What’s the Difference Between Repointing and Tuck-pointing?

It’s common for a layman to use the terms’ repointing’ and ‘tuck-pointing’ interchangeably. However, both these terms are different from one another and mean different things. Many homeowners are confused about this mix-up in the masonry industry. For starters, repointing and tuck-pointing are important while installing new mortar joints on the bricks’ structure. Nonetheless, both are slightly different from one another. If your wall, chimney, or any other masonry-related structure suffered from mortar damage, you need help from a mason. But the question remains if you need repointing or tuck-pointing.

Professionals use both these terms while digging out mortar joints appropriately and then refilling them with new mortar. The process of removing damaged mortar and adding new mortar is repointing. Tuck-pointing involves filling of mortar joints that are already clean. However, this method is not always suitable to control the damage. Tuck-pointing is adequate for styling and includes mortar of two different colors to alter the mortar joints’ appearance.


In tuck-pointing, the mason uses two different mortar colors to fill the mortar joints between brickwork. One mortar has the same color as the bricks so that the appearance blends in. The other color is different and will serve as the actual appearance of the mortar joints. When the mason uses both mortar colors between the bricks, it creates an illusion. This way, mortar joints will look very fine and opposed to thickness.

The British introduced this technique in the eighteenth century. They used it to imitate the appearance of rubbed brick, which was, at the time, a costly type of building material. Homeowners started copying this and using tuck-pointing to achieve a better finish without spending much money. Today, masons no longer use tuck-pointing as they did traditionally.


This process is preferable for repairing and filling the damaged, crumbled, or cracked brickwork joints. Mortar joints are essential for the support of the entire structure of the house. If there are cracks in the mortar joint, water, and other elements will seep in easily. This exposure will damage the construction of the masonry structure. You can prevent this from happening by opting for repointing, which reseals mortar joints.


Now, most masons use tuck-pointing instead of repointing. People prefer this mortar joint with two colors sandwiched in between the bricks to show an appealing result. If you are looking for an experienced team that can help you repoint your masonry using the tuck-pointing method, you can contact Deluca Masonry Construction. We will repair the damage and improve the brickwork, visually, and structurally. We can help you not only with the appearance of the wall of your house, but also improve the strength. Contact us by filling out a contact form or giving us a call at 781-269-9709.

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