What is masonry

Overview of masonry types, wall types and brick types

It is still our most popular building material - the solid brick. But not all walls are the same. A distinction is made between stone and construction types. An overview:


The longest known and used artificially made brick is the brick. The starting material for the porous brick is clay and loam, the most important clay minerals being kaolinite, halloysite, illite and montmorillonite. Sawdust, charcoal, expanded polystyrene, etc. are added to porosity, which leave air pores in the broken brick after firing - the brick becomes porous and this improves the thermal insulation properties of the brick. The ceramic brick is non-flammable, open to diffusion and it has the ability to absorb and release water.

Standard bricks in normal format (NF) have the dimensions 25 x 12 x 6.5 cm. They are available in full and as a perforated version with a perforation proportion of up to 25 percent. With a higher percentage of perforations, they are called vertically perforated bricks. Vertically perforated bricks (perforation perpendicular to the support surface) can be used in a load-bearing manner; Slotted bricks (perforation horizontal to the supporting surface) have a less good load-bearing capacity.

The light vertically perforated brick - typically used for the construction of external walls - is given even better thermal insulation thanks to pore-forming additives while at the same time being lower in weight.

Aerated concrete

Aerated concrete is a light, porous, mineral building material based on lime, lime cement or cement mortar, which has very good thermal insulation properties, easy processing and high strength. The term “concrete” is a bit misleading as the material usually does not contain any aggregates such as sand or gravel. Aerated concrete blocks are perfect for the construction of exterior and interior walls as well as for light partition walls, ceilings and roofs.

Plane blocks made of aerated concrete are cut to the millimeter in production. The dimensionally accurate stones are mixed with commercially available thin-bed mortar. The mortar is spread over the entire surface of the bed joint of the wall with a serrated flat trowel. This creates mortar joints around 1 to 3 mm thick. Flat stones with tongue and groove do not require any butt joint mortar, as they are placed close together like flat bricks. The stones can be easily cut to size with a construction site saw or a hand saw with special coarse teeth.

Aerated concrete panels, like components made of reinforced concrete, contain reinforcement that can absorb tensile forces. Prefabricated components made of aerated concrete are used as wall, ceiling and roof panels, also here as the simplest solution for high thermal insulation. Since aerated concrete consists to a large extent of air, the individual stones can be made larger and you can progress faster with building.


Solid concrete blocks are used in decorative masonry construction. For the production of garden walls or for steps in horticulture, for example, solid concrete blocks are used.

Lightweight concrete

Expanded clay blocks are made from porous, mineral aggregates (e.g. pumice, brick chippings, expanded clay) and cement, as solid stones or blocks and hollow blocks in normal and flat design. They come up with good thermal insulation properties, low weight and good plaster adhesion. Large formats enable fast, economical masonry. The good insulation properties can be further improved by filling the chambers with a mineral insulation material. The high dimensional accuracy, the flat surface and the interlocking of the butt joints result in low mortar consumption, minimize thermal bridges and optimize the insulation values ​​of the overall construction, so that with single-layer masonry a U-value of less than 0.20 W / m2K is possible.

Lime sand

Sand-lime brick (also known as sandstone bricks) is made from the natural raw materials lime, sand and water with low energy requirements. The stones are hardened in special steam pressure vessels, the autoclaves, at temperatures of approx. 200 ° C under pressure for four to eight hours. The lime sand is used for partition walls or exterior walls (attention: thermal insulation is necessary here!). The stones have a high level of sound insulation and ensure a good indoor climate.

Clinker brick for exposed masonry

are masonry bricks that are used for the production of masonry (e.g. facing for two-shell brickwork) with high resistance to chemical influences and / or frost as well as for masonry with high compressive loads for cladding and facing and made of stoneware-like masses that are burned until they are sintered continuously, consist.

What types of wall are there?

Walls are divided into the following categories:

  • Load-bearing wallse: Walls that can be loaded by vertical forces such as dead weight, ceiling loads, payloads and horizontal forces such as wind loads.
  • Non-load-bearing walls: Walls that are only loaded by their own weight.
  • Bracing walls: Walls that are only loaded by their own weight, but can withstand stiffening loads, e.g. wind loads or buckling loads
  • pier: Load-bearing wall parts with a cross-sectional area smaller than 0.1 m² are called pillars. Piers less than 25 cm in length (one brick length) do not have a load-bearing function.

In general, marked bricks with guaranteed strength must be used for load-bearing brickwork.

Important abbreviations:

  • Perforated brick - HLZ
  • Perforated brick frost-resistant - VHLZ
  • Masonry brick (solid brick) - MZ
  • Masonry brick (solid brick) frost-resistant - MZZ
  • Full clinker - KMZ

Bricks (MZ) and vertically perforated bricks (HLZ) are assigned strength classes (5.0 to 50.0 N / mm²). In general, bricks must have a brick compressive strength of 3.0 N / mm² (with the exception of buildings up to a maximum of 2.0 N / mm²).

Classification according to brick formats:



1 m in height

Thin bed format (DF)24x11.5x5.2 cm16 layers
Normal format (NF)24x11.5x7.1 cm12 layers

Cement and mortar

The frictional connection of the bricks in the bearing and butt joints is made using mortar. Mortar is a mixture of binders, aggregates and water. According to the standard, a distinction is made between normal masonry mortar, thermal insulation mortar and high thermal insulation mortar. Furthermore, according to the standard, the strength is divided into M groups, e.g. for load-bearing walls, mortar of group M3 must be used.

Also read:


is a hydraulic binder for mortar and concrete made from lime, clay, marl and some additives. The desired physical and technical properties of the end product depend on these additives, their type and quantity, and the grinding fineness of the cement.