Building a Brick or Block Wall
Ever wondered how to lay build a brick wall? Keep reading!
It’s easy to learn how to lay bricks or blocks and with the ultra convenient range of premixed Easy Mix Mortar products, we’ve made things even simpler. No need to calculate sand and cement ratios and add foaming agents to your mortar mix – Easy Mix have done the preparation for you with their Easy Mix Mortar. Save time and effort on your next DIY brick laying project and work with a perfect buttery mortar blend.
Before You Start
Measure the size of the wall you intend to build and calculate the number of bricks or blocks you will need for the job. Also check site levels to accommodate changes to the slope of the land.
Retaining walls: if there is any risk the soil or water pressure could push the wall over, additional reinforcement may be necessary. Always seek professional advice if you are unsure.
What You Will Need
- Shovel and rake
- Spirit level
- String line
- Tape measure
- Timber for boxing the footing
- Brickie’s trowel
- Joint raking tool
- Easy Mix Concrete (for footings)
- Easy Mix Mortar (for the wall)
- Capping bricks/blocks (if required)
- Reinforcing bar/ties (if required)
- Potable (clean) water
Build The Footing
Plan the position of the wall. The footing trench (a strip of concrete) should be wider than the base of the wall by several centimetres. Prepare and install the footing as required.
Once the footing has hardened, drive a stake (as tall as the wall) beyond each end of the wall and in line with the face of your wall (approximately 24 hours after pour). Stretch a line between the two stakes level with the top front edge of the first course and repeat for each other course as they are completed.
Tip: Trial the first course bricks / blocks on the footing without mortar to check and adjust the wall ‘fit’ between markers – allow 10mm for each joint.
Mixing The Mortar
Pour the required amount of Easy Mix Mortar into a wheelbarrow or clean mixing surface (1/2 a bag at a time is recommended). Add water, (approximately four litres per 20kg bag of mortar), gradually mixing as you go until a stiff, even consistency is reached.
Note: Excess water can ruin good mortar. Should your mortar become too ‘wet’ put the mixture aside for a few minutes until it thickens.
How to Lay Bricks
Spread a 25mm thick coating of mortar along the footing, the approximate length of 3 – 4 bricks/blocks. Position an end or corner block first and tap into place with the trowel handle. Spread the mortar along the end of the next brick/block and position. Leave a 10mm joint space.
Leave mortar out of some of the vertical joints in the first course to allow drainage from behind the wall. Check as you go with a spirit level for horizontal and vertical accuracy. Adjust if necessary by tapping with the trowel handle, and scrape off excess mortar with an upward sweep of the trowel.
Repeat until all rows are finished. After laying 3 – 4 courses, or as mortar begins to set, use a joint raking tool to rake joints and compress the mortar.
While the wall may seem firm to touch within hours, it will not reach full strength for up to 28 days. The wall should be kept damp for seven days (or 14 days for retaining walls that are not back filled) to help hardening.