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What Does Bricks and Mortar Mean?

A collage of bricks and mortar.

If you want to look at the words ‘bricks’ and ‘mortar’ separately, then there is a different explanation than the term ‘bricks and mortar.’

A brick is a construction material , normally ceramic and with an octahedral shape, whose more normal dimensions allow an operator to place it with one hand. Bricks are used in construction in general.

These can be positioned in different patterns, known collectively as rigs. Various types of mortar are used to hold the bricks together and form a durable structure.

Related: Types of Bricks Houses with Brick Driveway How Are Bricks Laid | History of Brick making | Types of Brick Laying ToolsWhat is Faux Brick |  Can Bricks Be Painted | Wood and Brick Walls

What Are Different Brick Types? 

A file of different types of bricks.

According to their shape, bricks are classified into:

  • Tile or manual brick, they simulate old handmade bricks, with a rough appearance and rough faces. They have good ornamental properties .
  • Solid brick, those with less than 10% perforations in the table. Some models have recesses in these tables and in the heads for the execution of walls without wounds.
  • Perforated (or rough) bricks , which are all those that have perforations in the table that occupy more than 10% of its surface. They are used in the execution of brick facades.
  • Hollow bricks are those that have perforations on the edge or on the head that reduce the weight and volume of the material used in them, facilitating their cutting and handling. Those that have horizontal holes are used for partition walls that will not support large loads. 

They can be of various types:

  • Rasilla: its rope and firebrand are much larger than its thickness. In Spain, its most common dimensions were 24 × 11.5 × 2.5 cm. (Now they are rarely manufactured in this format)
  • Simple hollow brick: it has a row of perforations on the head. Dimensions 24 × 11.5 × 4 cm.
  • Double hollow brick: with two rows of perforations on the head.
  • Triple hollow brick: it has three rows of perforations on the head.
  • Templated brick , one that has a curved profile, so that when placing a course of brick, generally sardinel, they form a continuous molding. The name comes from the templates used by the stonemasons to carve the stones, and which are used to give the aforementioned shape to the brick.
  • Facing brick : they are those that are used outdoors with a special finish.
  • Refractory brick : it is placed in places where it must withstand high temperatures, such as ovens or fireplaces.

What is Mortar?

A pale of mixed cement and sand.

The mortar is nothing more than a mixture of cement, sand and water and is used to settle the bricks and also to plaster walls and ceilings.

Is there any kind of difference between the mortar for laying bricks and the thickness of the plastering? Well, to settle bricks, we will use coarse sand, and to plaster walls and ceilings, we will use fine sand.

The most common mortars are made of cement, sand and water. In some cases, other materials such as lime, gravel, clay, kaolin or resins are usually added to obtain special properties. Industrial mortars contain additives that can improve their characteristics.

The mortar works as a glue that allows different construction materials to be joined and some components can be added to improve adhesion. Similarly, certain additives can cause the mortar to acquire waterproofing properties.

In the case of polymeric mortars, the binders are normally synthetic resins, and the aggregate is stone powder.

Mortar for Laying Bricks

A worker laying bricks.

This mortar is used to set the bricks and raise the walls. To prepare this mortar , the plaster mix is made with coarse sand, at a ratio of 5 to 1 with cement.

In practice, this proportion is achieved with 1 bag of cement, 1 1/2 buggies of coarse sand and the amount of water necessary to achieve a mixture that allows a good finish.

Mortars are used for the following purposes:

  • Installation of bricks and blocks, tiles, tiles, ceramics and wooden blocks;
  • Waterproofing of surfaces;
  • Regularization of surfaces (filling holes, removing undulations, leveling and smoothing), such as walls, floors and ceilings;
  • Give the finish (smooth, rough, rough, textured, etc.) to the surface.

What Does the Term Bricks and Mortar Mean?

The term bricks and mortar refers to a business that operates out of a physical building. Physical businesses contrast with those that operate entirely online, or are transient and therefore do not have an official store from which to conduct business.

These brick-and-mortar companies were once the main choice for businesses, but they slowed down a bit after the internet boom of the 1990s.

When the Internet began its rapid expansion in the 1990s, entrepreneurs saw the new forum as an opportunity to own a small business for a fraction of the traditional cost. Consumers flocked to this new form of business.

The number of companies with a fully online presence grew astronomically over the decade. In the late 1990s, competition on the Internet was fierce, with low start-up costs and high turnover rates.

How Do Businesses Tie Into This?

A file of bricks.

Businesses that operate from brick-and-mortar sites generally have to invest more money in operations than those that are entirely online.

Having the money to rent office space, purchase supplies and fixtures, and purchase other necessary materials means that the owner has made a significant personal investment to open and run the business.

These expenses generally mean that the business is less likely to fold than one with little investment, and can therefore gain an additional level of consumer confidence.

Are There Advantages of Bricks and Mortar Business?

Trust between a business and its consumers can make or break any business. In terms of this, a brick and mortar business has the advantage of visibility. In other words, a building full of goods and employees usually can’t be picked up, moved in, and completely gone overnight.

If a consumer has a problem with a product or service, they can bring the problem directly to the building and speak to a manager. An online company cannot offer this same guarantee. Also, a website can be gone in a day and a business can reject phone calls or emails.

Are There Significant Risks?

A man buying bricks at the store.

A brick and mortar store poses significant risk to the owner and requires a great deal of planning and investment. For entrepreneurs with big ideas, great customer service, and little capital, a fully online presence can be to their advantage.

The key to surviving in the online world is to gain the trust of customers. It can take time and effort for an online business to build customer satisfaction to prove trustworthiness, while a brick-and-mortar store can start with more consumer confidence.

 In recent years, e-commerce stores have given new competition to brick and mortar stores. However, there are many things that the online store can learn from physical stores. Listed below are some of the things eCommerce can learn from brick and mortar. 


Bricks and mortar is a representative of a foundation. In the case of a building, bricks and mortar are used to construct the foundation. In doing so, it is constructed into a building that houses a company.

In addition, due to the advent of the Internet, bricks and mortar is the term used to differentiate online businesses from a physical building. To summarize, everything begins with the bricks and the mortar as it relates to a physical store.