How to Make Brick Mortar Joints

What You'll Need
Small Trowel

Finishing off your brick mortar joints is the last thing you need to do to complete your brick or stone wall. The mortar joints are those outlines in the brick wall that give it a finished look. When these joints are left as is, they will make the wall look old and crumbly. There are several different types of mortar joints that you can make in your brick wall. Each type of joint will require the use of basic jointing tools. Here is a step by step approach to creating mortar joints in between your brick.

Step 1- Build Brick Wall

Of course, the first step to making brick mortar joints is to actually have a brick wall. Begin with a strong and stable foundation. Sand will make a great base, but should be placed over some crushed rock and gravel. The most important aspect to building your brick wall is to make sure it is perfectly level. Keep it level on the bottom course and you will have little problem as you build your wall up.

Your mortar joints come into play as you stack the bricks on top of each other. The mortar joins the bricks together with a strong bond so that it is not easily toppled. Simply use your trowel and place a good amount of mortar on each brick to receive the next one.

Step 2- Smooth out Mortar

As you continually build your brick wall you should continue to smooth out the mortar after a few courses. You should make sure that the mortar is still wet. If you let the mortar dry out too much you will only pull out the mortar instead of smoothing it out. You want the mortar to be a continuous joint without any interruptions.

Step 3- Let the Mortar Dry

If your wall is going to be large, you will need to check to see how the mortar is drying. If the wall is small, you will not have to check as often. You are looking for a certain condition to happen before you start to make your mortar joints.

There is a condition called "thumbprint" level. This is simply the state of dryness that allows you to push your thumbprint into the mortar, but without leaving any on your thumb. Once the mortar is in this state, you can make your mortar joint.

Step 4- Make Your Mortar Joint

Using your jointing tools, you can now create the joints in the mortar. Keep in mind that you want to smooth the joints to provide a finished look. When you drag your jointing tool across the joints, keep it smooth and steady.

Step 5- Brush Joints

As a last step after you have made the mortar joint, run a stiff bristled brush lightly across the joints for a textured look.