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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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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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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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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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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109 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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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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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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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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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 ...