Types of Mortar Joint Used to Make Masonry Wall

Everyday we see the masonry wall here and there. Some appealed to us and some not. But did we notice how the joints are formed in wall?

When we make masonry wall we just combine bricks or concrete block with mortar. This mortar can be cement mortar or lime mortar etc. Whichever mortar you use no matter, the mortar joint should be strong, water-tight, good looking and weather resistant.

Read more: Traditional Brick Bond Patterns Used in Masonry Wall Construction 

The thickness of joint should be from 1/4" to 1/2". And it's done by a tool or a trowel.

Below are some common types of mortar joint used to build masonry wall -
  • Concave joint
  • V Joint
  • Struck joint
  • Weather joint
  • Raked joint
  • Flush joint
Concave joint: It is also called bucket handle joint. This joint is formed by a half-circular shaped jointing tool. This joint is globally accepted as the best joint for its resistance capability to water penetration.

mortar joint, masonry joint

V joint: Due to its "V" shape it's called "V" joint (see the pic). If the joint isn't properly compressed it can be the entry point of water.

mortar joint, masonry joint

Struck joint: In this joint, the top edge of the joint is finished flash with brick edge and the bottom edge is recessed.

masonry joint, mortar joint

Water resistance capability of this joint is very poor. Because the slope of the joint pulls water and allow to sit on a brick, which gives it more time to penetrate. So it is better to apply this joint on internal walls.

Weathered joint: This joint is similar as struck joint but the top edge is recessed instead of bottom edge of the joint. The water resistance capability of this joint is good due to its slope. But if the mortar isn't properly adhered with the brick water can penetrate running across the underside of the brick.

masonry joint, mortar joint

Raked joint: In this joint mortar is slightly recessed from the edges of the brick. It's why this joint is also called recessed joint. The surface of the joint is normally left roughened. But it is better to compact the surface to increase the water resistance capability.

It's not used in modern building due to its poor water resistance capability. But sometimes used to give a modern building a historic look.

masonry joint, mortar joint

Flush joint: The surface of the flash joint is left flush with brick edges. The resistance capability of water penetration of this joint is low. Because it is formed without compacting the surface.

Flush joint, type of mortar joint

Beside these, there are some other joints used to form masonry wall. These aren't normally used in building construction. For your knowing purpose these are given below -
  • Squeezed joint
  • Beaded joint
  • Grapevine joint

masonry joint, mortar joint

Whichever mortar joints you use to make masonry wall always remember one thing that exterior wall must be formed with tooled mortar joint. Such as "Concave" and "V" joint.


  1. This is really informative to the rest without masonry related knowledge. This is the kind of post that deserve those chain of shares on Facebook and top social media. It's what i learned from http://resumescentre.com/ that the social media is the number 1 free tool for marketing today and getting your post anywhere stress-free.

    Thanks for the share.