Tuck Pointing

Established almost 40 years. LR Building are a traditional building company and have worked on many properties throughout London and the home counties including conservation and listed buildings

Tuck-pointing is a fairly rare but not forgotten trade.

The method was developed in England in the late eighteenth century to imitate brickwork constructed using rubbed bricks (also rubbers or gauged bricks): bricks of fine red finish which were made slightly oversize and then individually abraded or cut often by hand to a precise size after firing. When laid with white lime mortar a neat finish of red brick contrasting with very fine white joints was obtained. Tuck-pointing was a way of achieving a similar effect using cheap un-rubbed bricks: these were laid in a mortar of a matching colour (initially red but later blue-black bricks and mortar were occasionally used) and a fine fillet of white material usually pipe clay or putty pushed into the joints before the mortar set. The name derives from an earlier less sophisticated technique used with very uneven bricks: a thin line called a tuck was drawn in the flush-faced mortar but left unfilled to give the impression of well-formed brickwork.

Tuck pointing is a highly-skilled and refined method of pointing or re-pointing brickwork whereby a coloured mortar joint is placed to match the brick and grooved while ‘green’ or fresh to receive a separate and carefully placed lime putty: silver sand ribbon. The ribbon is then neatly trimmed to a smaller scale to form a precise raised profile. Its historical intention was originally to create the illusion of accurately laid cut and rubbed and gauged brickwork on a standard brickwork façade; constructed of often-irregular bricks. In the nineteenth century however it was often resorted to as a means to disguise inferior brickwork.

Generally until the nineteenth century the projecting ribbon was of a neutral white or cream-coloured mortar but subsequently a fashion for coloured ribbons especially black though occasionally red and sometimes brown were also used.

Today tuck pointing is rarely employed on newly constructed brickwork being reserved mainly for re-pointing old brickwork known to have had tuck pointing as the original or earlier joint finish.


LR Building responsibilities when serving as the Main Contractor include:

  • Applying for or assisting in the application process for building permits
  • Management of change orders and general conditions
  • Providing all materials, labour, equipment and services
  • Monitoring schedule and cash flow
  • Maintaining accurate records
  • Ensuring a safe and secure project site



Every construction is unique in scope, but process is systemically applied to each construction project.

We seek to get involved early in the design phase so that we can manage the project more efficiently, provide effective building solutions, and identify challenges early on to mitigate design changes after construction commencement.

This involves detailed pre-construction planning crucial to successful construction and on-time delivery, and allows the client and team a clear pathway to the  construction phase, and through to completion.


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