For quality work and a professional finish, builders' trowels are an important tool in the construction industry. Whether building walls or pouring concrete flooring, discover our range of superior quality trowels at Cromwell online.

Choose trowels from a wide range of market-leading brands, like Spear & Jackson®, Stanley®, Marshalltown® and our own brand Kennedy-Pro®.

What are trowels?

Trowels are shaped and sized to meet specific functions in the construction industry. From laying mortar onto bricks, to pointing between bricks, trowels are an essential tool in any bricklayers' kit.

Featuring a soft and ergonomic handle, a ferrule connects the handle and shank. The blade, usually made from heat-treated carbon steel for strength, is shaped at both the heel end and the toe to suit different applications. For example, a pointed toe with a wide heel is designed for scooping mortar from the bucket and spreading or buttering the bricks with a good layer for adhesion.

When are trowels used?

Trowels are used in a variety of construction tasks, including bricklaying, masonry repair, tiling walls and floors, and pouring and smoothing concrete flooring.

Trowel types

Often referred to as a masonry trowel or builders' trowel, these tools frequent building sites. They're available in a wide range of sizes and shapes depending on the application required and are ideal when spreading and shaping mortar.

• Brick trowel   -   Sometimes called a masonry trowel, this type of trowel is utilised for building walls, scooping mortar onto the heel, applying and spreading it across the surface of the bricks

• Finishing trowel   -   Designed for smoothing mortar and plaster in straight and accurate lines, this type of builders' trowel has a large surface area to deliver the final finish to walls and brickwork

• Plastering trowel   -   Similar to a masonry trowel, this type is a rectangular shape used for application and smoothing finished layers of plaster onto walls

• Bucket trowel   -   These are wide and flat for collecting mortar from a bucket or mixing container and allow for easy transfer and smoothing onto bricks and breeze blocks

• Floor trowel   -   Commonly rectangular in shape, these trowels are also referred to as a tiling trowels and feature notches to allow for an even distribution of adhesive for tiling walls and floors

• Gauging trowel   -   The rounded end on a gauging trowel allows for work around sharp corners and pipes

• Pointing trowel   -   Smaller in size, this trowel is used for finishing the mortar between bricks and in smaller spaces

Considerations when choosing trowels

Type - depending on the job you're doing, using the right type is important for getting a professional finish. Most building trowels are named after the type of work they do to make it easier for you to make the right choice.

Heel size - for spreading mortar the size of the trowel makes a difference to the amount of mortar that can be loaded onto the bricks.

Edge - a sharp edge on the trowel can help when cuts are needed to brick, this is the case with most reinforced carbon steel trowels.

Material - while a large portion of builder's trowels are made from steel, aluminium is a lightweight option, while magnesium finishing trowels draw out the 'cream' or water of concrete to create a smooth and evenly drying finish.

Shape - different types of trowel can feature flat, pointed or rounded ends to suit different applications. For smaller areas a pointed trowel can be beneficial, whereas pipework and tight spaces are made easier to patch when using a rounded head.


What sized trowel is best for bricklaying?

Bricklaying trowels are available in a wide range of sizes and can measure between 9inches to 13inches as standard. Choosing the right size for the task is often a combination of the operators' comfort and the average size preferred by most bricklayers, (around 11 to 12 inches). It's important to ensure a good grip and control for these tasks, so going with your own preference is the best option.

What is a magnesium trowel used for?

A magnesium trowel is a popular choice when smoothing concrete. It is a weaker material to work with, however, it doesn't pull during finishing in the same way a wood or resin trowel does and delivers a smooth finish that ensures open pores in the material for consistent evaporation.