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Old 11-26-2011, 04:03 PM   #1
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Coming up short on block wall


I was wondering if a 1in of mortar is to thick on a block wall for a foundation. I went to lay the shoe block this afternoon and found that they where coming out lower than my string. I am doing a slab addition
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:27 PM   #2
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10mm or 3/8in is a standard bed joint. You can make them a bit thicker, but 1 inch is a bit much unless the mortar is really stiff.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:29 PM   #3
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Why not just make up a little bit with each course?
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:19 PM   #4
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i was just gonna say, good call six.

that is unless your into your final 2 or 3 courses... then it wont work obviously
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #5
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I'm on the last row so there no option to spread it out, the only other idea i have is to pour the slab thicker so the floor is all the same height and do a double 2 x4 when i frame.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris15t View Post
I'm on the last row so there no option to spread it out, the only other idea i have is to pour the slab thicker so the floor is all the same height and do a double 2 x4 when i frame.
Problem solved.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
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A good mason would find that on the first course and layout. There is nothing wrong with a thicker first coarse (full mortar be usually) and picking up a little on the second course.

The bedding course in usually hidden and an 1/8" or so on the first course in the wall (second in the wall) would be very difficult to not notice that low in the wall and everything will be as good as your skill allows. This allows the field of the wall to be built using standard mortar joints (3/8" as Stuart mentioned).

Dick
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris15t View Post
I'm on the last row so there no option to spread it out, the only other idea i have is to pour the slab thicker so the floor is all the same height and do a double 2 x4 when i frame.
That is certainly your best option, form & pour the floor thicker in the low area.

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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
A good mason would find that on the first course and layout. There is nothing wrong with a thicker first coarse (full mortar be usually) and picking up a little on the second course.

The bedding course in usually hidden and an 1/8" or so on the first course in the wall (second in the wall) would be very difficult to not notice that low in the wall and everything will be as good as your skill allows. This allows the field of the wall to be built using standard mortar joints (3/8" as Stuart mentioned).

Dick

Good comments for a typical crawlspace or full basement, but it sounds like this is an un-excavated stem wall, so no one but the worms will see the joints........
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:54 PM   #9
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Hi. This block wall I gather is a load bearing wall, as you are pouring a house slab plus frame and building the extension above. The mortat thickness is neither here or there, though I would consider 1"" the maximum upper limit. However, I would be more concerned about wall strength.

If the height of the wall exceeds approximately 3'0'', The issues change drammatically. I would like to see the the wall backfilled with concrete and starter bars from footings through wall and into concrete slab. You should have this checked out by a structural engineer.

Also, the concrete slab sounds like it's going to be poured on temporary or what we call "lossy foundation material" between these block walls. This means the slab MUST be designed by a structural Engineer as it in fact a suspended slab, when the backfill material packs down and a space is formed under the slab.

Have you considered the size, strength and founding depth of the footings below this wall? They should also be properly designed. Have you considered the block wall thickness? This is critical for stability. Have you considered the load bearing capacity of the blocks? Some blocks are non-structural and intended as a garden ornament. Is the wall going to retain loose earth or sandy material on one side only, If it is, STOP now and get it designed properly. You will end up having to redo the whole thing if not. These issues are far more critical than pleasing the eye with proper levels.

Assuming you have considered the above and taken all factors into account, Your final critical level is the finished floor surface of the slab, so don't worry if the last course is not perfectly level, the slab will automatically be thickened to make up a low part of the wall.

I shake my head at times when I see DIY guys worrying about trivia, when they are blissfully unaware of the critical issues. Hope I opened your eyes to what could be a potential major problem.

Cheers from the land of Oz downunder.
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