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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Cinder block retaining wall repair

I inherited an old retaining wall (from the 1980s? repaired once or twice here and there): It has a few cracks and the mortar has gone bad so I'd like to repair it. So I removed the cinder caps, ...
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What Cement Based Product Is Used for Smoothly Finished Floors?

I recently replaced a floor drain in my basement around which I had dug out the concrete, gravel and clay soil. When I sealed it back in, I laid down a bed of gravel and sand, and then used a ...
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What's the best ratio for sand-only concrete?

I'm making concrete countertops, so sand-only is the way to go to reduce voids in the forms. (I've done a half dozen samples). I've looked everywhere for mix ratios, but it's a weird request, and I ...
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Is it worthwhile to fill minor cracks and holes in mortar?

There are a number of small cracks and holes in the exterior on my 10-year-old brick house. These are very small and do not in any way appear structural. They are much much smaller than the weep ...
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33 views

Demolition of 1.5"+ tile/concrete floor on second story

I began demolition of a bathroom today and ran into an unusual (for me) flooring issue. The floor is tiled and it's set on a 1.5" thick bed of mortar. The mortar was spread directly onto the 2x8 ...
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Kitchen backsplash tile (24“ x 1.5” x 1/2") to drywall; which mortar & trowel notch size?

I will be installing kitchen backsplash tile to a drywall. tile size: 24" width x 1.5" height x 1/2" depth tile type: limestone tile Which mortar or mastic would you recommend as well as trowel ...
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66 views

How to lay concrete block without squishing all the mortar?

I'm laying a small retaining wall for a garden and I'm having a lot if trouble getting a proper mortar joint. If it is on the soft side it is squished out of the joint with the weight of the block. ...
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62 views

What mortar mix for flaunching on chimney stack?

What mix and sand\cement ratio's should I use for replacing a chimney stack flaunching? I've seen suggestions to add some sharp sand to the building sand, and other suggestions to add lime or ...
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55 views

Can I use mortar to fill channels in a concrete floor?

I recently had central heating installed in my 2 bedroom ground floor maisonette. We installed all the pipes in the channels which we dug in the concrete floor. I have covered all the pipes with ...
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74 views

How to fill a hole in the living room?

There is the circular hole in the floor in my living room near radiator which leads to a relatively big space underground! If I want to judge using my eyes,I think the size is around 50cm/1.5feet ...
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Portland tile mortar being used as a final coating over hb

I am building an outdoor propane fire table. I have constructed a steel frame and covered it with hb. I wanted a modern look so i was going to coat the hb with concrete. I was told not to use cement ...
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How do I make concrete out of mortar?

I need white concrete for a countertop sample, but the only white concrete-like product is white mortar. If I just add an equal sized bag of gravel to the mortar, will it be close enough to use as ...
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Can I start and stop a tile floor job?

I am tiling my bathroom floor and don't soon have a full day to dedicate to the job. Is it ok to lay down a few tiles each day and come back to the job when I have time? I would only lay mortar for ...
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40 views

Mortar over grout

Can I mortar over the grout I installed in between my 3/8 spaces brick veneers? Given there is enough space in depth, would it stick and look ok? I bought and installed a natural gray grout but it ...
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139 views

Has our new septic tank been properly waterproofed?

We have a new septic tank made of solid stone masonry. The masonry is held together by cement mortar and has been plastered with cement plaster. A professional working on the job has ensured us that ...
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Is mortar waterproof?

I was advised by a professional that mortar is waterproof, however sources online are telling me that it's not. So is mortar waterproof or not? Does waterproofness vary by mortar classification (e.g. ...
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108 views

How do I know if/when tuckpointing is necessary, especially if I finish the basement?

1900-ish brick-over-fieldstone foundation seems perfectly happy right now, but [digression about fieldstone aside]... What's best practice? What do I look for to tell when maint is required? ...
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365 views

How to do I calculate how much sand and cement needed for bedding mortar

I need to make some bedding mortar for laying coping stones on a brick wall Ive calculated the volume of mortar needed 12m x 0.41m x 0.03m = 0.1476 m3 I buy cement and sand in 25 kg bags and would ...
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How can I install Kerdi over an existing shower pan?

I started out building a shower pan in the traditional method (plastic liner), but, bailed after having difficulties with the shower curb. I have built the first layer of mortar that goes under the ...
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382 views

Hydraulic Cement vs Mortar for concrete block wall repair

I am repairing some mortar cracks in-between the concrete walls in my basement. Initially I was using hydraulic cement (I know most is technically hydraulic, I mean the leak stopping kind: ...
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90 views

How do I fix a loose brick on the corner of a tree well?

I have a loose brick on a recently made tree well. I have Quikrete Type S mortar and I'm planning on getting a trowel. What are the steps to remove the existing mortar on the brick (which is ...
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1k views

How can I lift buckets of mortar to second floor?

I need to lift around 100-120 buckets of mortar to level the surface of two slabs (around 20 square meters). Besides raising each bucket pulling a rope up, is there any other (EASY) way of doing ...
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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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132 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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810 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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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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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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3k 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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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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9k 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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169 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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197 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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417 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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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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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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76 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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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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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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581 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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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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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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121 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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282 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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283 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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42 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
9k 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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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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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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2k 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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485 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 ...