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David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Junior Member
Username: David_axt

Post Number: 75
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 07:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Please explain the difference between tuckpointing and repointing.

RIchard Hird
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 08:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Tuckpointing is the finishing of masonry joints with a putty or lime mortar. It is not the same as "repointing" which is the removal of defective mortar and replacing it with matching mortar.
David Axt
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 09:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


I agree with you. That is what I have always thought.

However, according to the Brick Institute of America, "Tuckpointing is the process of cutting out old mortar to a uniform depth, and placing new mortar in the joint......."

Check the BIA Technical Brief 7F.

Also check out BIA Technical Brief 2 Glossary of Terms.

Richard L. Hird
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2002 - 10:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Like you I have struggled with this definition. My reference comes from Webster's dictionary, which a client not too gratiously showed to me. I suspect Webster's would trump BIA, unless your Section Heading was "Tuckpointing in accordance with the Brick Institute of America". Really a bad Section heading however.

If you have properly describe the process in a specification it does not matter. You can call the Section "Green Eggs and Ham" if you like. If you are just going to put a note on the drawing, and not bother to write a specification, you deserve only a little lime putty.
John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI
New member
Username: John_regener

Post Number: 46
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2002 - 11:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

A resource I reference in a Division 1 section is Dictionary of Architecture & Construction (Third Edition) by Cyril M. Harris (McGraw-Hill, Inc., 2000). This is a must-have resource for specifications writers.

Tuckpointing: "The finishing of old masonry joints; the joints are first cleaned out and then filled with fine mortar which is left projecting slightly or with a fillet of putty or lime." An illustration is included.

Repointing: Defined as the same as "pointing."

Pointing: "1. In masonry, the final treatment of joints by the troweling of mortar or a putty-like filler into the joints. 2. The material with which the joints are filled. 3. The removal of mortar from between the joints of masonry units and the replacing of it with new mortar; repointing."
William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS
New member
Username: Wpegues

Post Number: 44
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2002 - 01:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Any technical source is going to trump Websters or any other non-technical dictionary. General dictionaries are the common use of words and their historical origins, and there are often many different definitions in a general dictionary. The technical source, especially one recognized and accepted by the industry in question itself defines in specific detail what a term means.

BIA is going to stand at the top of the chain and other technical dictionaries below that, and at the bottom of the heap will be common language dictionaries.

My personal experience comes from watching and being involved in arbitration and legal proceedings.
David Axt
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 09:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If things weren't confusing enough, there is the definition from the National Park Service Preservation Brief No. 2 - Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings.

"Repointing, also known simply as "pointing" or --somewhat inaccurately-- "tuck pointing"*, is the process of removing deteriorated mortar from the joints of a masonry wall and replacing it with new mortar."

"*Tuckpointing technically describes a primarily decorative application of a raised mortar joint or lime putty joint on top of flush mortar joints."


Maybe CSI should take on the mission of standardizing building construction terminology?

William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS
New member
Username: Wpegues

Post Number: 46
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 09:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


I think the best bet is to rely n the terminology definitions from the particular industries.

For instance, grout and mortar. You can't have a signle definition for those terms. In masonry, grout is in cells, between wythes...its behind the face of the wall. Mortar is what is between the joint, bonds the units together, its what you see. But, in tile work, its grout that is in the joints and visual and mortar that bonds to the substrate.

So, you are never going to get signular definitions for terms. Terms change dependent on the industry.

Someone with an interest in listing all terms and their definitions could create a comprehensive, and living, dictionary. An interesting product for sure. But for now, the primary expertise is in the association(s) that speak for that particular industry.

John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
New member
Username: Bunzick

Post Number: 49
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, December 23, 2002 - 08:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ah, ... but in William's discussion of mortar and grout, the thing that they both have in common is consistancy of the mix. In both cases, grout is a thinner mix, relative to mortar.

You are right about using the terms as the particular industry self-defines them.

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