Masonry construction involves creating a building, wall, floor or other structure with bricks, concrete blocks or stone. Cement mortar or grout holds the masonry units together. Masonry construction is affordable, durable, and resistant to fire and mold.
Masonry units are available in multiple colors, shapes, and sizes. The materials require little maintenance because of their durability (even in extreme climates). Masonry absorbs and then releases heat, which helps regulate a building's interior temperature all year long. Unlike wood and other construction materials, masonry isn't vulnerable to fire. Because masonry doesn't retain moisture, it prevents toxic mold that can impair indoor air quality.
Concrete is the most popular choice, partly due to its relatively low cost. Concrete surfaces may be smooth or rough; acoustical or insulated. People have used stone and clay bricks as masonry materials for thousands of years. Bricks are made by combining clay and sand with water, adding lime or ash, and pressing the mixture into molds for firing in ovens. The degree of heat applied in the firing process determines brick color. Stone masonry units are sometimes uncut rocks that builders align to form walls or floors. Cutting tools shape stone so it fits together more tightly.