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How to Finish Brick Veneer With Mortar

Step-by-step instructions for applying grout to brick veneer joints as the final piece in the alcove project.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

install brick veneer around an arched alcove

Step 1: Mix the Mortar

Mix the mortar in a bucket according to the manufacturer's instructions. We used a buff-color mortar mixed with some sand.

Step 2: Begin With the Columns

Load up a large grout bag with the mortar and doublecheck the consistency to make sure it will flow at a controllable rate.

Apply the mortar to the two column sections on either side of the alcove first. Be sure to work in sections so the mortar doesn't change color in the middle of a run.

begin grouting the columns

Step 3: Dress the Joints

After all of the joints in the columns are filled, come back and dress them using a masonry joint tool. The mortar needs to set up about halfway to a slightly crumbling state. In our case it took about 40 minutes. It's not necessary to make the joints perfectly neat since the brick veneer surface is rough.

dress joints using masonry joint tool

Step 4: Continue with the Inside of the Alcove

After the mortar sets up, use the same techniques on the inside of the alcove.

Step 5: Complete the Front Wall

Next, move on to the front wall and the herringbone pattern.

This process can be long and tedious -- be careful and patient, and try not to get mortar on the brick faces as it can be hard to clean.

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