Bricklayers or brickmasons create structures such as walls and partitions with brick and stone building materials. Bricklayers work in any area of construction that uses bricks and stones in a mortar setting. The construction can be as simple as a walkway or can be a more complex building structure. The median salary for a bricklayer was $45,444 as of November 2009, according to Salary.com.
Prepares the Area
Bricklayers must work according to blueprints and drawings for the building structure. A bricklayer must cut bricks to fit smaller areas in the blueprints using a chisel or saw. The worker lays out the area by marking the work surface in the areas where the bricks are laid.
A bricklayer may have an opportunity to select the bricks for the job as well. The bricklayer can use facing bricks to create a decorative finish with the stones or choose common bricks when the appearance is not as important to the finished structure.
Mixes and Applies Mortar
Once the work area is laid out, the bricklayer mixes the mortar and applies it to the work area. The mortar is used to hold the bricks in place and create a strong joint for the brick structure. The mixture of the mortar is an important factor in creating a brick structure that will hold up over time. Poorly mixed mortar can crack or set up too quickly, which will make it difficult to lay the bricks fast enough.
Bricklayers mix small amounts of mortar at a time to avoid wasting materials. Mortar that hardens before it is used is wasted.
Laying the Brick
Bricklayers lay the brick on the mortar in a quick fashion, alternating between layers of mortar and bricks. When the brick is applied to the mortar, the bricklayer taps the brick down into place.
Bricklayers must remove excess mortar from the face of the bricks. Finishing also includes filling gaps in the mortar that may weaken the joint.
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