Understanding Types of Brick Pointing

Brick pointing, a crucial aspect of masonry, involves the meticulous finishing of mortar joints in brick or stone construction. This technique not only improves the aesthetic appeal of a structure but also reinforces its durability. In this article, we delve into the various types of brick pointing, highlighting their unique characteristics and applications.

The Significance of Pointing in Masonry

In exposed masonry, joints are the most vulnerable points, susceptible to moisture and weathering. Proper pointing, involving the application of high-quality mortar to a depth of 10-20 mm, fortifies these joints against such elements. Mortars used can vary, commonly including lime mortar (1 part fat lime to 2 parts sand or surkhi) and cement mortar (1 part cement to 3 parts sand).

Preparing the Surface for Pointing

Effective pointing begins with preparation. Joints in masonry are raked to a depth of 20 mm while the mortar is still pliable, followed by thorough cleaning and wetting of the surface.

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Detailed Exploration of Brick Pointing Types

1. Flush Pointing

In flush pointing, mortar is firmly pressed into raked joints and finished off flush with the masonry units. Though not aesthetically striking, it offers enhanced durability, making it a common choice.

2. Recessed Pointing

This style involves setting the mortar back by at least 5 mm from the edges, creating a visually appealing, vertical face.

3. Beaded Pointing

Characterized by a concave edge created using a steel or iron tool, beaded pointing offers an aesthetically pleasing finish, albeit less durable than other types.

4. Struck Pointing

A variation of flush pointing, and struck pointing features an inclined face, enhancing water drainage.

5. Keyed or Grooved Pointing

Here, a groove is formed at the midpoint of the flush pointing for added visual appeal.

6. Tuck Pointing

In tuck pointing, mortar is initially pressed into the joint, followed by cutting a groove while still green, which is then filled with white cement putty.

7. V-Pointing

This method involves forming a V-groove in the flush-finished face.

8. Weathered Pointing

Weathered pointing is distinguished by a V-shaped projection, enhancing water runoff.


Understanding and selecting the right type of brick pointing is crucial for maintaining the integrity and appearance of masonry structures. Each pointing style has its unique attributes, making it suitable for different scenarios. Proper execution and maintenance of brick pointing can significantly enhance the lifespan and aesthetic of your building.

FAQs on Types of Brick Pointing

Q1: What is the primary purpose of brick pointing?

A1: Brick pointing strengthens and seals the joints in masonry, enhancing both the structural integrity and aesthetic of the structure.

Q2: How often should one redo brick pointing?

A2: The frequency depends on the exposure to elements and the quality of the original work, but generally, it’s advisable to inspect and potentially redo pointing every 15-20 years.

Q3: Can I do brick-pointing myself?

A3: While it’s possible, professional expertise ensures better durability and finish.

Q4: How do I choose the right type of pointing for my building?

A4: Consider the building’s age, style, and exposure to elements. Consulting with a masonry expert is advisable.

Q5: Does the type of mortar matter in brick pointing?

A5: Yes, the choice of mortar significantly affects the durability and compatibility with the existing masonry.

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