How to Choose a Masonry Trowel | Ask This Old House

31January 2020


Ask This Old House mason Mark McCullough explains the purposes and uses for different types of trowels.

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Steps:
1. Mark breaks down trowels into a few categories and explains their differences.
2. Brick-laying trowels are used for building walls and are designed to hold more mortar to speed up production. They generally fall under two categories:
a. London trowel: has a narrower heel and is used for laying brick.
b. Philadelphia trowel: has a wider heel and is used for concrete blocks.
3. Masonry trowels are used for specialty repair jobs on a wide variety of masonry structures and smaller jobs, typically inside a house.
a. Pointing trowel: used for small spaces, like replacing a singular brick.
b. Gauging trowel: used to get around pipes and other tight, round areas.
c. Margin trowel: comes in a variety of edges, but good for stuffing mortar into crevices.
4. Finishing trowels are used for smoothing out materials like cement, plaster, etc.
a. Pool trowel: used for smoothing the curved edges of a swimming pool.
b. Margin finishing trowel: same use as the masonry trowel, but larger. Good for pouring a concrete floor, etc.
c. Duckbill trowel: has a long, curved edge that will allow for smoothing out materials tucked in tight spaces.
d. Magnesium float: pulls water to the surface of the cement to allow for a smooth, glossy finish.

Resources:
Mark demonstrated a variety of masonry trowels, which were all manufactured by The Bon Tool Company (https://www.bontool.com/).

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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Keywords:
This Old House, Ask This Old House, DIY, Home Improvement, DIY Ideas, Renovation, Renovation Ideas, How To Fix, How To Install, How To Build, Mark McCullough, Kevin O'Connor, tools, masonry, trowels

Watch the full episode:
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/watch/ceiling-light-tool-storage-ask-toh

How to Choose a Masonry Trowel | Ask This Old House
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