When you hear words like cement, concrete, and mortar, many folks will use them interchangeably. Which is inaccurate, because there is a difference between mortar vs. concrete, so let’s investigate these differences.
The best way to describe the difference between mortar vs. concrete is this: mortar is used with other building materials to hold them together, such as brick pointing, while concrete can be used as a stand-alone building material. They each utilize similar elements needed to mix together to make them.
Digging a little deeper into the difference between mortar vs. concrete is while they each use a mixture of cement, sand, and water, the ratio is different. And with concrete, other elements like gravel or pieces of rocks are used to add strength and durability.
What Is Mortar for Bricks and What Is Concrete?
So what is mortar?
Mortar is a viscous (or thick) mixture of sand, water, and cement. Cement is a binding element (not a stand-alone component, a common misconception) is made with a combination of calcium, silicon, limestone, aluminum, gypsum, and other items. The mixture is heated, and when water is added, it’ll harden.
And tuckpointing companies use mortar as a material to hold together building materials like stone and brick. The ratio of water to cement is much higher for mortar than it is for concrete.
Now, what is concrete? Well, it’s not the same as cement, as those two terms are commonly used interchangeably.
Concrete is made of an aggregate mix of gravel or sand as well as cement and water. What makes it more durable and stronger than mortar is the ratio of materials along with the addition of materials such as pieces of rocks and gravel.
Concrete uses less water and an aggregate mix anywhere from 60-80%. Concrete is less viscous than mortar. When used as a building material, it’s solid and durable, but it makes a weak bonding element, which is why mortar is used instead.
How to Mix Cement and Sand and Water for Mortar
If you need to know a general way of how to mix cement and sand and water for a strong mortar mix, learning the ratio of materials used is the real key.
The best tuckpointing pros in the Chicago area do this, and they will most likely use a ratio of one part cement (masonry cement is the best) and three parts sand. The water is proportionate to the dry mix. The average size of a dry mortar mix is about 80 pounds, and you’d use three gallons of water for that.
In the Chicago Area, Go With the Tuckpointing Pros
Know that you’re a little more enlightened about some of the materials used in construction, make sure that when you need a company to perform services to build or repair mortar or concrete, turn to a reliable and trusted company with the knowledge and experience or tuckpointing or brickwork for your Chicago area home.
Contact us anytime and we’ll be glad to provide the most excellent tuckpointing services in the region. All of our contractors are licensed, bonded, insured and experts in all things tuckpointing.