A bricklayer, which is sometimes referred to as a bricklayer, is a tradesman and artisan who lay bricks in brickshelves to build brickwork for houses, buildings, monuments and other structures. The word comes from the Latin word basilica which means wall or fence made of brick. The occupations in this field are quite varied and take on many guises depending on the area of expertise. The term can also apply to people who use slabs to build blockwork in houses or other structures, and is often used to describe the mortar used.
This occupation involves excavating an area that can be used for laying bricks, preparing the ground for the work and bringing in supplies. Tools used include line pins, hammers, level and hand trowel and mortar mix. Laying is usually done by one person, although it may occasionally take two or more to complete a project. The most common equipment employed is a drum roller, which helps move the mortar around and makes sure that each layer of brick stays firmly in place.
Another tool used in this job is a brick chisel or hammering tool. It is held over a blade which has a chisel attached, and a chisel is used to cut along the line of bricks where the roller and chisel have been fitted. To make holes for the line pins, sponges are often used. A chisel is often used in wet environments, and so a waterproof mix may be required.
A mason uses a spirit level to mark out where the bricks are to be laid. A spirit level is similar to a flat surface, and the bricks are laid on top of it. A bricklayer lays rows of bricks which are level and lined with line pins. Bricks are put in between and then topped up with more bricks. This is followed by a layer of mortar, which seals the area and gives it the right strength.
The third tool you need to be able to undertake bricklaying jobs is a trowel. This tool is not as important as the other tools you will use, but it can help you work faster. You have a choice of using either a roller or a brick tread. A brick tread is similar to a brick peel. This has rows of bricks evenly distributed all the way across the face of the wall. There are also roller rows, which are arranged differently – one row wider than the next.
A final tool you will need is a brick hammer. A brick hammer looks like a metal mallet and is used to cut bricks into appropriate sizes. Brick hammers can be handheld or mounted on a belt. Most brick hammers are made from steel; however, there are some made from iron and copper that work equally well. The most expensive types are forged ones with diamond accents.