How high is 1 course brick

Wall with bricks

  • 1

    Gather all of the materials you will need before starting the project. Once you've mixed the mortar and start building it, you'll need to use the mortar and level the grout before you stop.

  • 2

    Pour a concrete foundation if you don't have an existing slab, row of bricks, or platform to build on. This needs to be level and below the level of the finished floor so the bricks are all that will be seen when the wall is finished.

  • 3

    Plan the wall you want to work on and mark the openings such as doors, windows, and any architectural features that you want to include in your design. For beginners, a simple, square project like a planter box or post box base is best.

  • 4

    Stack bricks along the length of your foundation for easy access from your workplace.

  • 5

    Place "mortar trays" about every two feet along the wall, or on each side if the project is small. This will allow you to trowel mortar while you work. You don't need to move too much with it.

  • 6

    Mix masonry cement or mortar. This can be done in a wheelbarrow for small projects, or a mortar box if you don't have access to a mortar mixer or cement mixer. Basically, to mix the mortar, use a ratio of three parts masonry sand (construction sand if it's very clean) to one part masonry cement. Add water to the dry materials and mix until the consistency is like pudding. If it is too dry it will be difficult to bind the bricks in the mortar bed, if it is too wet the bricks will give way.

  • 7

    Put a few scoops of mortar on each board, splashing some water on the board first so the mortar "holds" and stays moist enough to work with.

  • 8

    Start at a corner and use the trowel to throw mortar in a 10-15cm wide strip on the foot or the plate, approx. 1 cm thick. Place a brick in the mortar bed and tap it with the trowel handle to the desired height, parallel to the line of the wall, and plumb the edge. Repeat with 6 to 8 bricks, using the edge of the trowel to cut off any excess grout that oozes out from under the bricks as you work on it.

  • 9

    Start another row of bricks on the first row, starting at the corner. If you are walling around the corner you started at, you will need to start each row half a brick back from the first row so that each row is offset by half a brick. When you wall around the corner where you started, put the first brick in the first row so that it is at right angles to the first row, and wall a few bricks in that direction as well.

  • 10

    Keep the height of the bricks the same with a spirit level, and keep the ends (headers) the same. The standard bed and headboards are 1cm, but this can be adjusted to your liking, and can be up to 2cm or even more.

  • 11

    Wall several rows up at each end of the wall, these are the guides, then you can stretch a string at the top of each brick as you fill in the remaining bricks in the wall.

  • 12

    Spread the head and bed joints with a "joint iron" when the mortar has started to set. The joint iron is a very narrow trowel that fits into the joint. Pull it from end to end and rub it along the mortar line between the bricks to strengthen and smooth the mortar line.

  • 13

    Brush the side of the stone with a "foxtail" brush, wipe off any remaining mortar and smooth the joints again. It takes a lot of practice to tell when the grout is properly set and you can brush the grout, but basically, if it's hard enough that you can touch it with your finger and not leave a mark, it's done.

  • 14

    Keep going until you are at the ends. Then either continue straight up or start another piece of wall.