How to use a brick jointer

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Below are some guidelines for using a brick jointer.

Please note – Wonkee Donkee will always refer to the joint as horizontal or vertical for simplicity.  If you want to read any further information about brick jointing, then you should be aware of the multiple names used to describe these directions.

Jointing Technique

Step 1 – Guide and smooth

Guide the back of the tool along the mortar joint between your bricks, as shown in the picture (left).

Use the curved portion of the tool to smooth out the mortar joint.

You may wish to practice your jointing technique on a small or less-noticeable area of wall first.

Work Downward

Step 2 – Work your way down

Start at the top of the wall and work downward, so that falling dust and debris does not affect your freshly-jointed work.

Well jointed mortar

Don’t cut corners

Notice extra care has been taken when corners are reached so that the mortar joins up neatly and the regular curvature is maintained.

Wrong internal angle joint

Don’t joint vertically over horizontally

You should not use a jointing tool to create a straight join vertically across horizontal joints.

Correct method for internal angle jointing

Joint internal angles alternatively

Internal angle joints should be formed alternately from the left and right across the vertical join. The direction should alternate as you move down the wall; this will ensure the longevity of the mortar in an area prone to running water.

Moisture evaporating through softer mortar joints The mortar joint should allow moisture to evaporate through the softer mortar joints rather than through the brick.
Spalling of brick Tooled mortar joints prevent ‘spalling’ (moisture entering brick, causing the surface to peel, flake or pop out). If joints are not tooled correctly the moisture and salt from the rain enters the brick rather than evaporating through the mortar joints, causing crumbling of the brick and possibly damaging structures.
Horizontal and Vertical Joints Labelled

Step 3 – Check each line is level

Throughout construction, make sure each line of brick is even using a spirit level, this ensures the joints between them are also even.  

Jointing Vertical Joints First

Step 4 – Vertical first

Joint vertical joints first.

These may also be referred to as: ‘head joints’, ‘perpendicular joints’, ‘end joints’ or ‘cross joints’.

Jointing horizontal joints second

Step 5 – Horizontal second

Joint horizontal joints second.

These may also be referred to as: ‘bed joints’.

Excess mortar cut off

Step 6 – Remove excess mortar

Cut off excess mortar with a trowel. Cutting of excess mortar prevents it drying on the surface of the wall.

Brushing Brickwork

Step 7 – Brush brickwork

Brush the brickwork after jointing using a soft brush or broom. This is a useful exercise to get rid of rough edges or any bits of mortar lying on the wall.

Wipe away any excess mortar and finish smoothing the joint