Checking for Level

When laying bricks, a spirit level should be used to check that they are horizontal. Adjustments are made by tapping the top of the brick with the outside cutting edge of the trowel blade, not the end of the handle – using the handle will result in any mortar left on the trowel blade falling on to the trowel hand! Also try and keep the blade within the plan area of the brick being adjusted to level so that no mortar

falls from the trowel down the face of the brickwork. When adjusting bricks to level, only tap along the centre lines of the brick so that the brick is only adjusted in one direction at a time.

All brickwork, in general, must be level with an accepted tolerance of + or – 3mm in a 2m length. The practical implication of this is that when a 2m long straight-edge is placed on top of the brickwork and held in a level/horizontal position there must be no gaps that exceed 3mm. Gaps may result from one end of the wall running up or down out of level, individual bricks or groups of bricks that ‘hog up’, causing a bump (sometimes known as a ‘course of pig’), or individual bricks or groups of bricks that ‘sag down’, causing a dip.


Fig. 127 Common defects when levelling brickwork.