How Do You Lay Brick?

Lay a brick wall by aligning the bricks and applying mortar. If you are new to laying brick, study and practice laying brick sufficiently before beginning this project.

  1. Align the bricks

    Use a mason line, with two blocks and a line, to align the bricks in straight rows as you build the wall. Attach the blocks to an end of the brick row, pulling the line tight so the top of each brick in the row just touches the line. Lay bricks lengthwise in a staggered pattern to allow for sufficient strength and weight distribution. Keep track of the height of each layer of brick, including mortar joints, by marking lines on a story pole.

  2. Apply mortar

    Apply a generous amount of mortar to each layer of brick with a trowel. Score a line through the center of the mortar to help it spread. Use the trowel's handle to knock each brick into place and release any air bubbles in the mortar underneath. Scrape off any mortar beyond the joint, and clean off any other excess mortar with a brush. Carve small lines between the bricks and the mortar with the trowel to protect from weather.

  3. Cut bricks

    Some bricks must be cut in half for the ends of uneven rows. Place the brick in a sand or dirt pile. Use a hammer to tap the chisel to score on all sides where the brick needs to be cut. Hold the chisel on a scored line, slightly angled toward the side of the brick that you are using for the wall. Strike the handle of the chisel with a hammer so the brick breaks cleanly in half.