Making a Struck Style Mortar Joint

What You'll Need

A wall with a finished mortar joint looks much better than a wall that has rough looking joints. When you build a brick or stone wall, the mortar in between each brick is what holds it all together. These connections form joints. A wall that has rough looking joints will look like it was rushed, and not built very strong. There are several different joints that you can make in the mortar when building a wall. One of these joints is called a struck joint. A struck joint is used on walls that are built outside. The struck joint is the best type of mortar joint that repels water away from the wall. Here are a few steps to help you make a struck style mortar joint in your next wall.

Step 1- Build Your Brick Wall

To make any type of brick mortar joint, you will need to build your wall first. Building a brick wall is simple enough as long as you keep the first course of bricks level and on a stable surface. Many people will use sand as the base for their wall. Continually check the wall for level as you lay the first row.

Keeping your wall level is important not just for appearance, but also for the mortar joints. If the wall is out of level, the joints will begin to crack after a short period of time.

Step 2- Level Mortar Joints Periodically

It will get messy when you put the mortar onto the bricks. The mortar will stick out all over the place. Keeping it level, or flush with the wall, will help when you make the struck joint. Smooth out the mortar while it is still wet with the flat part of your trowel.

Step 3- Let Mortar Dry

An important aspect to think about when creating your struck style mortar joint is the size of the wall itself. If you are building a large wall, you will want to continue checking the wall for how the mortar is drying. If you are building a small wall, this is not as important, but you should check it to make sure it does not get too dry.

Step 4- Dry to Thumbprint Level

Check the wall for the point at which you can press your thumb into the mortar joint until you can remove it without any mortar sticking to it. This is what is called 'thumbprint' level.

Step 5- Make Your Struck Joint

To make the struck joint, hold the point of the blade of your trowel at an angle. Place at the end point of your brick and rake it across the joint backwards. Do the vertical joints before you finish the horizontal joints.