If you are going to be getting involved with brick masonry, it is best to have some knowledge prior to beginning laying brick! Whether it is for a sidewalk or patio, hiring a professional can be expensive especially if it is a minor job. It is hard work, but with some quality tips you should be all set to lay brick more easily.
To begin, it is good to have a sturdy brick. It should be hard, tough, and similar in size, color, and shape. The bricks shouldn’t have any holes, cracks, or any form of flaws. If the brick is free of flaws, they should be soaked in water for at least two hours before laying. If there are any signs of flaws, the brick will wear out quicker and crack as time goes on.
While doing work with the bricks, it is important to remember when laying the brick in its bed that the frog should be facing upward. The bricks with frogs laid upward help to make sure the frog is completely filled with mortar. Brick laid with the frog on the bottom, could mean the frog may not be completely filled with mortar. A frog is a depression on a bearing face of a molded or pressed brick. The frog lessens the weight of the brick making it easier to move or remove.
When the mortar is green, face joints should be scraped over to make sure there is enough depth for plastering or pointing. Mortar joints should be in place and finished if no plastering or pointing is going to be done. Also, to be sure of a consistent hold between old and new (in the case of walls) the walls should be stopped with a toothed end.
Finally, finished brickwork should be cured for about two to three weeks if it was used with lime mortar. It can be one to two weeks if cement mortar was used for the brickwork.