AbutmentThe supporting wall or pier that receives the thrust of an arch.
AggregateGranular material consisting of normal weight or lightweight particles used with a cementing medium to form concrete masonry, mortar or grout.
AIASee American Institute of Architects
American Institute of ArchitectsThe American Institute of Architects is the voice of the architecture profession dedicated to serving its members, advancing their value and improving the quality of the built environment.
American Society of Civil EngineersA society working to represent civil engineers and provide quality information and resources on technical and professional issues.
American Society for Testing and MaterialA global forum for the development of consensus standards.
AnchorsMetal or strap usually made of brass, stainless steel or galvanized steel. Anchors are used to tie a wall (brick, block or stone) to another structure.
Anchor BoltsThreaded bolt placed in grouted masonry unit opening. Used to fasten wood will, beam or other structural support to wall top.
ApprenticeIndividual indenture (contracted) to a training program run by a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATO) in the building trades.
ArchA section of masonry work that spans an opening and supports not only its own weight, but also the weight of the masonry work above it.
ASCESee American Society of Civil Engineers
ASTMAmerican Society for Testing and Material
Backer RodA flexible foam rod tubing either open or closed call used to maintain a constant joint design. It maintains two sided adhesion required for all proper sealant joints.
Basket Weave BondModule groups of brick laid at right angles to those adjacent.
Bat (Batt)A piece of brick usually half the full size or smaller.
BedThe bottom side of a brick or block as it has been laid in the wall.
Bed JointsHorizontal mortar bed on which a masonry unit has been laid.
Beaded JointsSee Joints
BevelThe incline of one surface of the same body with the angle being other than a right angle.
BIASee Brick Industry Association
BondPattern of laid masonry units; adhesion between mortar and masonry units; tying together parts of two or more wythes of masonry walls by overlapping masonry units.
Bond StoneStone or masonry unit that projects back from the facing wall into a backup wall. Bond stone is designed to tie the two walls or wythes together. A bond stone may not project completely through the two walls or wythes.
Boot Rod (sled runner)A tool used to finish joints - a longer jointer with a wood handle used for bed joints.
BrickA molded rectangular block of clay baked by the sun or in a kiln until hard and used as a building and paving material.
Brick BuggiesCarts used to covey material (palletized or packaged) on scaffolds or building floors either hand or power driven.
Brick Industry AssociationNational trade association representing distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products and services.
Brick Set/BolsterA tool used for cutting brick. A brick set is beveled on one side and straight on the other.
ButteringPlace mortar on a masonry unit with a trowel.
CastablesRefractory material in a hydraulic setting bind.
Caulk (caulking)Sealing material, the process of sealing cracks around doors, windows and other cracks with a caulking gun.
Cavity WallA wall built in two wythes of masonry tied together with a continuous air space in between.
Cavity Wall TiesMetal ties or bonding units used to tie together the wythes on a cavity wall.
Cell ClipCut brick piece or section.
ClosureSupplementary or short length used at corners or jambs to maintain bond patters.
Coarse AggregateMaterial predominantly retained on the No. 4 sieve.
ColumnVertical support member.
Compressive StrengthAnother term for dead or live loads, vertical forces on a masonry structure.
Concave JointA mortar joint tooled with a round jointer. See Joints.
ConcreteA hard, strong construction material consisting of sand, conglomerate gravel, pebbles, broken stone, or slag in a mortar or cement matrix.
Control JointVertical joint made in the wall to allow for shrinkage movement. Used to prevent random cracking of the wall caused by contraction. See also expansion joint.
Corrugated Wall TiesGalvanized strips of metal cut 1 inch wide in varying lengths. Used in wall reinforcing.
CrownHigh point or apex of curving arch.
Dead LoadA type of vertical force applied on a wall by the weight of the building.
DeflectionDeviation from normal position or from zero.
DensityThe quality of being dense, close or compact.
DowelsA cylindrical piece of steel, either smooth or threaded used to hold stone in place. Dowels can be set in sealant, mortar or epoxy.
DripA projecting piece of material shaped to throw off water, prevent it from running down a wall or running back under a projection.
Dry Pressed BrickBrick formed in molds under high pressure from relatively dry clay (5 to 7 percent moisture content).
Dry SawDry cutting blade. If used without water can produce enormous amounts of dust.
EfflorescenceA deposit of white powder on the surface of masonry which comes from the leaching of water soluble salts in the masonry by evaporation of water.
ElasticAbility of material to expand and contract.
Elliptical ArchOne of the strongest arches in brick masonry. It springs from a horizontal seat at and on the spring course, and the way its haunch crowns up adds to its strength.
Epoxy MortarMortar of a thermosetting resins containing epoxy groups that are blended with other chemicals to form strong, hard chemically resistant mortar.
ESCSISee Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate Institute
Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate (ESCS)A ceramic lightweight aggregate prepared by expanding select minerals in a rotary kiln at temperatures over 1,000° (1,850° F).
Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate InstituteThe international trade association for manufacturers of rotary kiln-produced expanded shale, expanded clay and expanded slate lightweight aggregate.
Expansion JointVertical or horizontal joints used to separate masonry into segments to control cracking.
Extrude/Extrude JointsTo force clay through a die to give it shape - such as a brick. See Joints.
FaceThe exposed surface of a wall. Also the surface of a masonry unit to be exposed in finished work.
FerruleMetal band around the handle of the trowel at the shank end. Designed to protect the handle.
Fine AggregateMaterial that will almost entirely pass a No. 4 sieve, and be predominantly retained on the No. 200 sieve.
Flame FinishThe process of using a flame to pop off the surface of the stone face. This is performed only on granite and can be used both on interior and exterior stone.
FlashingSheet metal or plastic placed in mortar joints and air spaces in masonry for protection against water seepage.
Flemish BondA bond consisting of headers and stretchers alternating in every course and laid so that they always break the joint.
Flemish HeaderIn a flemish bond, a header is placed in the middle of the stretchers in the courses above and below.
Flush JointSee Joints
FurrowingSmall indentation cut into the mortar bed by a trowel to prepare the mortar bed for the brick.
Glazed Concrete BlockCeramic or porcelainized glazes and/or mineral glazes used to face masonry units.
Gothic ArchAn arch with a rather high rise, with sides consisting of arcs of circles, the centers of which are at the level of the spring line. The Gothic arch is often referred to as a crop, equilateral, or lancet arch, depending upon whether the spacing of the centers are less than, equal to, or more than the clear span.
GradeA predetermined percent of allowable imperfections for stone. Grades are used to create a scale to which stone can be sold and installed. Grade also limits the overall dimension that stone can be fabricated. The groups are granite-group A, marble-group B, marble-group C and marble-group D.
GraniteAn igneous rock created deep within the earth. This rock is dense, difficult to create to final form, but is very durable.
Granular InsulationA water-repellent or non-water absorbent fill material that pours readily into cores of masonry units or cavity type walls.
GroutA cementitious component of highwater-cement ratio, permitting it to be poured into spaces within a masonry wall. Grout consists of Portland cement, lime and aggregate.
Hand CartsCarts normally with two wheels which are used to manually handle or convey masonry units on the scaffold, building floors or around the project.
Head JointsThe vertical mortar joint between ends of masonry units. Often called cross joint.
HeelRear of the trowel blade.
Herringbone PatternA pattern of setting in which the units in a wall are laid aslant, instead of flat, with the direction of incline reversing in alternate courses, forming a zigzag effect. In floors of paving, the units are set at approximately a 45 degree angle with the boundary of the area being clad, alternate rows reversing direction to give a zigzag horizontal pattern, and the unit in one row filling the triangle between two units in the adjacent row.
High-lift GroutingThe technique of grouting masonry in lifts up to 12 feet.
InsulationMaterial used to prevent the passage or leakage of heat, sound, etc. Comes in the form of board, granular fill or foam.
InterlockAn arrangement by means of which the functioning of one part is controlled by the functioning of another.
Jack ArchFlat arch usually used for short spans.
JambVertical sides of an opening such as the side of a door or window.
JourneymanCraftsman or tradesman who has completed and passed an apprenticeship in a trade.
KilnOven for firing brick or tile.
Ladder-type Wall ReinforcingA type of horizontal wall reinforcement. A reinforcement system.
Lateral ForceForce placed on a structure by wind or earth pressure pushing laterally against a wall.
LevelA tool for determining, or adjusting a surface to an even horizontal plane.
LiftHeight of grout (or concrete) placed at one time from one pour.
Lightweight AggregateAggregate of low density used to produce lightweight masonry, lightweight mortar, and lightweight grout, and includes expanded shale, clay, slate, and slag, pumice, volcanic cinders, scoria, tuff, and the end products of coal or coke combustion.
LimestoneFormed below water and compacted this is a highly concentrated crystalline calcium carbonate (calcite) but also contains silica, alumina, iron oxide and magnesia.
LintelHorizontal structural unit (beam) over an opening; support member over a door or window opening.
Live LoadsA type of vertical force, forces applied by the contents and occupants of a building.
Low-lift GroutGrout must be placed into the walls after walls reach a certain height. Building of walls may continue only after grout is in place.
MarbleA metamorphic rock formed from limestone. This stone consists primarily of calcite and dolomite. Marble is a stone formed all over the world.
MasonOne who builds or works with stone or brick.
Mason Contractors Association of AmericaThe national trade association representing masonry contractors and suppliers in national legislative and political affairs, codes and standards composition, workforce development, education, market promotion and general industry advocacy.
MasonryThat which is built by a mason; anything constructed of the materials used by masons, such as stone, brick, tiles, or the like.
MCAASee Mason Contractors Association of America
MIASee Masonry Institute of America
Masonry Institute of AmericaA promotion, technical and research organization established to improve and extend the use of masonry.
Masonry Standards Joint CommitteeAn organization composed of volunteers who through background, use, and education have acquired experience in the manufacture of masonry, or in the design and construction of masonry structures.
Material Safety Data SheetsDocuments describing the known hazards associated with a material.
MiterA joint formed by fitting together two pieces beveled to a specific angle (usually 45 degrees) to form a corner.
MSDSSee Material Safety Data Sheets
MSJCSee Masonry Standards Joint Committee
National Concrete Masonry AssociationOffers a variety of technical services and design aids through publications, computer programs, slide presentations and technical training.
NCMASee National Concrete Masonry Association
Normal Weight AggregateMaterial such as sand, gravel, slag, crushed stone, etc.
Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationA department of the U.S. Department of Labor to promulgate health and safety in the U.S. Establishes regulations and enforces such.
OSHASee Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Parabolic ArchThe strongest of all arches. It has a gradual oval shape.
PargingProcess of applying a coat of mortar to masonry construction, especially used for masonry walls. Also, the cement mortar coat itself.
PCASee Portland Cement Association
PierA short masonry or concrete column supporting the foundations of the floor structure in spaces without a basement. Pier may be freestanding or bonded at its sides to other masonry or concrete. A masonry column used to support a garden wall. A freestanding column.
PilasterA pier or column forming part of a masonry or concrete wall, partially projecting from it and bonded to it. Designed to receive joist or beam load.
PlasterUsed in interior stone installations to adhere the anchors in place as well as to fill butt jointed stone.
PlasticsRefractory brick in a plastic-like moldable consistency.
PlumbExactly vertical. Measured with a plumb line.
PointTip of the trowel blade.
PolishA mechanical method creating a glossy smooth finish on stone. Generally marbles and granites can be polished to expose the full grain and color of the piece.
PolystrenceA tough, clear, colorless plastic material.
PorousMaterials ability to absorb water having many small openings.
Portland CementFine, grayish powder formed by burning limestone, clay or shale and then griding the resulting clinkers. The result is a cement which hardens under water and which is used as a base for all mortar. Portland cement is a grade of cement, not a brand.
Portland Cement AssociationThe Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada through market development, engineering, research, education and public affairs programs.
PrismA small assemblage made with masonry units and mortar and sometimes grout. Primarily used to predict the strength of full scale masonry members.
PuddlingThe process of settling or consolidating grout in a masonry reinforced wall to prevent the formation of voids.
Quarry SapThe water present in block stone when removed from the ground. Quarry sap seasons out anywhere from sixty days to eight months, depending on the type of stone.
QuoinLarge squared stone or brick set at the corner formed by two masonry walls. Projects out from the corner in some cases.
Racked JointSee Joints
RackingLaying or stepping back each higher masonry course.
RebarHorizonal or vertical reinforcing bars used to reinforce a masonry structure.
RefractoryAny non-metal material or object that can withstand high temperature without becoming soft.
ReinforcingTo strengthen a structure by the addition of something to that structure.
RockA wide variety of natural minerals found in virgin form on or below the surface of the earth.
Roman ArchA semicircular arch. If built of stone, all units are wedge-shaped.
S-JointerA shorter jointer used for head joints.
Sample PanelA test panel designed to 1) demonstrate the quality of materials and the kind of workmanship that will be used through-out the construction period or 2) be observed throughout construction of the job for any change or damage as a result of changes in weather conditions.
SandstoneGenerally quartz based, cemented together with a high percent of silica, sandstone also contains calcium, carbonate and iron compounds, this stone generally is formed without sediment grains.
SealantSilicone, polyurethane or polysulphate based chemicals with elastomeric (elastic) characteristics used at various conditions in stone joints.
Segmental ArchSimilar to semi-circle arch. Segment of a circle.
Semi-Circle ArchSee Roman Arch
ShankConnect the trowel blade to the trowel handle.
SilicaA white or colorless compound (SiO2) occurring as quartz, sand, flint, agate, and many other minerals.
SillBottom of a window or door frame. Skew. To twist back or lean; to incline. Shoring Jacks. Support masonry lintels.
Sled Runner (Boot Rod)A longer jointer with a wood handle used for bed joints.
Soft Mud ProcessA brick manufacturing process using a soft brick soffit.
SpanDistance between two supports.
Spring LineFor minor arches, the line where the skewback cuts the soffit. For major parabolic arches, the term commonly refers to the intersection of the arch axis with the skewback.
Stiff Mud ProcessA process through which bricks are made.
StingerA long cable that powers the mechanical vibrator used to consolidate grout.
StoneTerm used to discuss rock in a semi or finished form to be used in constructions or landscaping.
Struck JointSee Joints
Structural Clay TileHollow masonry building units composed of burned clay, shale, fire clay or mixtures thereof.
SubstrateTensile strength forces that separate the masonry unit from mortar.
Terra CottaA hard semifired waterproof ceramic clay used in pottery and building construction.
The Masonry SocietyAn international gathering of people interested in the art and science of masonry.
TMSSee The Masonry Society
ToothingTemporary wall end where alternate stretchers project out. Projecting masonry units are called tooths.
TrowelA flat-bladed hand tool for leveling, spreading, or shaping substances such as cement or mortar.
Truss-Type Wall ReinforcingA type of horizontal reinforcing systems made with diagonal cross rods through wall flashing.
Tutor ArchA pointed, four-centered arch of medium rise-to-span ratio.
Vee JointsSee Joints
Veneer TiesUsed to anchor veneer to walls - comes in many styles or types.
Vertical ForceSee dead or live loads.
VoussoirOne of the wedge-shaped masonry units which form the arch ring. An example is a brick in a jack arch.
Weathered JointSee Joints
Weep HoleOpenings placed in mortar joints of facing material at the level of flashing, to permit the escape of moisture.
Wet SawA wet cutting diamond blade. Used on a saw that has a continual water pump supply on the blade keeping the blade clean and cool.
WinningThe process used to mine raw materials used for manufacturing brick.
WytheVertical wall or tier of masonry units one-unit thick. The thickness of masonry separating flues in a chimney. Also called a withe or tier.