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Masonry and plastering

Walls

Stone systems

a Aerated concrete, b Flat block, c Vertically perforated block, d-f Sand-lime brick, g Lightweight concrete block

There are numerous different stone systems. Due to the wide variety of application areas, they differ in their format, construction material type, physical and mechanical qualities. They are pressure-resistant, thermally insulating, heat accumulating, noise insulating, frost resistant, resistant against driving rain, lightweight or able to bear loads. The artificial stones can be separated into the following main groups:

Building bricks are formed and fired from clay, loam or clay-like substances. The most well-known of these are:

  • Solid brick
  • Hollow brick (vertical/horizontal coring)
  • Facing brick (frost-resistant, for unplastered exterior walls)
  • Clinker brick (sintered surface, frost-resistant, for exposed masonry)
  • Lightweight perforated brick (with additives to increase thermal insulation and/or Perlite insulation core in the hollow chambers)
  • High-strength bricks (for high levels of strain)
  • Ceramic clinker bricks (made of high-quality raw materials)

Lightweight bricks have increased thermal insulation properties. The addition of additives (polystyrene granules or sawdust) to the clay leads to pore formation. In addition, the hollow chambers can be filled with a Perlite insulation core.

Sand-lime bricks are made of pressed lime and quartz sand cured under steam pressure. They have high dimensional stability, sound insulation, static strength, thermal and fire protection and heat accumulation capabilities. Standard delivery formats:

  • Lime-sand solid bricks
  • Lime-sand perforated and hollow blocks
  • Lime-sand blocks and flat block
  • Lime-sand construction panels (for non-supporting partition walls)
  • Lime-sand facing bricks and lime-sand facing

Lightweight concrete blocks consist of porous, mineral aggregates (e.g. pumice, brick powder or expanded clay) and cement. Good thermal insulation properties, good plaster adhesion and low weight. Large formats – economic masonry. Standard formats:

  • Solid bricks or blocks
  • Hollow blocks

Aerated cement blocks are steam cured wall components made of quartz sand, lime and water with the additional of aluminium powder which forms fine pores in reaction to the lime. Excellent thermal insulation properties, low weight, high dimensional stability, easy processing (drilling, nailing, milling). Supplied as:

  • Aerated concrete blocks
  • Aerated concrete flat blocks (also with tongue and groove)
  • Aerated concrete construction panels and flat construction panels

Professionals can also obtain special stone elements (e.g. formwork blocks and elements) and mudstone for the restoration of old buildings.

Masonry

When building walls, the mortar is applied across the entire surface of the bearing joint. Draw a slight joint in the centre of the mortar; apply a brick and align it. Now add mortar onto the butt joint of the next brick, then apply this side of the brick to your wall and align it. Scrape away any excess mortar and add it to the bearing joint.

Butt joint / Bearing joint
Wrong
Right

Offset butt joints are required for a sturdy wall. The bricks are offset from layer to layer by a 1/4 or 1/2 brick length (except for cover layers and glass elements)

Correct joint formation
Incorrect joint formation – waterlogging can lead to frost damage
Stretcher / Half-brick

Stretcher bond: Stretchers are bricks laid in longitudinal direction. Here a half-brick is laid at the end of every second row. This results in an offset butt joint. Please observe the regulations on the permitted wall height and the required limit clearance.

Plastering

Mortar plastering

Mortar plaster is suitable both for interior and outdoor use. Prior to plastering, the area to be plastered is cleaned. Loose parts and contamination must be removed. Mortar plaster consists of cement and lime. Therefore, please wear gloves and prevent contact with the eyes when working with this substance.

1. Prepare the wall to be plastered by spraying it with a thin layer of cement mortar to enlarge the surface area.
2. It is much easier to apply the mortar plaster if guide battens are attached to the masonry. Alternatively, depth gauge beads can be applied to the wall with lumps of mortar. Align the battens vertically. Now apply the mortar using a bricklayer's trowel.
3. The plaster surface is now evened off using a level. You can achieve a flat surface by wiping over the plaster through circular movements with the mortarboard. When applying multiple layers of plaster (exterior), the first layer of approx. 15 mm is applied and the surface is roughened as it is evened off. After leaving approx. one day per mm of layer depth, apply the second layer of approx. 10 mm in thickness. Ensure that the plaster area dries evenly. High temperatures have an adverse effect on the drying process, as do cold temperatures and moisture. If necessary, cover the surface in sheeting.

Interior plaster

A primer (deep primer) is applied; the type of primer depends on the product. After drying, the plaster (e.g. light plaster) can be applied. As for all ready-made products, refer to the specified mixing ratio and the processing guidelines. On larger, adjacent surfaces, add the plaster in one go, without interrupting your work. You can use brushes, trowels and texture rollers etc. to create the plaster surface structure.

1. Gypsum plaster is used in interiors for the production of flat wall surfaces. It is the ideal subsurface for subsequent painting or wallpapering. Contamination, loose parts and oily or greasy areas must be removed prior to plastering. Evenly apply the gypsum plaster to the pre-moistened wall, and use a level to even it off. Then the plaster is smoothed with a sponge board.
2. Dekor-Putz wird auf glatte, ebene, saubere, trockene und tragfähige Bauwerksuntergründe aufgetragen.

Tools

Spirit level
Mortarboard
Level
Folding rule
Plumb bob
Bricklayer's trowels: Trowels differ in their material, processing and shape. The variety of forms, of we only a few are shown, have developed through regional traditions. Brick-laying is a task which generally takes long periods of time. Therefore, each person must decide for themselves which trowel lies best in the hand.