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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4 votes
3 answers
784 views

How do I avoid this white residue around brick after my first attempt at mortar repointing?

Whole house needs to be repointing so I tried in an inconspicuous area to practice. This white residue appeared and won't come off with a wet sponge. I'm using Spec Mix tuckpointing mortar type O. ...
0 votes
1 answer
32 views

What kind of mortar do I need to use?

I am going to begin some repairs to the brick foundation walls of my 1890s farm house. Mostly it will be tuck-pointing where mortar has crumbled out, but some of it will be replacing some bricks that ...
0 votes
0 answers
26 views

Crack isolation mortar - gimmick or real deal?

I saw that the FlexBond FBW50 at Home Depot says it "Isolates cracks to 1/16 in" - does that mean that if a crack forms after installation, it somehow keeps this from affecting the tile? If ...
2 votes
3 answers
79 views

Which thinset mortar do I choose

I have painted redgard on the shower walls and I am ready to tile. Which thinset mortar do I use over the redgard? I am using 12x24 tiles on 1 wall and 4x12 on the other 2. I am using ceramic tiles.
0 votes
0 answers
19 views

Repairing minor cracks between brick wall and exterior stairs

How do you recommend to repair minor gap between exterior stair and clay hollow brick wall - the wall has plaster and paint on it. Do I just patch with gypsum and water or mix cement with water and ...
4 votes
1 answer
209 views

how to repair a concrete patio slab with crumbling edges

A brick-on-sand patio was added to the house back in the 1970s atop a poured concrete foundation that goes down 36", below frost-depth, per local code. A brick-veneer was adhered with mortar to ...
0 votes
1 answer
74 views

How can I fill the empty space behind a bug screen installed on these stone arches?

I want to install bug screens in the open stone arches of my sunroom. I have flexible screen retainers ready to replace the wood that the previous owner roughly installed for the same purpose. The ...
0 votes
1 answer
52 views

What should I use to repair this small crack between window and stone? Is this caulk?

I’m a new homeowner and just noticed this small opening next to my upstairs window between stone and window. Is this caulk that’s used there or mortar? Any recommendations on how I should go about ...
0 votes
1 answer
116 views

What type of mortar for foundation blockwork below ground level?

I'm building a shed / outbuilding on some ground that is prone to water logging. I already have several concrete pads on top of which some aggregate concrete blocks will be placed to raise the ring ...
0 votes
1 answer
87 views

Use mortar between OSB and old concrete subfloor, in shower?

Replacing a shower pan in a 32x32 alcove. The prior acrylic base was bedded in mortar on top of concrete subfloor. The new pan I intend to buy has an OSB and foam underside, seemingly meant for a flat ...
0 votes
2 answers
3k views

How long should I wait to drill holes into brand new mortar?

I just repaired loose bricks on my house in preparation to install new window shutters. When would it be ok to drill holes into the mortar and install the shutters? From my other research I'm going to ...
0 votes
1 answer
104 views

What are some uses for an old Quikrete?

I have a leftover bag of Quikrete that has turned into solid rock. It was stored for several years in a damp garage. Lesson learned. I am thinking of using it as a step base on my new shed outside. ...
0 votes
1 answer
82 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
353 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
219 views

Thinset too dry before laying tile? Not dry enough?

Yesterday I laid 6x36 wood-look porcelain tile in my bedroom using a mapei ultraflex LFT thinset directly to the concrete slab. It's been 24 hours, and I am now pulling off the top tab of the spacers ...
2 votes
2 answers
283 views

Do these cracks in a brick wall indicate foundation movement?

This is the back wall of my detached single garage. It's just single skin, built in the 60s and as I want to use this building as a workshop, I'm looking to spend a bit of money getting it properly ...
-1 votes
1 answer
124 views

Should I be concerned with a minute amount of flexing under a shower tray?

I have recently installed a quadrant shower tray. The manufacturer recommends a 5:1 sand and cement base on an 18mm structural marine ply to support the tray. The tray was set on a 18mm sand and ...
0 votes
1 answer
238 views

Lime mortar for indoor applications

I have a question. Can I use lime mortar (hydrated lime and sand mix) for indoor applications? I have to re-point an old, brick wall (This is my first time doing it). Is it safe health-wise? What else ...
1 vote
0 answers
48 views

Is this sand or motar?

Originally I was going to repair the joints on my 20 yo brick stairs (pic A) As I was chipping away the broken joints I noticed a few of the joints had the consistency of wet beach sand and I could ...
-1 votes
1 answer
248 views

O or N Mortar for Fieldstone foundation on the exterior side

My house was built in 1860 and I have a field stone foundation. I have some areas on the exterior that I need to reapply some mortar on. I know some people are using type N and adding sand and some ...
-1 votes
1 answer
114 views

1920 UK London House - How should I internal insulate?

The house was built in the 1920's east of London. The inside walls are cold to touch and we are considering insulating them. The house was recently externally rendered without external insulation :( ...
15 votes
3 answers
6k views

How do I self-repair a section of crumbling basement wall, or should I hire a professional?

How do I self-repair a section of crumbling basement wall, or should I hire a professional? Background: How I discovered it: I removed some exposed blue foam insulation from my basement walls to ...
0 votes
1 answer
285 views

Outdoor kitchen on sloped patio

I am building an outdoor kitchen using standard 8"x8"x16" concrete blocks on a concrete patio which slopes away from the house. The length of kitchen is 120" and the slope of the ...
3 votes
3 answers
267 views

Will a slab poured with mortar stand up to service under a pizza oven?

I mistakenly did not add any stones to my foundation mix and now have a mortar foundation. It is 1.6m x 1.6m x 0.2m with reinforced mesh. I am creating a brick pizza oven with hollow concrete blocks ...
0 votes
1 answer
83 views

Identifying material on masonry wall

The inner side of an exterior wall in my house has, behind the plasterboard, a kind of masonry which I'd like to identify. I attach pictures. It looks like concrete but it's quite easy to drill: I can ...
1 vote
1 answer
76 views

What to do about daylight between brick and mortar?

I noticed a small space between this brick and the mortar underneath it on my front porch. It’s wide enough for me to fit a piece of old duct tape into the gap. I’m not sure when it was repointed last....
0 votes
0 answers
183 views

How to replace mortar above lintel

We have a brick house and our windows have an iron lintel above them, with a layer of mortar on top of the lintel and bricks on top of the mortar. For one window, it looks like water got under the ...
0 votes
1 answer
102 views

Materials for rock wall repair

I have a rock retaining wall that has seen better days. Some day we may replace it, but for now, I would rather try to do some patching to make it more water right and also to fasten the top stones ...
0 votes
4 answers
696 views

Will a cement mixer extend the working life of mortar?

I'm going to do some brickwork on my own. Last time it was quite the job to mix up mortar and get it laid before it started to go off (I know, working in pairs would be helpful!). I know I can ...
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Which thinset to connect USG Durock® Brand Cement Board with EdgeGuard?

I am about to install USG Durock® Brand Cement Board with EdgeGuard onto my bathroom frame where the toilet is (I'm using HardieBacker for the shower FYI). This is new construction. According to USG's ...
0 votes
3 answers
901 views

Cement vs. mortar for embedding stones in drive way

I will be scraping a dirt/gravel driveway down two inches and laying flat stones of various sizes and thicknesses. Need to have the tops at the same level, so some will need to have something ...
3 votes
1 answer
607 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 ...
11 votes
5 answers
44k views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
825 views

Can I use Type-S mortar and rock to set wood fence posts?

I am trying to set a fence post by the house to fix up a gate door. The usual "bag mix" for this job is a mixture of quarter inch stone and cement and lime. However, I also have a bag of ...
27 votes
5 answers
179k 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) ...
0 votes
4 answers
5k views

Pouring concrete over rocks

Need a bit of guidance here, I have tough yard and my contractors are going to pour concrete over some large boulders and filled in the remaining area with parts of other boulders (6in to 1 foot). ...
10 votes
10 answers
3k views

Rusted screws in outdoor outlet box

Summarize the problem I need help removing rusted screws from an outdoor outlet box. A few notes: The outlet box was used for an outdoor light that I removed I turned off the breaker I have access to ...
-1 votes
1 answer
698 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
659 views

Are phosphate floor screws suitable for subfloor which will be covered in thinset and cement board?

I am installing hardiebacker concrete board with thinset to a plywood subfloor. I am putting down the new subfloor and want to be sure the screws that I use to secure the plywood to the joists will ...
3 votes
2 answers
7k views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What could be the cause of eroded mortar in exterior brick?

This question actually reminded me of an issue with my exterior walls. I have the same problem with the vertical mortar being eroded/missing from several bricks at ground level on the exterior of my ...
7 votes
4 answers
30k views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
227 views

Fireplace mortar cracks

I have a large crack where the fireplace hearth meets the chimney. I’m curious if this is a foundational problem, and if it needs to be repaired by a pro, or if I should just use a sealant repair ...
0 votes
1 answer
306 views

Is this joint between the foundation and first row of mortar typical

Just wondering if this is a normal appearance for the area where the foundation and first row of mortar/brick meet. There are no signs of any structural cracks or anything like that in the area. Is ...
0 votes
1 answer
23 views

I am re- pointing between patio slabs using soft sand and a standard cement.The cement recommends 1 : 5 but should it be 1:3 for these slabs? I

I am re- pointing between patio slabs using soft sand and a standard cement.The cement recommends ratio of 1:5,but should this be 1:3 for patio slabs?
6 votes
3 answers
19k 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
4k views

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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
1k views

Brick to drywall

My home was built in 1971. There is a brick fireplace that runs up the entire wall. The mortar is cracking and breaking in chunks(about 1" thickness) where the fireplace attaches to the wall. I ...
0 votes
1 answer
257 views

How to prepare vertical brick surface so Portland cement based mixtures (concrete, mortar) will adhere properly?

I have a sub grade vertical stack of perforated brick (foundation) which I need to coat in a thick layer of mortar or concrete in order to fill gaps, creating a flat surface for subsequent painting/...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Repairing above-ground gaps and holes in foundation

I am moving into a house (built 1911) that had a few things turn up on the inspection. One corner of the basement has an indoor cistern, and there are some gaps and a hole in the cinder blocks just ...