Guideline for Labor for Brick Tile masonry

In building construction, brick tile work is done for giving architectural view on the outer or exterior wall. The brick tile wall serves as load bearing wall with architectural look.

Brick Tile work

For enhancing the beauty of buildings, the exterior/exposed surface of wall is constructed with the brick tiles masonry. The brick tile masonry is constructed according to the architectural drawings. For elevation improvement architect provides in the outer wall drawing the brick tile masonry. The brick tiles are generally of 40 mm in thickness and length and breadth is according to the size of bricks i.e. 229x 111 mm. It is specified as230x 110 mm in IS1077.

The Brick tile wall also serve as load bearing wall and transfers the load of RCC beam, slabs and live load coming on it to the foundation of the wall.

Laying of brick tile work

As done in brick masonry, English bond is also suitable for brick tile masonry for all wall thickness. Brick tile masonry shall be laid by using brick tiles which was soaked in water and cement mortar. Lay cement mortar layer with the help of wooden strips on the damp-proof course or plinth beam. Lay the brick tile on the mortar bed. There should be no any loose material like dirt, set lumps of mortar on the surface of damp-proof course or plinth beam on which brick tile work to be freshly started. If any shall be removed with wire brush and surface to be wetted. While laying the brick tile sees the mortar bed is in full width and even. The brick tile should be set in position by gently pressing and should be in straight line with the help of thread and also in plumb. After completing one coarse of brick tiles all joints should be filled with mortar. Joints shall be fully filled and packed with mortar such that no hollow space is left inside the joints. The joint on the face of wall should be racked up to 10mm and surface to be cleaned with wire brush. The brick tile work should be kept wet at least for 7 days.

Common defects in brick tile work and cement mortar

  • Raw materials like brick tile, sand, cement and water are of sub standard quality without qualifying any test.
  • Dry Brick tiles are used without soaking in water properly.
  • The joints in brick tiles works are thicker, unfilled properly.
  • Joints are not raked properly.
  • Brick tiles bats are used in masonry work.
  • Mortar is not mixed properly on platform.
  • There is improper mixing of cement mortar
  • There is excessive water content in mortar
  • Brick tile work is not in plumb, level and straight line.
  • Mortar is not according to the structural requirements.
  • There is high suction of brick tile and less water retention of mortar
  • There are uneven joints in brick tile works
  • There are voids in vertical joints
  • There are disturbances of brick tile works just after the layout
  • Over thick joints reducing the strength of brick tile work.

Precautions in brick tile work

  • The length and width of the walls should be according to the drawings. 
  • The quality of brick tiles should be good having required strength and should not show any efflorescence (salt on face). 
  • The sand should not have fine grains and be free from silt etc. The sand used for brick mortar should be of required FM (Coarser) with no silt.
  • The mixing of mortar should be proper with required quantity of water. It should not be dry or liquid.
  • The brick tiles are soaked in water before use otherwise these will absorb water from the mortar and the bonding will be weak
  • The water should penetrate to the core of the brick tile but the brick tile should be skin dry i.e. from outside when it’s used in actual.
  • Minimum number of bats is used.
  • Brick tiles are absolutely aligned horizontally and in a straight line. This can be checked by a stretched string across the face.
  • The brick tiles are vertically aligned which can be checked with a plumb bob.
  • The thickness of joints is not more than 1 cm.
  • The joints should be filled with mortar fully without any gaps.
  • Brick tiles work should be kept wet for seven days so that the mortar may gain its full strength.
  • Brick tiles, sand and cement used in brick work should be according to their specifications

Tools recommended for brick tile work

  • Wooden setting out square
  • Spirit level
  • Water level
  • Boning rod
  • Plumb rule
  • Laying trowel
  • Brick hammer
  • Lump hammer and bolster chisel.
  • Double end comb hammer
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