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Choosing the Best Mortar Type for Your Masonry Project

There are several different types of mortar that you can choose from, so make sure you are picking the best one for your specific masonry project!

With so many types of mortar mixes on the market, it can be difficult to choose which type of mortar will be best for your upcoming masonry project. Whether you are more of a DIY person or you are going to hire a professional, it is still important to understand which mortar types are best for certain kinds of projects. Mortar mixes are classified based on compressive strength, bonding properties, and flexibility. Each kind has a different ratio of cement, lime, and sand. Here are some of the different types of mortar and when you should use them. 

Mortar Type N

You should use mortar type N for exterior and above-grade walls that are frequently exposed to severe weather conditions and high heat. This type of mortar has a mid-level compressive strength. It is composed of one part cement, one part lime, and six parts land. This is the perfect type of mortar for soft stone masonry, and it is the mortar that is used the most for general application.

Mortar Type O

Mortar type O has a low compressive strength and is best when used on interior and non-load-bearing walls. It should rarely be used in outdoor areas. It is super consistent and can be easily applied. Best used in interior environments!

Mortar Type S

Mortar type S has a high compressive strength and is ideal to be used for masonry at or below grade. It can fight soil pressure, wind, and even seismic conditions. Mortar type S is great for projects like foundations, manholes, retaining walls, sewers, brick patios, and brick pavements.

Mortar Type M

Mortar type M has the highest percentage of cement in it out of all the mortar types. It is best for heavy loads, foundations, retaining walls, and driveways. Although it is extremely strong, its adhesive properties are poor so it should not be used for sealing. Type M mortar is great when used with stone.

Mortar Type K

Mortar type K is rarely used. It is only necessary when refinishing historic or ancient buildings that require a special mortar mix. It has a very low compressive strength and is very difficult to manage. Mortar type K should never be used for DIY projects.

Contact Del Prete Masonry for Your Next Masonry Project!

Whether you are ready to start your next masonry project or are still hesitant and have questions, Del Prete Masonry is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to get it right the first time. Questions? Want to visit some of our residential or commercial projects? Ready to set up a consultation? Feel free to give us a call at 410-683-0650 or visit us online. We are happy to serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and to keep up with our new and exciting projects, be sure to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.


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