What Types Of Stone Masons Are There? 

Mason work

Determine What Stone Mason Service Handles Your Construction Project

If you are planning your construction project or home upgrade, you may be thinking about adding stone applications. There are many different types of stone masonry, which is why you want to have experienced and knowledgeable contractors that will deliver that wow factor. There are a few things you should know when looking at different types of stone masonry. 

Finding A Skilled Tradesperson 

The education needed to become a mason is extensive. Tradespeople will take one year of in-school training to be certified and then move on to their apprenticeship and journeyman status in on the job training situations, with employers and master masons.  

In the first year of masonry college, tradespeople learn all types of masonry, construction codes, and safety. Additionally, they learn about tool use, job site preparation, diagram reading and drafting, mathematics, measuring and bonding, and business aspects like customer service. 

On the job, they learn to build and repair walls, floors, arches, paving, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, and other structural stonework. Training takes about four years. While they are knowledgeable in all aspects of masonry work, graduates usually pick a specialty for their final career. The Masonry Contractors Association of Alberta is an excellent resource for anyone interested in starting a masonry career.

Pinpoint The Different Masonry Contractors Specialties

When a homeowner or commercial developer goes looking for a mason to do work for inside or outside construction, they may think one mason will do any all the stonework needed. Asking what specialty the mason has will help customers pinpoint the best mason for the job at hand.

There are as many masonry specialties as there are circumstances to use rock. 

Here are some of the different types of masonry work.

Rubble Masons 

Rubble masons work with rough stone and mortar. Some construction walls are built with stone filling the contained wall structures like cinder block construction or screened or framed containment. The use of stone ensures the material is packed correctly for stability. 

Rubble masons also do stone wall work with rough rock laid in irregular formations and stabilized with mortar. Think of a raw block or river stone wall. A talented rubble mason will know how to arrange the rocks, so the wall does not topple over. They will also determine the right mortar and consistency so the wall will be reliable for many years to come. 

Ashlar Masons 

An ashlar mason will cut and shape the stone into precise blocks and build stone structures with solid block stone material and thin mortar. They may install cut marble facades on commercial buildings or lay slate and marble flooring in buildings. This work is quite expensive and often used in high-end construction. It has become too expensive for most homeowners today. 

For a better picture of rubble and ashlar masonry, About Civil has a good video and images showing the differences.  


Brick & Stone Layers

The move to brick and formed stone masonry resulted in reduced prices. Bricks have been around a long time. They can be made of clay, or composites of lime, stone bits, sand, and concrete. Brick and stone layers also deal with modern preformed stone materials. Mortar is applied to bond the bricks or stone together to form structures. They build walkways, walls, buildings, as well as maintenance and repairs on these structures.

Cement Masons

You will most likely see cement masons working on sidewalks or pouring foundation floors and walls. Their specialty is assessing the proper mix consistencies for cement. They also assess how and when cement is poured, and the adequate reinforcement and finishing technique to make the final product durable. 

Terrazzo Masons

Terrazzo masons work hand in hand with cement masons, using decorative enhancements into the cement. For example, they will add things like chipped marble, aggregate stone, and epoxy surfacing in and on cement.

Memorial Masons

A memorial mason does carving in granite, like the work done on headstones and the stonework to set the headstones on graves. Most memorial masons use granite for headstones as it stands up to climate conditions the best. Traditionally carving was done with chisels, but today memorial stonemasons can use electric tools, sandblasting, and laser technology. 

Laser technology allows them to put pictures of loved ones on the stone along with the life information and sentiment statements. Given the sensitive nature of the job, placing a headstone correctly also takes a lot of skill. Memorial masons install the headstone and the underlying foundations, making sure foundations will hold the stone in place for many years to come.

Carver Masons

As the name suggests, carver masons do rock carving. They often make the statues that grace cemeteries, but they also do art carvings in stone, and enhancements for the exterior of buildings and gardens. On the third weekend in July, there is the Canadian Stone Carving Festival in Ottawa, at the Spring street mall. Carvers come from all over the world to showcase their carving techniques and donate works for an auction.

Stone Veneer Masons

Stone veneer masons work with a stone less than 15 lbs. by 1-inch thickness, applying that stone to walls and surfaces. Many homes are using stone veneer for outside improvement and inside surfaces, like feature walls, bathrooms, and kitchens. 

Tile Setters

Tile setters apply glue and grout for many masonry products. They are more known for their work with ceramic tile in home kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring applications. However, they also work with other masons to grout and secure masonry materials.

The type of mason you should hire depends on the project you want to complete around your home. Make sure to do your research first, so you know if they are up for the job. 

If you’re looking to add custom masonry to your Calgary area home, give us a call. We offer masonry services for the interior and exterior of your home.