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Mortar Joint Selection

Brick homes offer a timeless beauty and rustic aesthetic, so it’s no wonder that they are growing in popularity. If you are thinking about moving to a brick home or updating your current walls, then there are a few key factors you must consider. Although most people focus on choosing the type of brick and layout they want, deciding on the mortar joint style is also important, as it affects both the appearance and longevity of your brick. 

Joints make up the space between bricks and are filled with mortar (a binding paste made of sand, cement, and lime). Given the variety of joint styles, techniques, and purposes, it can be difficult to choose between them. Here is a closer look at mortar joints to help you find the right one for your current or future home: 

Types of Mortar Joints 

There are many types of mortar joints, but some of the most common options include the concave, V, struck, weathered, raked, flush, extruded, squeezed, beaded, and grapevine joints. Some joints are more suited for exterior walls, while others are better for interior walls. This is due to the different levels of water resistance between joint slopes and designs. Concave, V, flush, and extruded joints are best for exterior or outward-facing walls. Interior walls are mainly chosen for aesthetic over function, so these joints typically have poor water resistance or drainage. Examples of interior joints include the grapevine, raked, struck, weathered, squeezed, or beaded joints.   

Choosing the Right Mortar Joint for Exterior Walls

Concave joints are typically considered to be the best option for exterior walls due to their superior water resistance and sealing abilities. Flush joints are another good choice, but they require careful installation in order to be completely water resistant. Flush joints must be either in-line with the brick or slightly back, because an extruding flush joint can accumulate water on its top. 

V joints, however, must be properly installed to avoid water accumulation on the “V” groove created in this method. This is a difficult task, so V joints are usually avoided for exterior walls. Extruded joints are convenient because they do not require tooling, but because they extend past the brick, they are exposed directly to weather conditions and often degrade more quickly. Therefore, these methods are typically not recommended due to the higher likelihood of water or weather damage. However, if your brick happens to use one of these styles, it is still possible to increase the water resistance of your brick with brick sealants.

Choosing the Right Mortar Joint for Interior Walls

Brick can make an attractive accent wall in the inside of your home. Since the brick will be protected from rain and other weather conditions, you have much more flexibility in choosing the joint style. Struck joints are a popular choice for interior walls due to the unique sloped appearance they provide. For an antique and matte finish, grapevine joints can be a good choice. These joints are made with a metal blade with a raised bead that makes an indented line in the center of the mortar. Beaded joints, on the other hand, have an extruded line in the center that sticks out past the edge of the brick to provide a unique architectural look. Due to the protected nature of interior walls, you can choose the mortar style that looks the best to you or which matches the appearance of your home the best. 

Get a Professional’s Opinion

Given the number of options available, it can be difficult to choose the right joint for your home. If you need assistance choosing, installing, or repairing your mortar joints, then contacting the experts at Brickworks Property Restoration can help. We have over 10 years of experience and use a specialized mortar to ensure your bricks look cohesive and last as long as possible. Contact us for guidance or installation today!

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