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Brick Glossary

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Term Definition

Brick, stone, concrete, etc., or masonry combinations thereof, bonded with mortar.

Masonry Cement

A mill-mixed cementitious material to which sand and water must be added. See ASTM C 91.

Masonry Unit

Natural or manufactured building units of burned clay, concrete, stone, glass, gypsum, etc.

Hollow Masonry Unit: One whose net cross-sectional area in any plane parallel to the bearing surface is less than 75 percent of the gross. Modular Masonry Unit: One whose nominal dimensions are based on the 4 in. module. Solid Masonry Unit: One whose net cross-sectional area in every plane parallel to the bearing surface is 75 percent or more of the gross.


A plastic mixture of cementitious materials, fine aggregate and water. See ASTM Specifications C 270, C 476 or BIA M1-72.

Fat Mortar: Mortar containing a high percentage of cementitious components. It is a sticky mortar which adheres to a trowel. High-Bond Mortar: Mortar which develops higher bond strengths with masonry units than normally developed with conventional mortar. Lean Mortar: Mortar which is deficient in cementitious components, it is usually harsh and difficult to spread.

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