On account of the comparatively high absorptive power of brick, it is especially necessary that they shall be thoroughly soaked with water before being laid in the wall.

Fig. 36. English Bond.

Fig. 36. English Bond.

An excess of water can do no harm, and will further insure the bricks being clean from dust, which would affect the adhesion of the mortar. It is also important that the brick shall be laid with what is called a shove joint. This term is even put in specifications, and has a definite meaning to masons. it means that after laying the mortar for the bed-joints, a brick is placed with its edge projecting somewhat over that of the lower brick, and is then pressed down into the mortar, and, while still being pressed down, is shoved into its proper position. In this way is obtained a proper adhesion between the mortar and the brick.

Fig. 37. Flemish Bond.

Fig. 37. Flemish Bond.

The thickness of the mortar joint should not be over one-half inch; one-fourth inch, or even less, is far better, since it gives stronger masonry. It requires more care to make thin joints than thick joints, and therefore it is very difficult to obtain thin joints when masons are paid by piecework. Pressed brick fronts are laid with joints of one-eighth inch or even less, but this is considered high-grade work and is paid for accordingly.