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Masonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar. The term "masonry" can also refer to the units themselves.

The most common are brick, stone such as, marble, sandstone, cobblestone, Flintstone, granite, slate, travertine, limestone; concrete block, glass block, and tile.

Masonry products come in endless combinations of colors, sizes, shapes and textures. John’s Asphalt has the ability to create your vision, while ensuring the execution of construction will be structurally sound.


Masonry is generally a highly durable form of construction. The materials used, the quality of the mortar and workmanship, and the pattern the units are put in can strongly affect the durability of the overall masonry construction.

Nearly no maintenance, high durability and impact resistant, noise reduction (for interiors), lower insurance costs and low environmental impact.

No. Commercial construction demands quality and masonry performs. The cost increase, which may range from 5 – 20%, can be influenced by a number of variables. Bricks and mortar are synonymous with quality, performance, attractiveness and permanence.

Masonry is commonly used for the walls of buildings, retaining walls and monuments. Brick is the most common material and may be weight bearing or a veneer. Concrete block masonry is rapidly gaining in popularity as a comparable material.

Blocks - most of which have hollow cores - offer various possibilities in masonry construction. They generally provide good compressive strength, and are best suited to structures with light transverse loading when the cores remain unfilled. Filling some or all of the cores with concrete or concrete with steel reinforcement (typically "rebar") offers much greater tensile and lateral strength to structures.


Tuckpointing is a way of using two contrasting colors of mortar in brickwork – one color matching the bricks themselves - to give an artificial impression that very fine joints have been made.

Yes. The first step to achieve a consistent mortar color is to use the same ingredients the structure was built with; the cracks in brick and mortar will virtually disappear. Colored mortar is most often mixed at the job site—using pre-blended materials or individual ingredients. Mortar color is a cost effective way to increase the visual impact of masonry structures, whether concrete or clay units are used. Both custom and stock colors can be made.

We believe consistency is key to uniform results—and uniform appearance over the entire wall surface. From batching to mixing, placing, tooling, and curing, every aspect of getting the mortar in the wall can affect its final appearance.


No. The sand we use will be from the same source for the entire project, and proportions of sand relative to cement will be monitored for consistency from batch to batch. Similarly, water will be dosed consistently to maintain a uniform water-cement ratio in the in-place mortar.

The longevity of mortar joints should last up to 45 years, but will vary depending on exposure and the materials used. Repointing your structure as soon as you see deterioration in the mortar is the most effective and permanent way of limiting decomposition or water damage.

Stone blocks used in masonry are “dressed” or “rough”. Stone masonry leveraging dressed stones is known as ashlar masonry. Masonry using irregularly shaped stones is known as rubble masonry. Both ashlar (dressed) and rubble (rough) masonry can be laid in courses (rows of even height) through the careful selection or cutting of stones, but a great deal of stone masonry is uncoursed (when stones are laid without forming courses, causing a varied appearance).

Natural stone veneers over a Concrete Masonry Unit, cast-in-place or tilt-up concrete walls are widely used to give the appearance of stone masonry.

Manufactured stone veneers are maturing in popularity as an alternative to natural stones as attractive natural stone can be expensive. Manufactured stone veneers are typically made from concrete. John’s Asphalt will provide our professional recommendation during your consultation, depending on the structural needs of the project.

Blocks of cinder concrete (“cinder blocks” or “breeze blocks”), ordinary concrete (“concrete blocks”) or hollow tile are generically known as Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs). They are usually much larger than ordinary bricks and are much faster to lay for a wall of a given size.

Certain types of blocks often receive a stucco surface for decoration. Surface-bonding cement, which contains synthetic fibers for reinforcement, is sometimes used in this application and can add extra strength to a block wall. Surface-bonding cement is often pre-colored and can be stained or painted, resulting in a finished stucco-like surface.


Cinder and concrete blocks typically have much lower water absorption rates than brick. They often are used as the structural core for veneered brick masonry, or are used alone for the walls of factories, garages and other "industrial" buildings where such appearance is acceptable or desirable.

The primary structural advantage of concrete blocks in comparison to smaller clay-based bricks is that a Concrete Masonry Unit wall can be reinforced by filling the block voids with concrete with or without steel rebar. Certain voids are designated for filling and reinforcement, particularly at corners, wall-ends, and openings while other voids are left empty. This increases wall strength and stability more economically than filling and reinforcing all voids.


Another type of steel reinforcement is referred to as ladder-reinforcement. It can also be embedded in horizontal mortar joints of concrete block walls. The introduction of steel reinforcement generally results in a Concrete Masonry Unit wall having much greater lateral and tensile strength than unreinforced walls.

Yes. Some concrete blocks are colored, and some employ a split face, a technique that results in two blocks being manufactured as one unit and later split in two. This gives the blocks a rough face replicating the appearance of natural, quarried stone, such as brownstone. For applications such as roadway sound control walls, the face patterns may be complex and even artistic.

No. Fiber cement board is not considered a masonry product. It is a siding. It is installed by nailing to wood framing, similar to vinyl, aluminum and other siding products.

No. EIFS is synthetic stucco and is not a masonry product. It has none of the advantages of true masonry.

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