04 Oct Tuckpointing 101: Things You Need To Know
Tuckpointing is a masonry type that utilizes two contrasting colours—one colour matches the bricks while the other contrasts it.
The contrasting colours help give an impression of extra fine joints between the bricks. It was developed in England in the 18th century to imitate the rubbed bricks.
Rubbed bricks are soft, reddish-coloured bricks created from mixed fine clay, then cut, carved or rubbed to shape. These are often used for gauged brick arches.
When laid with a contrasting colour of white lime mortar, a striking red brick with white, fine contrasting lines is accomplished. In other words, tuckpointing can copy the look of the rubbed bricks using the unrubbed bricks, which are more cost-effective than the latter.
Is Tuckpointing Necessary?
Tuckpointing at some point becomes necessary. This usually happens when mortar joints have flaked, disintegrated or cracked due to harsh weather effects or wearing out.
When the mortar gets exposed, moisture breaks down the brick masonry wall or stone, potentially causing moisture problems behind it. If done correctly, tuckpointing gives a comparably waterproof mortar joint, extending your wall’s life.
The Process of Tuckpointing
Step #1: Grind Out Joints
- Get a grinder and use it to eliminate the old mortar in the joint between the bricks.
Step #2: Brush off the Debris
- After eliminating the old mortar, brush off the debris or hose off if needed.
Step #3: Mix the Mortar
- After brushing off the debris, it’ll be time to mix the mortar.
- Add water to the mortar based on your desired thickness.
- Add colouring as required to match the colour of the brick.
Step #4: Apply Same-Coloured Mortar
- Once done with mixing the mortar, it’s time to apply the same-coloured mortar to the brick joints.
- After that, scrape it clean and allow it to dry.
Step #5: Apply and Cut Contrasting Mortar
- On top of the previously applied mortar, apply and cut the contrasting mortar to the brick joints and let it dry.
- After that, add the contrasting-coloured on top of the recently applied mortar.
- Once done, cut it to create fine lines.
No tuckpointing process can be complete without the tuckpointing tools, and these are the following:
Hawk board, also known as the mortar board, is a tool used to hold the mortar during its application to the wall. They’re constructed using a thin sheet of Aluminum or Magnesium, having a handle at the bottom for easy handling.
This tool is convenient as it enables easy access to mortar instead of constantly digging it out from a bucket.
A trowel is often referred to as a bucket trowel. It’s used to scoop the mortar mix on the hawk board for pointing and comes in various shapes and sizes.
The angle grinder is one of the essential tools in tuckpointing. It’s used to cut out the old mortar in the brick joints. With this tool, you can achieve the best tuckpointing results for your wall brick projects.
This tool is usually equipped with diamond blades that can be fitted with other accessories, such as the following:
- Dust shrouds
- Special guards
- Water hoses for dust minimization and blade cooling.
The masonry brushes are used to clean out debris after grinding out the joints and create particular finishes. They’re made from synthetic horse hairs or other materials.
The masonry brushes are available in different shapes and sizes for various applications.
To make the mortars needed for tuckpointing, you’ll need the three following ingredients:
- Mason’s lime
The mixture from these three ingredients completes the mortar. The sand works as a filler and component, blending with other elements, while the cement acts as a binder that holds everything together.
Furthermore, Mason’s lime controls the mortar by slowing down the hardening effect, making the mortar sticky and bond better to other materials.
The Tuckpointing Result
If done correctly, tuckpointing can last up to 10 to 20 years, leaving your walls fresh, striking and great! Thus, if you notice your bricks or mortars are wearing out, it could be time to consider tuckpointing.
Tuckpointing will not only make your bricks look neat and clean, but it’ll also make them fresh and enticing!