Brick Laying Instructions
A very common project undertaken by house owners is brick laying. Be it for their fireplace or a brick patio, brick laying is a highly preferred method to add the extra spunk. Though it is a widely used method, it is not as simple as it sounds. There are a lot of common mistakes that are made during the brick laying process. This leads to a bad looking final product, which is not strong enough to stand the test of time. There is no reason to get intimidated either, all you need to do is carry out the work with patience and care it will be the most rewarding project. With this set of instructions you will have a better understanding of brick laying.
Step 1 – Deciding on the Pattern
The initial step in brick laying is to design the layout. You should be clear about the pattern you wish your brick laying to take. Remember the more intricate your patter the more time and skill it will require to complete the job.
Step 2 – Calculating Gravel or Sand Requirement
Gravel is generally used for indoor brick laying and sand is preferred for the outdoors. The pattern of the brick laying will provide the framework to calculate the quantity of gravel or sand for the job. The quantity of gravel required is derived by multiplying the product of the length and breadth of the design to its depth.
Step 3 – Buying the Bricks
The number of bricks depends on the square foot area that you have to cover. Calculate the area by multiplying the length and breadth. If you produce the square foot measurement to the sales person at your hardware store, he or she will be able to calculate your brick requirement. Always buy a few extra bricks.
Step 4 – Storage
Store the bricks and the other materials in a well protected space. It should not be exposed to any dampness or extreme heat. If not stored correctly it will cause a major deterioration in the quality of the materials.
Step 5 - Installing the Bricks
Cement provides a strong foundation. Apply the gravel or sand mix and even it out. Place the bricks one after the other. First scoop some mortar and press the brick against it. Scrap the excess mortar off. Continue this brick laying process till you place the last brick. Mortar has to be of the right consistency as that is what acts as the binding agents.
Step 6 – Finishing
Once you have finished laying the bricks, use a foxtail to clean the excess mortar on the bricks. This will also give a smooth finish to the brick joints. Do not use the foxtail to brush the bricks as soon as you finish putting the mortar, you must let it dry for sometime before clearing the mortar or this will disturb the mortar and weaken its hold.