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Mortar Joints in Exposed Masonry

Mortar joints are the filled spaces between the bricks, stones or concrete blocks that make up a wall. A common question for first time drillers is, should you drill directly into the brick, or into the surrounding mortar? And does it make a difference if joint is not flush? (A flush mortar joint is one where the surface is smoothed out equal to the brick) These, and more, points are addressed below.

In the brick/stone or in the joint?

For the best strength and support, the anchors for our wire trellises can be mounted directly into the brick/stone from which the masonry is made. Only in exceptional cases, or if there are safety concerns, should people drill into the mortar joints. 


Strength of rock seams

Theoretically, in contemporary masonry, mortar joints are just as strong as the bricks they are binding, historically however, concrete was far more of a commodity than it is now and a dilute mortar was often used, which is highly prone to weather erosion and weakening over time. Consequently, in older buildings, behind an intact, hard outer layer, joints can often be weak and crumbly. If this is the case you can secure your rawlplug or rawlplug free anchor using composite mortar to ensure stability.  Details can be found in our individual stone types section. 

Joint offset

The 'offset' of joints can be problematic. Joints can be flush with the bricks, protrude, or be indented. Due to the offset surfaces, it may cause a non-uniform pressing of the rubber seals. Therefore, a joint offset should be as balanced as possible, either by sanding a protruding joint or by building a larger contact surface, in turn, using composite mortar. Also remedy by fitting cut and set pieces from weatherproof rubber bandages.

Flush stone joints, wire ropes in massive construction, Dutchman's Pipe
Flush stone joints
Stark projecting joints
Facing masonry with projecting joints
The light design can be mounted directly into joints when the support plate is omitted.
Light cross mount installed into joint
Wall bracket WM 12153 to the slightly recessed joints
Wall bracket WM 12153 to the slightly recessed joints
Modeling a flat contact surface with heavily recessed wall joints, here for the average construction 'Classic'.
Modeling a flat contact surface with heavily recessed wall joints, here for the average construction 'Classic'.