For a DIY brick layering project, you need to learn the right mixture proportion of mortar to attain effective and long-lasting results. No one desires to have a mixture with incorrect consistency or dried out. The right proportion and proper procedures to mix allow you to obtain good mortar batches and get the brick layering project started.
Mortar mixing recipe
The ingredient for basic mortar mix is 3 parts of sand for 1 part of cement. The ratio of sand: cement is 3:1. If you are using a full bag of cement then you will need 3X sand amount. You will attain a vast batch of mortar. Remember to mix the required amount. The measurement must not be precise like in your baking recipes. The majority of site workers count sand using the shovel – 15 to 18 shovels full for one bag of cement.
One bag of mortar will need three gallons of water for attaining the correct consistency. Water amount can differ based on weather, sand wetness, and purposes. Dry mix yields a strong bond, while the wet mix is easy to work —-experience makes a huge difference!
Use sand & cement correctly
Use fresh and unopened bags of cement as well as fine-grade sand. Some brands offer ready-to-use dry mix mortar packages, which are ideal for small projects. Bisley International is a leading supplier of dry-mix raw materials across the world. The variety of products Bisley supplies include concrete admixture, densifiers, sealers, drywall & gypsum putty, wood preservation additives, and more.
- Keep dry cement and sand mix covered to avoid moisture or else the material can get ruined. Mix the amount of batch you need but use the dry mix material as soon as you can.
- The cement bags must not have any hard chunks or lumps. If it has then the bag is exposed to moisture and will not bond properly. You need to discard it.
- Different brands recommend different mixes, so read the label and follow instructions. In general, 3:1 [sand: cement] is a proper and effective proportion.
Use lime as an additive
If the walls you build are in areas exposed to extremely high winds, then add lime to increase mortar’s bonding power as well as strengthen the building’s stonework. When you add lime, there is a need to add extra sand for balancing the ratio. Generally, the cement: sand: lime ratio is 1: 6: 2. Remember, adding lime will make mortar set rapidly, so mix small batches and work more quickly.
Match mortar mixture & weather
Mortar behaves differently in cold, wet, or humid climates than in hot, dry seasons. It means, using mortar in hot weather is easy but not always possible. So, identify the consistency and then add water, if necessary.
- For checking right consistency hold the mortar mix on a trowel at a 90° angle. It has to hold well but ensure it is wet enough to work easily.
- In freezing weather add little warm water that helps in the hydration reaction of cement and extra lime will help in quick setting. The finished product has to be protected from freezing until it dries.
When you work with mortar wear goggles and gloves!