Tuckpointing vs. Repointing: What’s the Difference?
If you’ve ever researched brick repair options, you may have noticed two words used interchangeably: tuckpointing and repointing. You probably assumed these meant the same thing, and you’re not entirely wrong. Both repair options achieve the same goal of repairing your mortar joints, but the process and result are slightly different.
So, what exactly is the difference between tuckpointing vs. repointing? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Tuckpointing Mortar Joints?
“Tuckpointing” is often used as a catch-all term for all types of brick repairs. In reality, it refers to a particular mortar repair process. During a tuckpointing project, your masonry contractor starts with brick-colored mortar. While the first layer dries, they place a thin line of pale putty in the center. The end result mimics large rubbed bricks with crisp, clean joints in between.
If your main goal is to make your brick look better, tuckpointing is probably the right choice, but you might have to sacrifice repair quality. Tuckpointing alone doesn’t always fix extensive damage. If you’re more concerned about repairing your brick for the long term and don’t care as much about how it looks, consider repointing.
What Is Repointing Brick?
Repointing is the process of removing old mortar joints and replacing them with new mortar. It’s a practical solution for old, crumbling brickwork that prioritizes functionality over looks.
During the repointing process, your masonry contractor usually follows these steps:
- Assessment: Before beginning repairs, your masonry contractor assesses your brick wall or chimney for damaged areas. Depending on what they find, you may need repointing for an entire wall or a few minor repairs.
- Removal: Your repointing team uses a chisel or electric grinder to remove the original mortar. They clean up any leftover mortar before moving onto the next step.
- Replacement: Typically, repointing contractors apply new mortar in layers, so each one can dry between applications. Once the mortar sits flush with surrounding bricks, they shape it to match your existing masonry.
In most cases, you won’t be able to tell the difference between repointed areas and original brickwork. But, you won’t get the same look that comes with tuckpointing. Repointing contractors only use one mortar color, which means your joints won’t look as crisp.
When Is Repointing Necessary?
It’s normal for brick and mortar joints to wear down over time. After a certain point, you need repairs. How do you know when your brick has reached that point? Generally, you probably need a repointing job if you see crumbling mortar or holes in your mortar joints.
Another sign that you need repairs is moisture in your home. Your masonry walls are supposed to protect your home from rain and humidity. If you notice water-damaged bricks and dampness in your home, that means your masonry isn’t doing its job.
Not sure if you need repointing right away? Bring in the experts. An experienced masonry contractor will let you know if you need urgent repairs.
Can I Do Both?
What if you want long-lasting repairs and a great-looking finished result? You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. Many masonry contractors perform repointing and tuckpointing at the same time, so you get the best elements of both.
Tuckpointing vs. Repointing: What’s the Cost Difference?
For many homeowners, the deciding factor between tuckpointing vs. repointing is budget. Here’s a cost comparison between the two to help you make the right choice.
Cost To Repoint Chimney
Have you noticed a few damaged mortar joints on your chimney? Repointing is an easy and cost-effective fix. Depending on the size of your chimney and the amount of damage, you can expect to pay anywhere between several hundred dollars and a few thousand.
If you need to repoint a major portion of your brick house, you’ll pay a lot more for your repairs. Repointing can cost up to $15 per square foot, so you could end up with a five-figure bill by the end of your project.
Cost of Tuckpointing Brick
Tuckpointing is usually more expensive than repointing because it requires more work. You’ll probably spend more on labor costs, especially if you need tuckpointing for a large or hard-to-reach area. Tuckpointing contractors have to install scaffolding for projects high off the ground, which costs extra money and time.
On average, tuckpointing costs a few dollars more per square foot than repointing. Call a local contractor for a quote if you want an exact estimate.
Ready To Get Your Tuckpointing Project Started?
You might need to wait a few months. Learn why tuckpointing isn’t always the best choice during winter.
Let the Experts Help You Decide Between Tuckpointing vs. Repointing
Still can’t decide between tuckpointing vs. repointing? It’s time to bring in the team at Approved Home Improvements. Our experienced masons can assess your brickwork and provide a free repair estimate for your home or business.
When you choose Approved for tuckpointing or repointing, you know you’re getting the best work in St. Louis—just ask our happy clients. We ensure the highest level of quality, safety, and service by adding a few extra steps to the standard brick repair process:
- Before removing mortar from between your bricks or stone, we scaffold your worksite and put harnesses on our crew.
- During the removal process, we use self-cleaning vacuums to collect harmful silica dust, keeping you and our team safe.
- Finally, we perfectly match your new mortar to existing brick structures to create a seamless transition.
When we’re done, your masonry structures look brand new. Most importantly: our work lasts for years to come. Our team seals your new brickwork and offers a one-year warranty to make sure you’re happy with our tuckpointing or repointing job. Our goal is to restore your home to its original look without sacrificing quality, and we do everything we can to make that happen.
Ready to bring your brick back to life? Get in touch to schedule your tuckpointing consultation.