What is Masonry?

brick masonry

Anyone who is interested in constructing a beautiful, durable and low-maintenance home or other building should consider masonry. The term may be familiar. But what, exactly, is masonry?brick masonry

Masonry is defined as the building of structures from individual units. These units are often laid and bound together by mortar. Common materials of masonry construction include adobe, brick, cast stone, concrete block and glass block. Other masonry materials are natural stone such as granite, marble, limestone and travertine.

What determines a high-quality masonry job? Your choice in materials, to be sure. Natural stone is thought to be more attractive than brick or concrete block. Workmanship, as practiced by the mason or bricklayer, is important. Also, the pattern in which the units are assembled will affect beauty and durability.

Here are some fast facts on masonry:

  • Brick and concrete block are the most common types of masonry. They can be weight-bearing and used to hold up a roof, for example. Or, they can be a decorative veneer.
  • Masonry veneer walls are usually built from clay-based bricks. These are often installed on one or both sides of structural walls which, in turn, are made from wood or concrete blocks. In this context the bricks enhance the look of a building, and not it structural integrity.
  • Structural or weight-bearing walls are usually built from blocks of cinder concrete (i.e., cinder blocks) or ordinary concrete (i.e., concrete blocks). These masonry walls are often faced with veneered brick masonry or stucco. For factories, garages and other buildings where appearance isn’t important, block walls stand alone and are only painted.
  • Masonry walls will not burn. The use of materials such as blocks, bricks and stones can protect a building from fire.
  • Masonry surfaces are extremely hard. They resist projectiles such as debris picked up from hurricanes or tornadoes.
  • Masonry materials are heavy. Most brick, block or stone walls must be built on a strong foundation like reinforced concrete to avoid settling and cracking.

The Art of Masonry

brick masonry fireplaceA mason or bricklayer can bring artistry to any project. One with a practiced eye, for example, can put together walls, fireplaces and other structures of uncommon beauty by fitting pieces together purposefully. Different stones can be used with great effect. Bricks can be laid in any number of pleasing patterns. Then, too, arches and other structural shapes can be readily crafted with masonry.

Masonry: Another Definition

Masonry or Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest secular fraternal organizations. Its members are concerned with moral and spiritual values. While its origins have been lost to time, some believe the organization arose from the guilds of stonemasons who constructed the cathedrals and castles and of the Middle Ages.

Specializing in exterior natural stone additions and repairs, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build and extending to your full satisfaction, rely on us for brick masonry, pointing and repair as well as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stone masonry, stone wall repairs and more.  

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