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Types Of Mortar

Types of mortar, this is a question that is asked by many people trying to understand what type of mortar should be used for a particular project. There are many different types of mortar used in construction and we will discuss the differences. This page may help you decipher what is the difference between concrete, cement and mortar. Many people get the 3 building products confused, and ask what the difference between cement and concrete ?  Mortar, is a combination of cement, sand, and water that is used to lay brick, block, tuck point, and install all types of stone. Concrete on the other hand, is a combination of Portland cement, course sand, and water, and is typically used to make sidewalks, driveways, patios, and other structural systems. The word mortar, cement and concrete  are often confused, hopefully the information provided here,  will give you some insight into the differences.

What Is Mortar?

What is mortar, this is a great question. Mortar is almost always based on Portland cement. Portland cement was developed in England in the 1700s, by grinding limestone into a very fine powder, and  heating it in a furnace to remove all of the water. Portland cement absolutely revolutionize the strength of mortar, and made the basis of all other cements. To answer the question what is mortar? Well, simply stated, water is a combination of Portland cement, lime, fine sand, and water. When these building products are combined in proper proportion a chemical reaction call hydration occurs, rendering what we call mortar. As stated earlier mortar is used in the construction industry for grouting, stucco, lay brick  block, and stone.

Differenrt Types Of Mortar

There are many types of mortar that is then used throughout the ages, to build all types of structures. There is an old school method to remember all the different types of mortar that can be used in the construction industry. MASON WORKS  is a guideline to the types of mortar, this phrase MaSoNwOrKs represents the 5 different types of mortar. Alternating letters shows you the types of mortar that is used in construction today. M mortar is the strongest type of mortar, and is produced by mixing Portland cement and sand to a 3 to one ratio, with water to produce 2500 PSI cement. Type M mortar is commonly used to set flagstone, and building stone for retaining walls. Follow the scale, you skip the next letter and go to S, type S mortar is produced to lay brick on a horizontal structure. Type S mortar is made by utilizing a combination of 75% Portland cement, 25% hydrated lime, and 9 parts fine sand. This mixture of mortar is perfect for laying clay brick on a walkway, or patio after 28 days , this mortar as it reported, 1800 PSI. The stronger proportion of Portland, allows the mortar to stand up to the freeze and thaw cycles associated with brick that is exposed to the weather. Skipping the next letter go to type N mortar which consists of 50% hydrated lime, and 50% Portland cement mixed with 9 parts of find mortar sand, and water. Type N mortar is utilized, typically to lay face brick on the front of homes and buildings. Type N mortar aftercare at 28 days as a strength of 750 PSI. Both type N and  type S cement can be manufactured to a wide variety of colors. Typically type M mortar utilizes either typical Portland, or white Portland. Going to the next type of mortar, we will discuss type O mortar , this is a low strength mortar that is generally used for interior masonry projects. Type K mortar was used in the United States and colonial times to lay brick. Type K mortar is mixed with sand to produce cement that is only rated at 75 PSI at 28 days. If you’re a mason, restoring, and repointing historical handmade brick, you definitely want to utilize type K mortar. The reason being is historical handmade brick is very soft, and if you utilize a stronger type of cement, you can easily destroy the façade of a historical buildings brick face. Most historical repointing jobs are done utilizing type K mortar.

What Is The Formula To Make Mortar For Laying  Stone?

The best formula for creating cement to lay flagstone, or building stone is utilize what we call type M mortar. Type M mortar mix is the appropriate cement for most patio and retaining walls built of stone. With a impressive strength gain at 28 days, it 2500 PSI. It is certainly the professionals choice  to set stone. The time tested method of  mixing mortar for laying stone is a 94 pound bag of Portland, to 3 parts  fine sand, thoroughly mixed with clean water to the consistency of toothpaste. This process can be accomplished with a electric mortar mixer, or more commonly, by hand.

Important Terms Concerning Mortar

Portland cement – Portland cement is basically pulverized limestone, that is heated to extreme temperatures to remove all water. When mixed with sand and water it hydrates which is a chemical reaction that produces a bonding material. First developed in Britain it is the basis for almost all mortar mixers.

Sand – all mortar require sand, and sand should be washed and cleaned of all debris. Typically sent is delivered by the truckload and should be ordered as fine masonry sand. Sand is traditionally measured out in shovel full, a shovelful of sand is a traditional square shovel fully loaded with fine sand.

Water- water used to make mortar, should be clean, and clear. If you utilize water from the streams and rivers, it will not create the proper strength gain for your mortar.

Lime – Hydrated lime is a fine, white, product which has been specially hydrated for to make mortar easier to work with. Type SA (Special Air-Entrained) hydrated lime is similar to Type S, except it includes an air entraining agent which produces small voids in your mixed mortar. Both types of lime when combined with cement and sand will produce a easy-to-use mortar.

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