When it comes to achieving a genuine brick appearance with brick slips, it’s not just the slips themselves that matter. The unsung heroes? Mortar joints. These spaces filled with mortar or grout between brick slips play a pivotal role in ensuring the aesthetics and durability of your brick facade. Let’s delve deeper into the world of brick slip mortar joints.
Why are Mortar Joints Important?
Keeping Up Appearances
Brick slip mortar joints give depth, shadow, and authenticity to brick slip installations. Without these joints, the brick slip wall would look more like a flat surface with brick patterns rather than an authentic brick wall.
While interior brick slip installations are mostly decorative, mortar joints contribute to the overall sturdiness. They lock the slips in place and help distribute any localized pressures or loads.
Types of Mortar Joints for Brick Slips
This joint is created by pressing the mortar flush with the brick slip surface. It’s the go-to choice for a smooth finish.
Here, mortar is set back from the brick slip surface. This joint type enhances the brick’s outline and offers a more defined look.
Rounded or Concave Joint
Popular and practical, this joint type is achieved using a rounded tool. It’s especially efficient at repelling water in exterior applications.
This joint features a V-shaped trough and is often chosen for its decorative appeal.
The mortar is angled from the top of the brick slip down to the outer face. This design helps shed water, making it suitable for exteriors.
Best Practices for Mortar Joints with Brick Slips
When preparing mortar for brick slip joints, ensure a smooth, peanut-butter-like consistency. This texture makes the application easier and ensures better adhesion.
Tooling, or shaping the mortar joint, should ideally be done when the mortar starts setting but isn’t completely dry. This timing ensures the best finish and bond.
Clean as You Go
Wipe away any excess mortar immediately using a damp sponge. This practice ensures a clean, professional finish and avoids hard-to-remove mortar stains later on.
Mortar Color and Aesthetics
A traditional choice, gray mortar complements most brick slip colors and offers a timeless appeal.
Go Bold with Black
Black mortar joints can offer a stark contrast, especially with lighter-colored brick slips. This choice is often seen in contemporary designs.
For a harmonious look, especially with red or brown brick slips, opt for warmer toned mortars.
Mortar joints, while seemingly a small aspect of brick slip installations, play an outsized role in the overall look and performance of the wall. Whether you’re aiming for a contemporary design or a traditional brick aesthetic, the right mortar joint type and color can amplify your design’s appeal. Remember, it’s often the finer details, like mortar joints, that make all the difference.