Are you looking for a contractor?

Submit our quick form and get quotes now!

Table of Contents

Masonry Materials: Must-Have Items

Masonry Materials: Must-Have Items

Exterior renovationsMasonry Materials: Must-Have Items

When you start building or renovating your house, you’re faced with many choices, especially in terms of land location, the type of house you want (or have), the types of materials to be used, etc. Regarding the latter, it's imperative to select quality masonry materials to have a solid foundation, which will withstand heavy loads and the test of time. That said, are you looking to make an informed decision about which products to use? This article will allow you to get an overview of the types, brands, and prices of commonly used masonry materials.

Masonry entails several techniques, all of which are used to build structures by connecting basic materials, bound or not by mortar. Masonry work can also include dressing stone surfaces, such as coating the masonry to prevent it from being damaged by external factors. There are several types of masonry materials. The most commonly used are mineral materials, such as concrete blocks, brick, or stone; vegetable materials, such as straw or peat; and organic elements, such as soil. Remember to consider binders, such as limestone, cement, clay, and plaster, which constitute mortar.

List of Materials Used for Masonry Work 

Grouting wall as materials used in masonry work

Whether you DIY your construction project or outsource it to a contractor, the purchase of masonry materials is inevitable. Therefore, here’s a list of the most commonly used materials, followed by their characteristics.


Cement is a substance that cures when exposed to water or air. When added to water and fine sand, it results in mortar. With gravel, it forms concrete. Note that natural cement, such as plaster, and artificial cement (Portland cement) do exist. Cement should be used with great precaution, as it can damage your skin and is especially vulnerable to adverse weather conditions.


Concrete is a must-have masonry material because of its strength, resistance, and reliability. Said substance is used for structural work, like pouring slabs. This material allows you to choose between cellular concrete walls (strong and lightweight) or reinforced concrete walls (twice as strong and stable).

Cinder blocks

This particular construction material is amongst the most popular (if not essential) masonry materials. Cinder brick is available in a block shape and is made of cement, gravel, sand, and water. Cinder blocks are valued for their durability and price/quality ratio. It’s a super solid material, resistant to fires, adverse weather conditions, and time. Furthermore, since this material is recyclable, it’s eco-friendly. However, cinder blocks have poor thermal insulation and lack soundproofing. Therefore, cinder block walls require thermal or sound insulation from within or from outside. 


Brick is, for all intents and purposes, one of the most commonly used masonry materials in Quebec due to its resistance, which makes it a formidable ally against adverse weather conditions, such as Quebec’s harsh winters. With quasi-illimited durability, if properly laid, brick can remain unaffected for years. It’s a decent thermal and sound insulator that also preserves heat during winter, as well as cool temperatures during summer. Moreover, in due part to its aesthetically pleasing finish, brick doesn’t require additional exterior cladding, unlike other types of materials, namely cinder blocks.

In an interview done with Jonathan Barras, of Maçonnerie Élégance, he underlined the fact that there are several types of bricks used in masonry work: red brick, cement brick, clay brick, etc. The latter "can be laid regardless of the temperature and as a result, walls can be laid much faster [Editor’s note: Brick absorbs large quantities of water.]" However, note that it can be expensive to lay and highly polluting to manufacture. It's a good idea to make sure that the building's foundation can support the weight of bricks. 


This composite is made from a mixture of sand and gravel deposits. It’s available in various sizes and is used to manufacture lightweight or coarse concrete. When selecting the size of the gravel, consider the resistance you’d want to obtain. 


This material is available on every construction site throughout Quebec as well as internationally. Sand is available in two varieties: fine and coarse. Coarse sand is used to make mortar sealant, while both types (coarse and fine) are needed to make tuckpointing mortar. 

Natural stones

This material is ideal for those who want to add a traditional yet authentic touch to a structure. Stones can easily blend in with your interior and exterior decor. It's highly resistant and durable. However, it's tricky to install and isn’t readily available to everyone, given its higher price tag compared to other materials. Nevertheless, nowadays, stone cladding allows one to make stone walls without having to spend a ton of money.

Facade coating

Facade coating entails applying a layer of mortar to a structure’s front-facing wall to conceal construction flaws, unify, protect, or add some flair. It also serves as insulation and protects the walls against adverse weather conditions. Masons generally apply it with a grout applicator or trowel.

Mortar and Other Important Elements

Laying brick as a material used in masonry work

There are several types of mortars available: Type N, which is used to lay bricks; Type S, used to lay cinder blocks; and a variety of other mortars, which include a range of products, such as mortar for glass blocks, polyurethane-based mortar, etc.

Barras asserts that two types of mortar are primarily used: Restomix and Betomix. The former contains less cement but has a higher concentration of limestone, making it more resistant to moisture, while the latter is more commonly used with old brick as it only contains a small amount of limestone and is tougher.

According to Barras, aside from the above-mentioned masonry materials, there’s also roof flashing to think about, which is used to ensure the impermeability between two different elements, thus preventing water from seeping into the house. Flashing can be made of zinc, aluminum, plastic, or galvanized steel. Also noteworthy is the air-barrier membrane, which prevents outside air from infiltrating the structure envelope, also straps, which are used to bind two masonry walls or used in small brickwork, and lastly, membranes. He also notes that in Quebec, "mortar isn't imported, it's purchased directly from stone and brick distributors. 

Examples of Masonry Materials and Respective Prices

construction site
  • Sable Marco Type N Masonry Cement: It's mixed with sand and water and used to lay natural stone, bricks, and blocks. It's sold in 30 kg bags for $12.75.

  • Techniseal RG+ Polymeric Sand for residential paver jointing: Used for paving or slab-on-grade foundations over drainage beds. It helps prevent weed growth and resists erosion resulting from adverse weather conditions. Available for $21.99.

  • Sable Marco Instant Concrete: This pre-mixed concrete is recommended when embedding a pole in the ground and for time-sensitive construction projects. It's designed for all types of projects exceeding 2 inches and has a curing time of 30 minutes. It's available in 30 kg bags for $9.49.

  • Sable Marco Type N 1.1.6 Mortar: This is a professional-grade mortar mix for bricks and stones. It's marked by its strong adherence, impermeability, and resistance to freeze-thaw weather cycles. You can purchase the 30 kg bag for $7.29.

  • St-Marc Limestone: According to Barras, this brand of architectural stones is most often used to build heritage buildings and restore older structures in Quebec. 

  • Tyvek/Canac Air-Barrier: Made of high-density polyethylene fibre, this material allows water vapour to escape from the building structure and is highly resistant to adverse weather conditions. Available on the market for $42.99 per 3' x 100' roll.

  • Firebrick: 4 ½ inches high, 9 inches long, and 1 ¼ inch wide. Available for $3.49.

Note that prior to purchasing any masonry materials, it's best to consider certain factors, such as the strength of the materials, their insulating capacities, as well as their eco-friendly aspects. Always plan for roughly 10% more building materials than estimated. This will ensure that you don't run out of materials throughout the construction process.

Cover image source: Depositphotos

Get 3 renovation quotes for your masonry project can help you get quotes for your masonry project. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Last modified 2023-11-07

List of sources

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Looking for something else?

Table of contents

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Are you a contractor?

Join our network and receive real leads!

Download the price guide for renovations

We’ll be emailing you the latest market price guide for renovations.

Related articles

The latest industry news, interviews, technologies, and resources.

5 min read • 07 Nov 2023

How to choose your flowers to create a great landscaping project

Creating, building and tending to your very own garden will let your yard come to life. This project has many benefits, alongside the aforementioned beauty that it brings, it’s also an excellent hobby, good exercise and an excuse to spend some time in the great outdoors.

7 min read

N/A • 07 Nov 2023

10 Water Heater Problems and Solutions

A problem with your water heater is never a good sign, especially since it’s not something that a household can easily go without. Since problems that can arise are numerous and diverse, let's take the time to see how to fix the most common ones. Here’s a summary of the 10 most frequently dealt with water heater problems and the solutions to help fix them.

4 min read • 07 Nov 2023

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Whether you’re a good cook or not, you surely want to have a nice kitchen with lots of cute appliances and a ton of attractive kitchenware. However, if you want to ensure your kitchen gives you the chills, it needs to be up to the highest standards in more ways than one. Renovating a kitchen is never easy, especially if you want to make a visible difference, but there are only a few things you should really focus on in order to get the best results.

7 min read • 16 Feb 2024

The Cost of a Home Foundation Repair Project

Repairing a foundation is one of the most important steps in maintaining a house. For such work, costs will vary based on the required excavation depth, soil type, and square footage of the structure in question. In 2024, costs can soar depending on the damage assessed. From a partial stabilization to a complete overhaul, the different solutions detailed in this article will serve as a cost overview to better plan your budget. 

6 min read • 22 May 2024

REP: Canada's Recognized Employer Pilot Program

Canada is known for its dynamic economy and diverse population, which attracts a lot of foreign workers every year. To streamline their professional integration process and meet the needs of local employers, the government developed a pilot project for recognized employers in Canada. This pilot project was established to simplify the hiring process of foreign workers and provide them with a faster and simpler way to receive their Canadian permanent resident status. This article will focus on an in-depth overview detailing the different aspects factored into this pilot project.

Looking for a contractor?

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes now!