Mortar is used between bricks, cinder blocks, or stone to bind them and fill any gaps. It is made from sand, a binding agent (cement or lime), and water.

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How can I make mortar adhere to smooth flagstones?

I just started making a raised bed with flagstones that are relatively smooth. After using nearly 160 lbs. of mortar, I find that more flagstones are not adhered together than are. I paid attention ...
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46 views

What sand is best for thin-set mortar?

I understand that unmodified thin-set mortar is typically 25-35% portland with most of the balance being a fine sand. If I wanted to make my own where could I obtain this fine sand? What is it ...
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1answer
69 views

How to mix a resurfacer/leveler with sand and cement?

Disclaimer: No, I can't buy ready made surface leveler, because in Brazil this doesn't exist. I need to use a resurface a dry pack levelling that my previous contractor made a lousy job (porous ...
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36 views

Mixing ratio and process for Custom Building Products

I am currently redoing the kitchen floor in my condo and laying 13x20 porcelain tile on the condo's second floor concrete slab. I purchased a 50lb bag of Custom Building self-leveling cement and a ...
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0answers
35 views

Can/Should I use Uncoupling Membrane for tiling stairs?

I am preparing to tile my bathroom, which currently has carpet. I would like to use uncoupling membrane as a base, but there is a small step in front of the shower. Since it's in front of the shower, ...
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2answers
498 views

What kinds of gloves should be used for working with mortar?

I am currently working on my eagle scout project, and I will be using mortar to put together part of my project (I know this doesn't completely apply to home improvement so if this is the wrong place ...
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3answers
732 views

When taping cement board do I need to tape at the walls?

I am preparing to put down cement board for a bathroom tile install. I understand, I need to tape at the seams. Should I tape the edges where the cement board meets the drywall or the tub as well? ...
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1answer
808 views

Types of floats and trowels for concrete

In Brazil there are basically 3 kinds of floats: Steel (in many shapes), used for smooth finish concrete, spreading mortar for tiles, plastering, etc. Wood (rectangular) used for rougher finish of ...
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0answers
107 views

How can I match existing mortar?

I'm trying to find a good sand that matches the mortar that I have in our house right now. I live in Chicago. The house is 30+ years old and as I look at the existing mortar, I see that it has large ...
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1answer
1k views

How long to wait after tile installation before placing heavy objects on it?

I just installed some 12" x 24" large format tiles in my laundry room using Flexbond mortar over concrete that was machined with a diamond cup disk. Its been ~32 hours since I finished the main ...
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1answer
128 views

replace one tile bathroom floor

18" tile part adjacent to toilet and under the flange cracked during toilet install (plumber). first try result: replacement tile is too high, i I had to remove it. Complication: tile rocks due to ...
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124 views

What maintenance does an 1890s brick-over-fieldstone foundation need?

I know that if when it comes time to repoint, I should get the current mortar analyzed to make sure its curing strength is compatible with the old bricks. I know that brick foundations in the time ...
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3answers
170 views

laying a brick patio in extreme temperature setting

The small town where I live gets below freezing in winter and above 100º F in summer. I need to know which mortar joint width and ratio is best for laying a brick patio myself. As far as I know, ...
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2answers
445 views

What would cause the mortar to crack across a number of bricks?

Over the winter a large crack appeared, running across the mortar between a number of external bricks. The crack runs on a diagonal and includes a crack along a windowsill. It appears that this ...
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0answers
55 views

What would cause mortar to have a patchy finish?

I started a re-pointing project in my basement, but it was way more work than I had anticipated, so I haven't continued in about six months. However, now that i'm looking at mortar I originally ...
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1answer
57 views

Can unused mortar that freezes be used?

I left a bag of opened Porcelain mortar in the garage for a week and during that time the temperature got below freezing. Can I use this mortar or does it have to be thrown out?
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0answers
148 views

What is a suitable mortar when repointing a wall made of soft red brick?

I am about to re-point the front of my Victorian (1895) house which has soft red bricks. Is a 4:1 ratio of sand to cement suitable? I have read that cement can force the moisture though the bricks ...
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1answer
693 views

Mortar (or something) falling out of basement brick wall

In my basement, there is a powdery, bright white substance between some of the bricks. It looks like it was something applied on top of the mortar joint. I scraped a couple places where it was falling ...
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1answer
427 views

Re-Pointing Fieldstone Foundation [duplicate]

I purchased my 110 year old colonial house 6 months ago. It has a field stone foundation that looks completely original (with a few small repairs). The house is located in North Eastern Massachusetts ...
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0answers
110 views

Will I have any issues installing an in-floor heating mat with premix mortar?

I installed a radiant floor heating mat under ceramic tiles using a premix mortar. I now understand this was not the right thing to do. After further research the only reason I can find that suggests ...
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1answer
1k views

What should I do about my concrete shower curb that I did not remove all the air bubbles from?

I'm building a concrete shower curb and pan. I built the curb and when I removed the 2x8 forms I notice that I didn't pack the cement all the way to the bottom in some parts: A bit crumbled and ...
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1answer
110 views

Can a problem with heater stack liner cause outside chimney mortar to crack and fall out

I had "high-efficiency" furnace installed in 2009. In 2011 chimney required full grind-out and repoint job, and chimney saver solution was applied to prevent water damage. Service lasted only 18 ...
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1answer
215 views

Will cement used as mortar need to be replaced?

I had some cracked/spalling bricks on my home as a result of water getting in and freezing during the winter. I went ahead and replaced five bricks (three on top and two below) and accidentally used ...
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0answers
203 views

How do I level a summerhouse concrete base that dips in the middle?

I laid a 4x3 metre concrete base for my summerhouse/office thing. The corners are all level and so the summerhouse sits fine, but it dips in between and so the load bearing battens aren't taking any ...
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0answers
39 views

How do I repair a field stone foundation on 99 year old house? [duplicate]

The foundation on our 99 year old house is made up of field stone and cement. Some patch jobs were done with cementing over the field stone. However that is breaking away and some other places have ...
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2answers
6k views

What is the best choice for patching and leveling concrete before tile install?

We have a small area of concrete foundation that we need to patch and level prior to ceramic tile installation (12×12 tiles). It is concrete that we chipped the old tile mortar off of, so there are ...
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1answer
18k views

What is the difference between building sand and plaster sand

Recently I mixed a batch of mortar for building and was unsure if the hardware provided me with building sand or plaster sand.. What are the properties that differentiate the two? and are there any ...
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5answers
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Why do builders say that wet concrete/mortar is not as strong?

I have been watching a few videos demonstrating the mixing of mortar and cement and a constant theme is that you must not have the mix too runny. I cannot fathom the reason... Does anyone care to ...
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1answer
1k views

How do I darken new mortar in a brick wall to match the older mortar?

I had some bricks replaced. Unfortunately, the mortar is really light. How do I stain it a darker gray, so that it matches the original mortar? Is there a product that I can buy at a big box store?
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1answer
420 views

What type of mortar should I use?

I'm going to replace these cracked bricks on the front of my home(see pic). What type of mortar should I use? Type S, N, or M? Is there a way to determine the type of mortar that was used when the ...
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2answers
2k views

Can I change the color of the mortar in my brick wall?

We recently built our home and the mortar color between the bricks is dark gray, we did not pay attention to it and because of that the brick face is looking duller due to the standard gray mortar. ...
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4answers
32k views

What water:cement:sand ratio gives the strongest mortar?

A typical mortar mix ratio is 1 cement : 3 sand. But what is the water ratio? Is it 0.5:1:3? Would a 0.5:1:2 ratio be a stronger mortar? Our next door neighbor has a dog that digs like a pro. The ...
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3answers
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What thinset should I use?

I will be tiling a tub/shower area using 8x10 ceramic tile with glass mosaic tile accent rows. I see about half a dozen varieties of thin-set on the market: Weights: - 25lb - 50lb Types: - ...
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3answers
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What mortar should be used for flagstone?

I once read about a mortar that starts as a powder I could put in between my flagstones, and then just wet it down and it would harden in place. Do you know what this product is?
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2answers
567 views

How can I stop mortar plugs from popping out of slab holes?

Our termite people plugged their dozens of chemical insertion holes using a regular grout. Needless to say the plugs are popping out left and right. (They tell me that is normal, the plugs pop out in ...
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2answers
11k views

How can I remove grout and mortar from a drain?

I accidentally poured some mortar and grout down my bathroom drain when I was cleaning the remains of a bucket of mortar after tiling the kitchen. The drain was plugged up pretty bad so I tried to ...
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1answer
4k views

How to fix a through hole in a concrete step?

Here're two photos of a through hole in a step in an enforced concrete staircase in an apartment building. The step is about one inch thick, the hole is about three inches wide and appeared many years ...
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1answer
357 views

How to repair mortar that is crumbling?

The interior of my stone basement foundation wall has been mortared it is starting to sand off. What is the best way to seal it off so I can paint it again? The home was built in the 20's and has no ...
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2answers
895 views

Would replacing old mortar for new prevent water from seeping through brickwork?

Would replacing old mortar for new prevent water from seeping through brickwork? I have included photographs just in case this is a special case:
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4answers
59k views

What actually happens if I vary proportions of cement and sand in mortar?

When preparing cement mortar proportions of sand and cement can AFAIK be varied. I've always been using the "default recommended" 1-to-3 (one volume of cement for every three volumes of sand) ...
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3answers
1k views

Will colouring mortar weaken it?

My neighbour has recently had some work done to her roof. The old mortar was red and the new mortar is grey (uncoloured). So it looks a little silly with both colours present. She's not very happy ...
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1answer
708 views

The mortar between my patio bricks is crumbling away

The bricks on my front porch have some sort of mortar that crumbles away more and more every time I pull a weed from it. You could pick this stuff away with an awl but it is not just sand that you ...
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2answers
541 views

Mount an LCD TV to 30 year old masonry fireplace

Power and HDMI are no issue. I'm worried about messing with the mortar. Any advice? Will this be an issue, more trouble than it's worth, etc? I have some alternatives. Leave my TV on the mantle or ...
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3answers
1k views

Is there some flexible cement-based mortar?

I live in an apartment in a multistoried building. The building is assembled of huge enforced concrete plates - one plate is size of a wall of a room. One of the inter-plate seams has a crack in it ...
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3answers
4k views

Contractor suggests caulking cracks in chimney, is that the right solution?

The mortar in our 25-year-old chimney is starting to crack and now leaks into our home if it rains hard. I assume we're probably in need of repointing, but a contractor that has done roof work for us ...
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1answer
623 views

What type of mortar would I use to seal cracks in our chimney?

We've got a brick chimney that's ~25 years old and it's got a quite a few cracks in the mortar (some hairline, some as thick is a quarter). What's the best way to seal all those cracks? I assume ...
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3answers
32k views

Must I remove all mortar between tiles before grouting?

I'm just getting ready to lay down the grout after successfully tiling our master bathroom. I've been told in no uncertain terms that I must remove the spacers between tiles (or else grouting over ...
11
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3answers
33k views

What kind of mortar should I use to point a fieldstone foundation?

What kind of mortar should I use to point a fieldstone foundation? The old mortar is crumbling, and sandy mortar is falling out onto the basement floor. I plan to remove the crumbling mortar (see ...
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2answers
5k views

How do I replace a bricked in mailbox?

My in-laws have a Mailbox that's a normal looking metal mailbox that's in a brick enclosure. It appears that when it was built, someone just put down mortar, set the mailbox in it, covered the ...
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4answers
2k views

How to reduce noise while drilling?

Unfortunately I can only drill in the late afternoon or during weekends, but my area is very quiet and I would really like to avoid driving my neighbours mad... So is there anything I can do to make ...