Thin Joint Blockwork - Thin Joint Masonry

Thin joint block work reduces heat loss through mortar joints, therefore making homes more energy efficient and eco-friendly. The mortar also sets very quickly, making houses quicker to construct.

Thin joint block work has been used in northern Europe for the last 50 years as a prominent build method. The lack of skill and knowledge has prevented its use in the UK as a main line construction method, but, with the increasing need to build a more energy efficient house, its popularity is increasing quickly.

The basic components are a thinset mortar which has a quick setting time and a block that is manufactured to very tight tolerances of +/- 1mm (TLMB).

A mortar joint is a heat leak, therefore reducing this joint from 10mm to 2mm and using a block that has a much better insulating value will result in a much better performing wall (lower U values), coupled with the ability to be air tight. Both of these attributes will last the lifetime of the house, unlike other forms of construction (ie timber frame) that will perform well when new but lose performance with age.

House in Alpheton, Suffolk, built using thin joint blockwork

Advantages of Thin Joint Blockwork

Energy efficiency - reduced heat loss from thinner mortar joints (2mm rather than 10mm - overall heat loss from mortar joints is reduced by about 70%) and special autoclaved aerated concrete blocks that have better insulating qualities than standard blocks

Faster Building - as the mortar is quick-setting, the walls are stable within about an hour (normal mortar takes about 24 hours to set), thus allowing walls to be more quickly built, a weather-tight shell to be more quickly erected and internal work to be commenced more quickly than with standard construction

Reduced wastage - the autoclaved aerated concrete blocks can be easily cut to shape and the remainder re-used, thus reducing materials wastage; as the mortar can be mixed in small batches, mortar wastage is also reduced

At Self Build My Home, we are very conversant with this method of construction, and are happy in the knowledge that it gives our clients excellent value in many ways.

A Few Examples of UK Masonry Houses Self-Built With Thin Joint Block Work

38 unit site at Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire Site Built with Thin Joint

This 38 unit site at Beaconsfield Buckinghamshire used thin joint masonry construction as a very quick build programme was required.

Somerset home being built

House in Yeovil, Somerset

This site at Yeovil, Somerset used thin joint masonry as the client required superior building methods to achieve a high specification.

Completed contemporary home built in Wales with thin joint blockwork

Completed Thin Joint Self-Build

Completed self-build house using thin joint masonry in North Wales used thin joint masonry blockwork due to the complex design.

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