I took out a wall in AC unit from a rowhouse wall and was attempting sawtooth new bricks in to help remove any evidence of the AC in the wall. In doing so, I have 2 challenges.

  1. One brick cracked off in 2 pieces , but the dislodged portion covers little area on the face. It starts from the bottom corner and to the top about an inch over on the 8 x 2.25 inch brick. My question here can I simply slide it back in place - or should I replace it which means more drilling and cleaning. Its getting close to the edge of the wall.

  2. The AC chassis was about 25.5 inches wide so I have about 1.5 inches to fill - how thick can vertical mortar be? The existing mortar elsewhere is very thin - like 1/8 inch but vertical joints shouldn’t be so noticeable- right? Also, I plan to have someone paint the brick in the end :).

  • I don't understand your description of the extra space. Are you not laying bricks with respect to the original coursing?
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 12:55
  • Yes I am trying to retain the original brick course as much as possible. Just the void where air conditioner was is where some bricks were cut an inch or so shorter.
    – ecco88
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can backfill the broken brick with mortar and use it. Masons have done just that since they were using natural stone.

An occasional mortar joint of an inch and half isn't the end of the world. Foundations that step vertically over rough footings often have large gap fills. The key is good mortar quality, and to understand that it may look odd. Avoid non-standard layout if you can.

  • I agree with both the process and quality mortar. Once the brick is painted it will be less noticeable.+
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 13:35
  • Ah. I hand't considered that it might be painted. That's rare around here.
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 13:56
  • Thanks for the comments - actually I was hoping to distribute the gap difference over the 4 vertical gaps - the original was very thinly pointed and it would be a change hopefully not so noticeable. So I guess that close to half inch points would be acceptable.
    – ecco88
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 15:26

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