The Art of Stone Pointing: Hiring a Skilled Stone Mason for Precision Work

Stone masons often work outdoors on construction sites in all weather conditions, making it essential for them to have an understanding of how to install stone and use precision tools for precision work.

Pointing is a technique used to fill and repair joints on brick or stone walls, such as brick veneer. Lime pointing allows your walls to breathe unlike cement-based mortar that traps moisture within it.


When using stone masonry to construct structures, the mortar joints must be sealed correctly using a process called “pointing”.

An experienced stonemason should perform this service to ensure longevity of your building. Pointing can add visual interest while simultaneously stopping rainwater entering into its mortar joints and potentially causing structural damage to the building underneath it.

Starting off, pointing requires cleaning of mortar joints using wire brushes and hoses before the joint edges are chiseled down to smooth out the rough surface of the mortar, creating an even and consistent appearance. After which, lime putty or mortar is applied into each joint in order to fill them in order to form narrow ridges between bricks or stones.

Masons use various tools and techniques for pointing, such as trowels and tuck pointers. A walling hammer may also be employed for more rugged results, while historic styles can also be incorporated to preserve older buildings’ look.

If a mason is uncertain of which style will work for their project, they should seek advice from more experienced colleagues or visit completed works to gain an idea of what their final results should look like. They should also discuss timeline and budget concerns when making this decision.

Once a mason has an understanding of his or her desired result, they will begin selecting and preparing materials needed for the job – including selecting aggregate sizes that will form part of his or her mortar mix – in order to complete their pointing project. You can learn more about mortar by clicking the link.

Erratic pointing is a serious threat that can lead to irreparable damage. Improper pointing can cause hairline cracks in stone surfaces and encourage moisture penetration into mortar joints, leading to spalling and further degradation of masonry materials.

Selection of Materials

If you are planning on having the mortar on your brick and stone building repointed, it is wise to select appropriate materials. When it comes to lime pointing this is particularly crucial as an improper mixture could result in weak points that damage the surface of the masonry. You can click here for more information.

Furthermore, ensure all joints and surfaces are sufficiently wetted before beginning as dry surfaces may prevent the mortar from adhering properly to them.

Selecting an appropriate tool for pointing is of critical importance when tackling stone work projects. With many pointing tools available today, it is vital that one be selected that will best match the size and nature of each joint to be pointed.

Too large of a tool could cause too much mortar to be applied too easily over the surface, making the task harder for masons and producing less uniform results. Selecting a tool sized appropriately helps ensure the necessary amount is used on tighter joints for more uniform results and ensures the job can be completed quicker for masons while giving more uniform finishes than ever before!

The type of pointing used will have an impact on the final appearance of the work. Certain varieties are less appealing than others, yet all can effectively protect brick and stone surfaces underneath them.

Flush pointing is the easiest and most commonly used form of pointing for new masonry projects, consisting of pressing mortar into raked joints before finishing it flush with the face of the structure. Although this pointing technique provides a clean aesthetic, it is not durable enough for long term use.

Recessed pointing is a more advanced technique that involves filling spaces between stones with darker-colored mortar. While it can be more durable than flush pointing, recessed pointing may not suit every type of masonry and could reduce energy efficiency as darker colored pointing may inhibit sunlight reflection and diminish energy efficiency. You can click the link: for tips on how to make your home more energy efficient.

Joint Design

Pointing must be performed by an experienced mason with knowledge in both processes. Pointing must be executed properly or irreparable damage could occur to your masonry structure which must remain undamaged in order to keep its integrity.

Pointing stone and ashlar masonry requires using various tools depending on the size of joints to be filled, including pointing trowels, tuck pointers and margin trowels. Tool selection will generally come down to personal preference as well as type of mortar being used.

Once the mortar has been applied, it must be left to set for at least four days for lime pointing and 10 for cement pointing, during which time, masons must take extra precaution not to disturb its surface by disturbing or bumping into it.

Repointing old masonry typically benefits from using lime based mortar rather than cement-based ones, due to the latter’s hard and inflexible composition that prevents moisture movement within joints.


Once they’ve established the overall shape of a stonework project, stonemasons begin to chip away at it to remove unwanted material and create smooth surfaces. This can take hours or even days.

Once the rough shaping of the stone has been accomplished, a stone mason begins adding finer details. This may involve creating shallow “boilers” around the perimeter of a masonry structure to give it a more refined appearance or creating inlays and carvings that create an ornamental finish on top of its surface that makes its presence known.

Before selecting a stone mason for a project, it is crucial to evaluate their past work and reputation. Request references from previous clients as well as visit completed projects to assess their craftsmanship firsthand. Reputable companies like Bluestone Masonry will display these credentials on their website. It is imperative that you complete this stage of research before hiring a company for the job.

When making this evaluation, pay particular attention to approach, problem-solving skills, deadline adherence capabilities as well as quality of mortar used — otherwise stones may shift out over time!