone and mortar basement. The person who owned the house before me painted the basement and I am concerned that …

brick wall interior covered with sheetrock, removing such and residual glue or mastick 
this is a question? we have an older storefront building and some of the interior walls were brick which were covered by sheetrock and some type of adhesive …

Cinderblock as a counter weight 
Is it legal or illegal to hang cinder blocks from the top of scaffolding? Can I get in trouble or sued over this?

chimney crown material 
What pre mixed (dry) mortar or cement should I use to make a poured chimney crown

Tapering blocks 
Can someone please explain how to taper in blocks for a chimney. I am building a outdoor fireplace and I can not find anywhere the tells me how to start …

Dipsiedowser 
I AM NOT A MASON, but I have a question for anyone who may be willing to sharing some advice. I'm planning on laying (stuccoing/pargeting) up a Quikrete …

John Evans 
Recently I have renovated a little at my uncles house in his sun room. The house foundation has moved and one room in particular had shown cracks and opening …

multi story building 
We are interested in multi story building using single wythe concrete block masonry system

Parge removal, not application. Need help!!! 
OK, so recently I began gutting the attic of our house to build a family room. In the center of the room was a column covered in lovely horsehair plaster. …

sweating 
I have a 60 year old home with an existing wood burning fireplace that I installed a gas insert in. The exterior chimney is constructed of stone on a concrete …

Painting reclaimed brick 
I want to paint over the reclaimed brick fireplace and would like to know how to prepare the surface for painting and if there is any special paint I should …

laying block on a muddy/flooded footer 
My block layer claimed he was going to clear the water/mud from the top of the footer before laying the block but I see otherwise. Is it a big deal to …

Chimney BASE 
I will be attempting to build a new chimney in my old farm house. I dug out my basement (by hand) and made a crawl space into a full walk-in basement. …

Home inspector and DIY'r 
What is the best way to tie in a new block foundation wall to an existing foundation wall when putting on an addition, and are there any videos on the …

Charlie Cummins, owner and creator of www.bricklayingschool.com Guaranteed job or your money back. 
I started the Masonry Trade in 1963, been a Masonry Contractor since 1975, and been teaching people how to lay brick, block and stone since 1985, gonna …

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6 or 8 inch cmu's 
I have a contractor that is building a house for me and he is using 6 in cmu's for the foundation (three high on a crawl space, little too no backfill …

who is at fault? the mason contractor or the material supplier? 
Provided were two sided, two header bricks. There are rust band marks on one side. The mason layed the "rusty side" out, and is looking to the supplier …

kiser 
Hello i was just wondering if you could tell me the difference in diamond blades is wet dry brick block stone ext. Ive worked as a mason in a small company …

Tyvek vs tar paper 
We are building a new house (Toronto Canada)and our mason will be using tar paper. My husband remembers seeing tyvek used between the plywood and brick. …

mortor mixing 
I am curious about the mortor being used in the video where you are laying the 12's. What type is it and what are the mixture ratios. We haven't been …

bigdane 
I want to learn more about masonry. I took it in school for 2 years working on a house that the school would sell at the end of the year. I've moved away …

compressive strength of a cinder block 
I am having a hard time finding the compressive strength of a standard 8 inch cinder block

cut a new opening in a brick veneer wall 
I need to cut a new opening in a brick veneer wall so that I can install a new 3’ x 3’ window. Interior framing is 2x4. Above new opening there will be …

rows of block 
can you lay more than 1 row of block in a day?

Mortar on webs 
When your laying concrete block in your videos I notice you mortar the front and back edges but not the middle webs of the block. Is this the correct way …

Mortar for limestone 
I have a job with a limestone entry way to the front door I want to tuck point the joints, But since it is a historic home built in 1937. I want the mortar …

Brick house demo continues 
Reclaiming all bricks from this 1860's red brick farmhouse to reuse on our new garage. Garage is new construction attached to 1880's brick two story. …

concrete floor 
using a brick form. how long do I need to leave the bricks to set before poring the concrete floor inside them?

lee harrington 
I have a new block foundation and the block joints are showing through the plaster. My questions are what caused this? and can what can be done about …

block wall 
how do you set up string blocks when laying block?

Susan Pruitt - homeowner 
Hi, Thanks for your wonderful, informative website. I'm just beginning a do-it-yourself project and stumbled across this website. My question is …

recycling &removing old mortar 
Great info here, thanks! We recently constructed an attached garage to our 1880's red brick farmhouse and want to brick it to match. I know new bricks …

mason 
Who is that in the video laying block? No waste, smooth motion, he makes it seem so easy, is he located on the east coast?

sand color 
does different textures of sand affect color when color is added to mortar

Help with painting masonry following damp coarse 
Had the damp coarse completed 2 years ago. Subsequently the house has been rendered down to the damp coarse. I'd now like to seal/protect the brickwork …

Builder 
I am constructing a chimney for a (my home) wood stove using an 8" flue inside 16" block. Without using an adapter pipe, how do I connect the round and …

mason apprentice 
do you have any tips for a lefthanded bricklayer

Mortar mix 
Would you use this mortar mix to lay block on a big job, like a complete house? Which is better this mix or the mix you would get from Cemex? Thanks

CMU? 
What does "CMU" mean? I have seen it on sets of plans before and i just wondered what it means. I'm new to the trade just starting to get into it. I am …

Scaffolding Question 
Why do bricklayers hang a cinder block off their scaffold? I have seen this on a lot of jobs I have driven past.

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Efflorescence 
Is efflorescence more common in certain climates or just a general issue in any environment?

Masonry Contractor 
I appreciate the information this site offers, a lot of valuable information. I have been in the masonry business for about 10 years now and there is a …

Homeowner 
I was going to ask a question about efflorescence, but I found my answer on this site, thank you.

Stabila Vs Crick 
I currently own a 48" crick and a 18" crick level. Both are 3 piece and very well keep. I have take really good care of my 48" keeping it in a case and …

spicing it up 
Hello. I have question on how to give an old wall a facelift. Would it be better to just tear it down and redo it which is a lot of work, or is there a …

Slab on grade foundation footing? Not rated yet
Hi, I am really excited about building a shop on our property. I'm sure everyone is working to get the most bang for their buck these days as am I. I …

My Question Not rated yet
What is the gap tolerance between flue lining and cylder block wall?

Who is the man on your video on Youtube ? he is amazing ! Not rated yet
Hi Charlie, the guy on your video is amazing!, what nationality is he and whats his name?. Thanks Andy.

Wishing Well Not rated yet
Hey guys, my wife wants me to build a wishing well out of brick. I have never done this before, but have the confidence and talent to pull it off - with …

Brick Step Footings Not rated yet
Editor: It is not recommended. It is already a weak point. If the concrete footing actually stops at the step then it could develop a crack in the wall. …

Sealing and Painting Brick  Not rated yet
I am having the brick on my house painted and I feel a sealer should be applied first then paint. Am I correct that you apply the Penetrant Sealer before …

Job Search Not rated yet
I am looking for more training in this field of work and I was wondering if you had any suggestions that could help me out? If you could e-mail me at Aug_2010@live.com …

Building a stone spring box Not rated yet
I am building a stone spring box on my farm. The base will be a solid granite, and I'm using granite stone found here on the property. The box will be …

more videos  Not rated yet
I would love to see you build a lead. If your as efficient when building leads like you were the wall I bet it doesn't take no time to build one.

How do I estimate the mortar I will need? Not rated yet
I am building a solid stone shed that is 10' square and 6' feet high. I'm using an ashlar limestone with a sawn top and bottom and a split face. It …

Ryan from BricklayingJobs.org.uk Not rated yet
Hi My name is Ryan Love and I’m contacting you regarding your site at (http://www.masonryworktools.com/) We’ve recently launched a new website called …

regular guy Not rated yet
Is there video on making field stone cower on a fire place? HELP!!!

Block Home Builder Wanted Not rated yet
Looking for a veteran, experienced (at least 10 years), fluently bilingual (English/Spanish) block layer/masonry contractor. I have multiple lots on a …

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I have been getting asked a lot of questions having to do with the beginning steps of masonry wall building, so I embedded this video to help those just starting in the masonry trade.

How to Build a Brick Wall


Go to construction Estimating Errors from Masonry FAQ



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