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  Category: Articles » Home & Family » Home Improvement » Article

An Introduction to Stone Masonry

By Paul Glover

When you think of fancy brickwork, that's stone masonry. But just as there's fancy brickwork, other materials can be and are used to build some of the most beautiful walls, fences, porches, patios, or even driveways that you'll ever see. This work is better known as stone masonry, and you can find some highly attractive stone masonry work in the guise of tile, concrete, glass (block), and of course, different kinds of stones.

In addition to being beautiful, extensive stone work can increase the resale value of your home. And that's because stone offers longer durability and stronger protection against high winds, fire, and flooding.

Brick Masonry

Being the most popular form of stone masonry, brickwork comes in two basic looks: veneered and solid. The difference between the two is worth noting, as veneer brickwork is really a 'coat' of thin bricks attached to another surface while solid brickwork is made with entire bricks. The former (veneer) is used for both finishing and weatherproofing a wall or surface.

Veneer Brick Masonry

Veneer brick masonry is seemingly attached to a surfaced via what's called, 'brick ties.' We say 'seemingly' because these brick ties (used in conjunction with mortar) don't actually cement veneer to its surface. There's a slight gap between the veneer and the surface that it's attached to for ventilation purposes. And because bricks aren't naturally waterproof, the surface beneath a veneer cover is treated with a moisture-resistant surface.

Interestingly, veneer brick masonry is preferable to solid brick masonry because (1) it's supported with steel - lending to more stability, and (2), the gap between it and the surface that it's attached to allows for insulation or easy access to Electrical wiring.

Solid Brick Masonry

Solid brick masonry on the other hand, does not leave a gap between it and the surface that it may be attached to (if any at all). But it's the way that solid brick masonry is laid that gives it such a wide appeal. This masonry alternates the placement of longitude running bricks with bricks that run crosswise and the bricks can vary in the number of longitude against the number of crosswise bricks. These variations are what gives specific patterns unique names.

For example, Flemish bond brick masonry alternates longitude with crosswise on each row of bricks. Common bond brick masonry however, alternates on every sixth row of bricks.

Concrete Stone Masonry

Concrete masonry is built with concrete blocks, hollow tile, or cinder blocks and unlike brick masonry, its much faster to lay because concrete blocks are much larger than bricks.

If you know a little bit about concrete, then you know that this kind of masonry is much more water resistant than brick is. Aesthetically however, brickwork may be preferable, and is the main reason why concrete blocks are veneered. Without a veneer finish, concrete masonry is commonly found in industrial type environments.

Stone Block Masonry

Stone block masonry uses rubble or ashlar as materials and although these materials are rather rough in nature (rubble resembles crumbled rock, while ashlar resembles cut rock), it's blocks can have a smooth surface.
About the Author
Author Paul White represents A site designed to help home owners from Florida locate local home contractors with their home improvement projects.
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