Tuckpointing—An ancient construction or building arts practice, is the act of using two contrasting colors of mortar in the joints between bricks, stones, or other building materials to give the impression that very fine joints have been made. Tuckpointing or tuck pointing is also referred to as pointing or repointing. Most Americans understand Tuckpointing to be a building trade or skill that involves the use of mortar and bricks to construct structures including homes and chimneys.

Pointing—the task and work of either finishing the joints of masonry or correcting defects.

Repointing—The practice of placing wet mortar into a cut or raked joints to repair deteriorating mortar in existing joints (typically bricks).

Masonry—A term that refers to a durable form of construction that utilizes stone, bricks, glass blocks, adobe, and other hard materials bound and adhered with mortar, to form structures from walls, to chimneys, to homes and commercial buildings. Bricks and stones are still some of the most durable building materials and have been used for thousands of years in every part of the globe. The quality of materials and workmanship determine durability.

Skimming—The unethical and unprofessional practice of performing shoddy tuckpointing work by failing to remove the worn and crumbling mortar, and concealing the issue by applying mortar over the worn, and weakened mortar.

Mortar—As it relates to tuckpointing and construction, mortar is a plastic building material made of a blend of cement, lime, gypsum plaster, sand, and water. The liquid material is used to bond the joints and transforms from plastic or “soft” material into a hardened material as it dries. The hardened mortar binds the bricks, stones, and other building materials together.

Mason—An individual or construction professional that performs masonry, the art of binding bricks, stones, glass blocks, etc. together with mortar to render structures. Masons typically apprentice and learn building arts from experienced masons.

Trowel—A small handheld tool with a flat, pointed blade, and is used to apply mortar to bricks, or plaster to walls or other surfaces. Trowels are used by tuck pointers to “point” and apply mortar.