Tuck pointing is a procedure you use to repair mortar joint in a bricks structure. It comes from a process of tucking mortar back into a damaged joint with the sharp point of a pointing trowel. This keeps water from entering the brick wall cavity. Once water gets past the mortar and into the wall, spalling (the bricks facing popping off) and cracking can cause your bricks to fail. This can result in a collapsing chimney or fireplace.
The process of tuck pointing originated back in England `during the 18th century. It was used to imitate the brickwork made by using rubbed bricks ( these are also called rubbers or gauged bricks). Rubbed bricks are bricks made with a fine red finish and are slightly over-sized then are cut individually to a precise size after they’ve been fired. they were most often cut by hand. When laid with a white lime mortar, you get a finish of red brick with a contrasting of the fine white joints. It looks very clean.The use of tuck pointing was a way of being able to use cheap, unrubbed bricks to get a very similar effect