Brickwork is considered one of the simplest and at the same time fundamental construction work - today it is almost impossible to build this or that building with your own hands without it. Although the procedure, at first glance, does not require special knowledge and skills, it is unacceptable to treat it with negligence. The quality of its implementation depends on how long the wall will stand and whether it will not pose a danger to people inside. For this reason, you should not rely only on your own ingenuity, it is advisable to at least in general terms get an idea of the task before proceeding with its implementation.
Types and dimensions of bricks
A building material with this name is produced from different types of raw materials, and therefore can have completely different sizes, but we will discard adobe and other blocks, focusing on brick in the classical sense - the one that is white and red. Theoretically, blocks of any size can be made to order, but there are also standard dimensions, which in the form of a table look like this:
- a simple single brick is 25 cm long, 12 wide and 6.5 thick;
- the thickened version has all the same parameters, except for the thickness, which here is already 8.8 cm - by the way, in the usual horizontal masonry it is perceived rather as height;
- a single brick of modular sizes is slightly larger than a simple one in length and width - 28.8 cm and 13.8 cm, respectively, but less by 2 mm in thickness - it is 6.3 cm;
- thickened brick of modular sizes has a length and width, like a single modular size, and a thickness like a simple thickened one;
- a thickened version with a horizontal arrangement of voids has dimensions that are completely similar to a simple thickened one - 25 by 12 by 8.8 cm.
The correct choice of the main building material is only half the battle, because you still need to lay it correctly so that the wall of the house corresponds to the required density and modulus of elasticity to withstand the weight of the building, and also has a sufficiently low thermal conductivity so that it is warm inside even in winter. All these indicators also need to be known in advance in order to correctly design the structure and accurately calculate the number of bricks required.
To understand the characteristics of brickwork, you should first familiarize yourself with the common designations used among builders to quickly understand what is at stake. First, let's look at what the different faces of the building block are called. So, a flat, long and wide side with a maximum area, which is usually located above and below in horizontal masonry, is called a bed. The side limited by length and thickness, having an average size relative to the other faces of the brick, is called a spoon - this is what we usually see in the finished masonry. The smallest edge that one block usually adjoins to another in any type of masonry is called a poke.
As for the masonry itself, there are several more definitions, but it is not too difficult to understand them.
- Seams are joints between bricks that are usually filled with mortar. They are horizontal and vertical - it depends on the spatial orientation of such a seam.
- Bricks are rarely placed in one row , therefore, it is customary to classify also rows by their location in the wall being built. If the blocks on one side go inside the future building, such a row is called the inner verst, if outside - the front, or the outer verst. Sometimes a row of bricks is hidden between the outer and inner versts - then it is called a zabutka.
- The bed of bricks is almost always hidden inside the wall, but it can come out to its surface both with a poke and with a spoon, respectively, such rows are called poke or spoon rows. If on the surface of the wall all the rows look the same, being bonded or spoon, then the entire masonry is called accordingly - bonded or spoon. At the same time, for increased strength, which is especially fundamental for the outer wall of the house, and sometimes just for beauty, a certain system of ligation of the seams is used, when the entire masonry cannot be called as a poke or spoon, because rows in it alternate in a certain pattern. Sometimes, even within a separate row, a binding system is observed in order to create a certain pattern on the surface.
For the convenience of builders, the width of the masonry is measured in halves of a brick - dividing the blocks into smaller parts will be simply inconvenient.
Thickness and height
The thickness of the brickwork is the distance between the outer sides of the inner and outer versts. Often it is the thickness that determines the strength of the wall and its ability to retain heat, therefore, this indicator is determined based on the climate of the region, as well as the purpose of the building and its total weight. The thickness of the masonry is usually measured in quarters, halves and whole bricks. If in a thick masonry there are several horizontal rows deep into the wall, then there should also be a vertical seam between them, which also slightly increases the dimensions. On average, it is estimated at 1 cm, but in practice, deviations in one direction or another by 2 mm are quite real and acceptable.
Consequently, the thickness of the masonry can be one of these types.
- A quarter of a brick - 6.5 cm thick. In fact, no one breaks a brick - they just put it on a spoon, which is about four times narrower than the length of the bed of a single block.
- Half brick - 12 cm. As in the previous case, no one crumbles building materials - the blocks are simply laid horizontally on the bed, and spoons are visible from the outside and inside of the masonry.
- Laying in one brick - 25 cm.In theory, it can be made from two versts to half a brick, but the wall will be more reliable if there is only one layer - just the bricks are laid horizontally on the bed, and their pokes are visible from the outside and inside, while they are poked to each other fit with spoons.
- One and a half bricks - 38 cm. In this case, we get a combination of the two previous options - one of the versts is laid out according to the principle "in one brick", and the other - "in half a brick". In this type of masonry, a vertical seam is already assumed, therefore it is included in the calculation of the thickness in the form of an additional centimeter.
- Two bricks - 51 cm. Two parallel masonry in one brick plus one vertical seam between them.
- Two and a half bricks - 64 cm. Two vertical seams are laid in thickness at once, surrounding the backbone on both sides. One of the versts is laid out in half a brick, while the second is in a whole.
With the height of the masonry, the situation is somewhat simpler, since masonry in a quarter of a brick is rare, which means that only the thickness of the brick is taken into account, which for a single brick is 6.5 cm, and for a thick one - 8.8 cm.In the calculation of the height, the horizontal the seam, which on average is somewhat thicker than the vertical one, is rounded to 12 mm, although in reality it varies within 10-15 mm. If the masonry is planned to be improved with reinforcement or electric heating, then the horizontal seam, in principle, cannot be thinner than 12 mm.
Consequently, when using a single brick, the height of one row is on average 7.7 cm (the row itself plus the seam), in the case of a thickened version, this figure is exactly 10 cm. Both variants of the building material have dimensions calculated specifically so that get the whole unit of measurement of height - one meter. To do this, you need 13 rows of single bricks or 10 thick ones.
The strength of a brick wall depends on many qualities, some of which directly depend on the quality of the masonry. The properties of brick and mortar also have a certain value, but with them the situation is somewhat simpler. The compressive strength of masonry as a whole is about half that of a single brick used in its construction. The fact is that in a finished wall it is almost impossible to achieve ideal uniformity of the load over the entire area, because neither the blocks themselves are perfectly flat, nor the structure of the solution in the seams is stable and uniform. Classic brick perfectly withstands compression, but its flexural strength is much lower - on average, five times, therefore it is not so much a reduction in the weight of the structure that is important, but its correct distribution.
Most often, the destruction of masonry begins with the fact that the brick, whose middle is located exactly under the vertical seam of the next horizontal row, cracks in half, since here it experiences a simultaneous load on both compression and bending. Due to the lack of an adequate connection between the two halves, the load on the adjacent bricks from above and below additionally increases, due to which a vertical crack begins to grow. Over time, the signs of inconsistency only worsen, and as a result, the wall collapses.
This can be partially prevented by the choice of thickened bricks, since in the walls of such material there are predictably fewer vertical joints, which are a weak point of the masonry. The block itself, from an increase in its thickness, also becomes stronger and is able to withstand an increased load. It is also advisable to choose a material of ideally correct shape. This allows you to more evenly distribute the load and simply simplify the bandaging, since the individual elements fit together perfectly.
The properties of the mortar also have a certain effect on the strength. The higher the grade, the better the mass grasps and resists compression, but it is better to pay attention not even to the grade, but to the plasticity of the composition. Only thanks to the latter indicator, the solution will be more evenly distributed along the seam, and this will reduce the uneven load on individual sections of the masonry.
Contrary to popular belief that a bricklayer is a profession that requires more physical effort, the quality of work is also of great importance. Erection of walls requires a certain talent and deliberation in favor of quality, because the seams must be tightly filled with mortar at the same density and thickness. Once an experiment was even carried out, according to the results of which the wall, erected by an experienced master, was almost twice as strong as a completely similar in materials and thickness, but built by a novice.
Brick masonry is prized for its tremendous durability, as well as its ability to withstand fire and chemicals. All these indicators are due to the density of the blocks, however, many designers in our climate prefer to choose a building material of a lower density, since such bricks have much lower thermal conductivity. In addition, when using materials of lower density, the weight of the structure is also reduced, and this once again protects both the bricks themselves and the foundation, allowing you to also save on construction. On average, a double reduction in the density of blocks gives almost the same reduction in the mass of the structure (the solution does not change its mass) and one and a half savings in materials, which is possible due to the decrease in pressure on the lower part of the building.
Required tools and solution
The solution as a whole has already been mentioned above - it must be plastic and as strong as possible so as not to be a weak link in the masonry. As for the setting time of the composition, here the time should be the longer, the less experience the master has, since beginners are often not adapted to work quickly. If there is no experience at all, the solidification time should be no less than three hours.
The solution can be purchased ready-made, then it may contain various additives, in particular, increasing the resistance of the mixture to frost. However, many owners who prefer to build on their own make the solution themselves. Keep in mind that different brands of cement, providing different degrees of strength of the mixture, also imply different proportions for mixing with sand, therefore there is no universal calculation formula.
Laying is not done with bare hands - before starting work, you need to stock up on the appropriate tools. A set of everything you need can be as follows.
- A trowel, also known as a trowel, is the main tool of any bricklayer and is strongly associated with it, looks like a characteristic triangular trowel. It is necessary for performing several tasks at once - for example, applying mortar, leveling it and making grooves.
- A hammer pick allows you to break bricks, because the dimensions of the planned wall are unlikely to match the dimensions of the block everywhere. In addition, with the help of such a tool, you can deal with the unevenness of the brick. For cutting, an alternative tool can be a grinder with a diamond blade, then appropriate devices such as protection for hands and face are needed for it.
- In order for the masonry to turn out to be even and not askew under the influence of elementary laws of physics, in the process of building walls, it is imperative to use a level, plumb lines and a reliable cord.
- A concrete mixer will stretch the freshness of the mortar over time, but can be expensive if you don't plan on building regularly.
- Corners and crossbars will become good helpers in terms of complicating the geometry of the masonry, when not a single wall is being erected without frills, but a complex structure with corners, as well as window and door openings.
Suture dressing systems and types
Although the bricks are approximately the same size, they are always laid with a certain overlay on the adjacent row - this is called ligation and contributes to the formation of an integral wall instead of a set of brick posts connected only by mortar. There are quite a few ways to organize the dressing, but three of them are the most popular today.
- The chain method , also known as single row, is probably the most successful because it is both quite simple and very reliable. The point is that separate horizontal rows are laid out with both poke and spoon, and usually after one - a kind of "weaving" is obtained. The result on the front side is pretty pretty, so the outside trim is not necessary. For the correct design of corners and any other cuts, you will need quarter, three-quarter and half-brick pieces, because without them it will be problematic to finish the wall in the right place with a competent cut. It is better not to engage in such cutting on your own - there are manufacturers who produce blocks of appropriate sizes.
- Chain dressing is especially appropriate where two walls intersect. In this case, every second row is partially embedded in another wall, due to which the two sides of the building are characterized by integrity and each of them rests on the adjacent one. This adds strength to the building and increases its durability.
- Multi-row dressing consists in a styling technique in which the spoon and butt rows go not through one, but in some other order and in an unequal quantity - the rows of one of the species will be much larger than the other. At the same time, a slight displacement of the next row in relation to the similar next one is always preserved.
A good example of how sophisticated binding systems increase the strength of a building are some of the old structures found around the world. In ancient times, the solution was not known to many peoples, in addition, it is rightly considered less reliable than brick, however, seamless masonry with competent dressing sometimes even goes back several millennia, while it is not particularly affected.
Layout rules and options
The correct layout necessarily involves some displacement of the next row relative to the previous one. If for walls that in the future also imply aesthetic decoration, the appearance of the layout does not really matter, then in some cases the customer may ask to lay out a certain pattern or even a pattern of bricks, in a certain order, unfolded with an end or a spoon - then additional design is no longer will need. Hence, the layout is beneficial for both the strength of the building and its attractiveness.
Again, you can come up with many layout methods, up to laying out quite recognizable contours, but today six schemes are especially popular, differing in relative simplicity.
- "Path" is the simplest scheme that children learn while playing with the construction set. Laying one brick on top of another is exactly half its length, creating an even and simple pattern. Accordingly, the parts are smaller than half a brick, in this case they are not needed.
- Block layout involves the purposeful alternation of whole bricks and halves in the same row, but not necessarily through one. The offset here is usually relatively small, because the wall looks like smooth vertical zigzags of the same shape.
- The cross model is also based on alternating whole bricks and halves, but the point is that the horizontal rows go through one, looking like spoon and butt (these can simply be laid out from the halves if the wall is thin). The aesthetics of the layout lies in the fact that a half is necessarily laid on top of a whole brick in the middle, due to which a characteristic cross pattern is obtained.
- In the Brandenburg model, in each horizontal row, the calculation is carried out according to the principle "for two whole bricks, the third - half". The offset is done in such a way that the middle of this same half is located exactly under (and above) the vertical seam between two whole blocks.
- Gothic masonry makes it possible to use constantly alternating blocks of different lengths, but a certain pattern must be followed due to the uniform displacement of the same rows.
- The "savage" layout requires adherence to a single rule - bricks of different lengths are arranged chaotically, and logic should not be visible in them.
The huge construction costs will not pay off at all if the owner himself is not particularly versed in the masonry technique or hired performers who do not strive to do the job efficiently. There are many mistakes that greatly spoil the final result, so they should definitely be mentioned.
- A negligent attitude towards work is unacceptable. The masonry, like the seams, must be strictly even, the latter must be carefully filled with a solution in the same amount. If this is not done, there will be gaps in the wall that do not contribute to heat conservation, and the wear of the wall is likely to accelerate.
- It is undesirable to lay bricks obliquely, and if this is nevertheless done, then at least there should not be significant voids filled with only one solution - a brick should always rest on another brick or a piece of it. A similar mistake is often made when constructing a sloping roof, and the likely consequence will be the collapse of the entire structure, because the mortar is much worse than brick withstands compression, and the blocks themselves will not bend over a non-existent support.
- Poor-quality bricks with a large amount of lime must be finished, otherwise in wet weather it will gradually fall out of the blocks, creating voids and threatening the collapse of the building.
- Too thin walls or neglect of creating a ventilation gap between the insulation and the facing mile leads to the fact that condensation can accumulate inside the wall, which freezes in winter. As you know, water expands when it freezes and requires more volume, which can break a wall.
- The use of hollow bricks is assumed exclusively in the wall, and the holes in it should not be visible from the outside. Even if you then seal them with a solution, it still will not save the room from significant heat loss through these holes. In addition, moisture, getting here, can freeze with all the ensuing consequences described above.
- Above any openings in the wall, strong solid lintels should be installed that can support the weight of all the brick above them. Such a structure should deepen a good 15-25 cm into the wall on each side of the opening, otherwise its collapse is only a matter of time. The installation width on both sides must be the same. It is unacceptable to rely on the fact that a greater deepening on the one hand cancels out the insufficient one on the other.
Experienced craftsmen can almost always give some useful tips for beginners, without which they would be guaranteed to make one of the common mistakes. For example, the fundamental point is the correct calculation of the foundation, taking into account the hydrogeology of the selected area. It should be understood where the groundwater is located, how much of it, how much ordinary precipitation affects its amount, whether the soil under the future house is equally stable throughout the year. If this is not taken into account, then even a correctly calculated foundation, supposedly of sufficient strength, can "float", especially if it is also made of brick and has limited bending strength. In such a situation, it will only contribute to the stretching of the walls above it and the bending of individual blocks, because the cracks in the walls will appear too quickly and the building will not live long,posing a real threat to its inhabitants.
A separate point is the insulation of the outer walls of the house or the lining of the main wall with facing materials. Many beginners do not take into account that it is imperative to leave a small gap between these two layers, because with temperature drops, condensation will surely appear there, which can destroy the structure. If moisture gets inside, fungus can also penetrate there, which over time destroys the structure of building materials and increases the wear and tear of the house.
To avoid such phenomena, it is necessary to properly organize the ventilation of the space between the walls, for which special ventilation boxes are used. Such a device is made of very durable materials that can normally withstand any humidity and temperature changes without deformation. Thanks to them, thermoregulation inside the wall occurs naturally, and excess moisture gets out, therefore it does not accumulate inside and does not destroy the structure so much.
For information on how to properly make brickwork with your own hands, see the next video.