Masonry is a technique used in construction and repair that is implemented throughout the world. Masonry is often used to build a number of different types of external and internal structures. For example, it could be a full home or just a wall.
The growth of Masonry-led jobs is said to be 2.2 percent from the years 2021 to 2031. Despite the small rise, masonry is a skill that is always going to be needed.
This is because it is used in jobs such as brickwork, stonework, repairing cement and chimneys, dry stacking, and so much more. In fact, masonry uses techniques and skills that have stood the test of time.
If you are wondering ‘what is masonry?’, then read on to find out all you need to know about these hands-on careers.
So What Actually Is Masonry?
To put it simply, masonry is a type of method used in construction which uses specific materials like stone and cement (see also “How Much Do Construction Workers Make?“). It often means putting the likes of stone and brick alongside cement. They can also be bonded together using something like mortar.
Mortar is a type of paste which hardens. It is made from cement, sand and water and can ‘glue’ different masonry materials together. Something like bricks, for example.
Buildings and walls made from masonry are very strong and can often look very pleasing on the eye too. In fact, many of the historic buildings you see today are often built via masonry techniques. This just goes to show that they can last a very long time.
What Is Masonry Used For?
Masonry is used to construct a lot of the things we use on a daily basis. This might be a house, a school, a library or even the grocery store. It is also a technique used to create pathways, walls, or even a fireplace in the home.
If something is made out of brickwork or cement, it means it is likely done using masonry skills. Because a person will need to use particular materials, techniques and equipment, masonry is done by professionals who have the skills.
Are There Different Types Of Masonry?
There are two different types of masonry: solid and veneer. To help you understand the differences, let’s take a look at them both:
A solid form of masonry would be something like a wall. It means that you do not need to add any support to keep the masonry work standing upright. This form of masonry is considered to be self-supported.
It is a very strong type of masonry that creates a solid structure. It needs to be, otherwise it may collapse and fall – and that is very dangerous.
Veneer masonry is usually used for aesthetic reasons only. This is because it is not a strong form of masonry and will need support to keep it upright. It can be made into a paste and then put onto an exterior wall to give the look of a brick wall, for example.
Unlike solid masonry, you cannot use veneer masonry to create a wall by itself. However, you could paste it on the top of bricks to create a different look entirely.
What Are Types Of Masonry Materials?
There are three types of commonly used materials when it comes to masonry work. So, let’s take a look at them:
Brick is a very solid form of masonry material and is the most commonly used. It can be used for many strong structures such as for buildings, walls and chimneys.
Bricks are also lighter compared to something like concrete blocks, and are very easy to transport and acquire. They can also be easy to work with due to being uniform when it comes to their size, however are less durable compared to something like stone.
Concrete blocks are the most versatile and are a very popular type of masonry material to use. They have many different finishes and sizes, as well as a plethora of colors. This means a mason can often find the right ones for the job.
Concrete blocks are often used in the same way as bricks, however they are much larger and even easier to lay. However, they can be very heavy which means they are not as portable as bricks.
Stone is a durable material that is also resistant to weather. It does not require very much maintenance either, and can be found in different textures, sizes and colors.
However, stone is often thicker and may make a room feel smaller. It is also a very time-consuming material to work with and you have to be very skilled.
Is Masonry Used For Repair Jobs?
Yes, masonry is used for both repair and restoration jobs. Over time stone, brick, and cement will eventually begin to wear itself down through natural causes such as the weather and being used.
Repairing masonry could be replacing mortar or adding caulk. When it comes to restoration, it becomes a little more complex. It often requires replacing something entirely.
If it is an old building wall, then you may want to be as careful as possible and make sure the wall looks as it did before. This requires a lot of skill, and you will need to source the same type of bricks too.
How Do You Start A Career In Masonry?
To become a mason you will need to have gone through training first. Often to work in masonry you will need to work as an apprentice. During this training you will learn on the job and understand how to work with concrete, stone, or brick.
You may even learn about them all. However, it is important to know what kind of masonry job you would like, as you might want to specialize in a particular skill.
As an apprentice, you may want to already have an idea of what that is – or perhaps you will figure that out as you go along. You will also receive training in a classroom too.
This will last around four years. When you are done with training, you can then work as a full-time mason.
Masonry is a highly skilled job that is used for building both internal and external structures. You can become a mason by studying and working as an apprentice to gain real world experience.