How to Soak Bricks for Masonry Wall Construction?

Soaking bricks is must for quality masonry works. But the questions are -

  • What is soaking?
  • Why should we soak bricks?
  • How long should bricks be soaked?
  • How to soak bricks?

Soaking bricks, masonry work

What is soaking?

Most of us think that making bricks wetted is the soaking. As per dictionary.com, Soaking is to make something saturated with water. To make bricks saturated with water is called brick soaking. Our purpose is not to make bricks wetted but make it saturated with water.

Why should we soak bricks?

Bricks are dry and they absorb too much water. If we don't soak bricks it will absorb water from cement-mortar. As a result, mortar will be weak and fail to make bond between bricks due to lack of enough water for hydraulic reaction of cement in mortar. Ultimately it'll weaken the masonry wall. So it's very essential to soak bricks properly.

Another purpose of brick soaking is to bring out salt and any other harmful chemicals from the bricks.

How long should bricks be soaked?

It is a common tendency to make bricks wetted by spraying water. That is harmful for quality brick work. Bricks should be completely saturated with water. It should be soaked untill it doesn't absorb single drop of water. Normally it takes 8 to 12 hours to completely saturated.

How to soak bricks?

In a multi-storey building it is not possible to soak bricks in one floor and carry to others floor. So we make separate water tank for each floor.

Making temporary soaking tank -

  • Use a plastic drum initially for soaking bricks till the soaking tank is ready.

  • Soak bricks in plastic drum for 12 hours and take out the bricks from drum one hour before starting brick masonry work.

  • With these soaked bricks make wall layout on floor as shown in architectural drawing. Make necessary changes as per client/owner's decision and finalize the layout.

  • The size of water tank depends on how many masons will work for a day or how many bricks will be needed for a day. Depending on the size of water tank choose a room or toilet to make soaking tank.

  • Make a wall around your chosen room up to 2½ feet or 3 feet high. Don't forget to keep door opening for the room during making masonry wall.

  • After making room's wall, make a wall for door opening of same height. But don't make the masonry bond between wall of door opening and the rest of wall. So that you can break the door opening's wall later.

  • Next day make plaster with net cement finishing on inner wall surface of soaking tank. The purpose of net cement finishing is to make the water tank leakage proof.

  • During making wall around water tank put a 2" diameter pvc pipe at bottom of wall. Dirty water after soaking brick will be discharged through this pipe.

  • Put the required quantity of bricks for day's work into water tank previous day and take out from water tank one hour before starting brick work to sweep out the excess water from bricks.

How do you soak bricks? Please share in comments...



  1. How it is possible to soak 2000 to 3000 bricks which are supposed to be used next day. The temporary water storage constructed at the site has dimensions of 4 feet x 6 feet. The only option left is spraying the water through pipe. Pl comment.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Um, well first of all, the question isn't very clear, and presumably all the dimensions have not all been listed (which is esp important if your question is aimed at how it would be possible to fit the bricks in the container...).
      Also, the size of the bricks used is needed as well, and I'm not sure why "spraying water through the pvc..." is mentioned. Maybe that's a hint that you're not asking about the container's "brick capacity," but that doesn't seem to be the case...
      So, assuming you meant that your container is 4ft wide by 6ft long...and assuming the height was omitted because you wanted help determining the necessary height for a project like 2k-3k bricks soaking simultaneously...a ROUGH estimate of the minimum height necessary to hold that many "standard" size bricks would be something like 5-7ft tall- or right around 10ft high if you want to allow tiny space around each brick. Hope that helps..

  2. Great article.Explains all about soaking of bricks.I like the detailed process of soaking bricks.

  3. good article, is there any problem if we spray the water on bricks with pipe?