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Questions tagged [mortar]

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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Which cement or mortar will give best result when creating low water diversion barriers?

I want to build up a short dam of maybe half an inch in height, to control where water is flowing. The water flows as a small, steady trickle. Right now it fans across a large-ish area. I'd like to ...
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What critter (insect?) removes sand from between paving bricks?

Something is excavating sand/mortar from between paving bricks, as seen here. I thought it was ants, but I've placed ant traps and bait and there seems to be no effect. Also, when the mounds are ...
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How to stop bricks pushing out while drilling?

I need to add an extractor fan to our utility room so I started drilling a hole using a core drill bit from the inside to outside. Its a standard UK brick cavity wall, so brick > insulation > brick. I ...
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How to resurface concrete patio

Our yard had a small mounded flower garden that had gone to weeds. We discovered that there was actually an old patio sitting underneath it. Someone had just dumped a lot of gravel and soil on top ...
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Convert recessed brick mortar to concave mortar design to decrease water intrusion due to high winds

High winds cause my 20 year old brick home to leak water through the reduced cement volume in the head joints. Water runs through head joints, down inside of brick wall, then leaks under the sill ...
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Whats the best way to secure a loose flooring joist where mortar has crumbled over the decades?

My kitchen floor sits on joints that are mostly OK. One wobbles though as I walk over it near a wall. It moves 0.5cm (0.25"). I lifted a floor board and had a look. You can see the crumbled mortar ...
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Repointing in sections

I want to repoint my walls, but not all of the wall needs repointing, only sections. How should I break up the task? How should I join sections with fresh mortar to sections with existing mortar.
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Bluestone pavers for front stoop?

In the fall I made a simple front stoop. It is 24 inches by 48 inches. That size feels just right. It has some brick-shaped things from Home Depot as the under layer, and then the top layer is ...
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Sealant around flue liner

As you can see some mortar has chipped away/fallen off from where the flue liner for our boiler meets the basement wall. Need to re-patch this - is it a straightforward sand and cement mix to be used ...
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Joints between paving stones - A breeding ground for weeds. Sustainable control?

I'm looking for a solution to control weed growth on a patio out of paving stone. The weeds are growing the the joints between the stones as can be seen in the picture. Two methods have been proposed:...
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What sealant should I buy to secure cable in brick?

I have an ethernet cable that goes into house from the outside wall. What sealant should I look for that will not crack the cable? I need to keep wind and rain out of the house from the hole. It ...
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shower drain not snug in mortar

Poured shower bed mortar around drain and sloped it properly. Drain is type that screws into base. The face of the drain is square. Now that the mortar is dry and I am ready to tile the shower floor I ...
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Joint thickness for glass block spacers

I am getting these glass block spacers for 4" blocks but the website I got it from says nothing about the thickness of the joint it provides. I would like to build my framing before it arrives (...
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28 views

How can I prevent bluestone mortar from degrading so quickly?

We live in Milwaukee, WI. Our front porch has a combination of bluestone pavers as well as brick on the stoops with mortar joints. We have had repeated problems with presumably water/expansion in ...
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35 views

Quickrete bonding agent and quick-mix mortar

I'm doing a repair of a hole in a basement floor. I was supposed to paint the edges of the hole with Quickrete, and let that dry before putting on the mortar. But the area is too wet for the ...
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Shower Pan leveling - can I use more sand topping mortar to level the slope

I'm building a shower pan the traditional way using a pre-slope, then waterproof membrane, then a mortar bed using sand topping mix. I laid my mortar bed and curb and it has dried but I've noticed ...
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Is a liner required when bedding a tub over plywood?

Is a liner material like roofing paper required when bedding a tub in mortar over plywood? I am concerned the plywood will suck all the moisture out of the mortar too fast and lead to cracking?
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Medium-term repair for spalled foundation with exposed mudsill

I have an old house (built in 1946) near the ocean. The foundation in the back has spalled off, exposing the mudsill in some places. The worst spalling is 4" deep - you can see the mudsill and a few ...
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Kitchen backsplash tiling work on multiple days

I am working on tiling my kitchen backsplash with allen + roth Wavecrest White Gloss Subway Wall Tile (Common: 4-in x 12-in; Actual: 12.75-in x 4.25-in) My questions are: Should I use thin set ...
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40 views

How to correct this pointing?

This is a picture of the wall of my house: I need to fix the pointing; I think it's causing water to enter around a window at one point, and it's generally a disaster. The house is in the UK, built ...
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400 views

Best way to parge exterior stone foundation wall

I have a 1894 house with a stone/rock wall (limestone I think). The foundation is in decent shape for the most part but I would like to parge the exterior visible portion to give it a more modern look ...
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brick jointer with springy blades

I saw a video where the mortar on brick steps was being repaired. The jointer being used had flexible, springy blade-tips, not rigid ones. I'm looking for the name of that tool. What is that style ...
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What would be the best tuck pointing temporary alternative?

I have a brick home and I am seeing a lot of spots that are missing mortar. It was not obvious at first, but we have had a bit of an ant problem and I tried to figure out where they are coming in ...
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Polymeric sand loosens when slightly wet, is that normal, and what's the best way to cover it?

I laid polymeric sand on a patio (made of paver blocks), and it looked great. I followed the instructions, and it didn't rain within about a week of my laying it. It ended up perfect, and it's hard ...
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How to keep brick face clean when applying fresh mortar?

In the few times I have replaced bricks in my home, I always feel the end result is a little messy. Specifically, despite my best efforts, the brick face ends up a little "smeared" with mortar. What ...
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How to fix cracked mortar between splitface blocks

I have a frame house that sits on about 4' of split-face block. The house is 30 years old, and I was pressure washing the block to re-seal it. Noticed a number of gnarly cracks like this one: I'm ...
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How to replace thick set tile with wall?

I am removing my thickset tiles in the kitchen of my 1950s home. I want to replace dated tiles with a smooth wall. Do I need to remove all the way through to the wire mesh or can I chisel off 1/2 of ...
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4answers
791 views

Do I need to seal the base of a shower and the surrounding tile?

The "seal" between my shower base (fiberglass) and the surrounding tile started to crack (it is around 5 years old). It is not regular caulking, it's more like mortar/cement. It cracked a little bit ...
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65 views

Can I use mortar to level out a patio made of cinder blocks?

We recently ripped out our deck because it was rotted and laid a level of cinder blocks 10ft x 32in for a small patio, basically just a step for coming out the back door. I was just wondering if I ...
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Why did concrete screws feel loose when installed in a brick wall?

I am trying to secure a floating mantle shelf over a brick fireplace wall. I used 2 3/4" 3/16 tapcon screws to secure the strip of wood to a brick wall but the wood strip did not hold securely The ...
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463 views

How best to deal with this crumbling interior brickwork?

While I was repainting the interior, some plaster started coming off the old brickwork in my new house. I now have a 50cm by 50cm hole. Underneath, the mortar is crumbling and some bricks are cracked....
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Drop-down shower floor prep

I am remodeling a first floor bathroom and the concrete for my shower drops down 3 inches from floor level. What kind of prep do I need before tiling the shower? A contractor said all I need was sand ...
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Tile backsplash mortar base coat?

I am replacing my tile back splash. When I removed the old tiles, about half of the surfaces were rocklath, while the other half was sheetrock. The sheetrock fell apart and had to be removed while for ...
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72 views

Repairing tile laid on harwood floor - how to make best of bad situation?

The previous owner of my house laid slate tile over hardwood in the entryway. A 9 square foot area has become loose and I need to re-set the tiles. Pulling everything out is not an option; I'm ...
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308 views

Is Kerabond T with additive okay for under Ditra Heat?

I'm looking to install porcelain tile over Ditra heat mat in our kitchen. From what I read you need to use a modified thinset for under the ditra mat(over plywood subfloor), and unmodified for over ...
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2k views

What is proper ratio of sand to portland cement to use for repairing a 30 yr old stone wall

I have a 30 year old stone 12" high stone wall that needs to be patched up. There are small voids where stone has fallen out. My question is what is the ratio of portland cement to sand used to ...
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143 views

How can I remove cured tile mortar from subfloor?

I was setting tile last night and had to stop before the room was done. I was being diligent to make sure the edges that were adjacent to the unfinished areas were smooth but in my exhaustion I missed ...
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172 views

NCV meter beeping over large area of a wall

I use non contact voltage tester function of Uni-t ut210e for detecting main wires under/in walls. It worked pretty well until yesterday. The wall is made of bricks/mortar and some metal profiles (as ...
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250 views

Reduce Tiling Dry/Wait Times

I am tiling my kitchen floor and unfortunately it is the major walkway in and out of the house. Is there anything that I can do to reduce the drying and waiting times for the thinset (both for taping ...
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262 views

Does this wall tile's mortar contain asbestos?

I have some missing tiles behind my sink cabinet and had to clean up some pile of crumbled material from this mortar. This is an old house but the bathroom tiles could have been remodeled since the ...
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3k views

Do backer board seams on tiled floor need to be taped?

First time tiling a floor, I have hardibacker down throughout. Do I need to tape and mortar the seams?
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296 views

Prep drywall before backsplash

I'm looking to put up some new backsplash. I took off the old tile as carefully as possible, but some drywall was damaged. I put one hole in the wall which I will patch, but the rest, as you can see ...
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Is it common to build a mortar pan shower with no waterproof membrane?

I have found myself in a situation where the contractor installing our walk in shower seems hell bent on installing it without a shower pan liner. From what I can deduce he's approaching it this way ...
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61 views

Can a hammer concrete drill bit be used with a regular drill for a small project

I have to run a 1/2 inch pvc electrical conduit through a mortar joint The mfg calls for a 7/8 masonry bit to be used to allow the conduit through. Have not been able to find such a bit at the big ...
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1answer
51 views

Can I mix type N mortar mix and type M mortar mix?

Can I mix type N mortar mix and type M mortar mix or does this have any adverse effects? There is no specific purpose, I want to use up remainders.
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104 views

Bathtub mortar base

I'm going to be installing a porcelain enamel/metal bathtub (American Standard Cambridge) and the instructions do not call for a mortar bed but I would like to do one just to be safe. Will this harm ...
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502 views

Installing 'TruStone' veneer, directly on painted drywall?

I stumbled onto a deal on TruStone SplitFace veneer (looks like stacked stones, glued together), and was hopeful to install them in the front entrance no higher than 5ft high. The surface is just ...
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How much active labor is involved in repointing?

I hired a contractor to perform repointing on my old house and opted to pay them by the hour. I chose this company is because they know how to make the proper softer mortar for antique Chicago bricks....
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36 views

How to cover up wall after removing a row of tiles to fit exhaust vent

I recently installed a new exhaust hood in my kitchen. As the new one is slightly larger than the old one, it was necessary for me to remove a row of tiles and mortar below for it to properly fit. ...
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751 views

Fill Brick & Mortar Holes

There are a couple brick and mortar holes that I'd like to fill. Will this work for the mortar? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000H5SDH0 What could I use to fill the brick holes?