When you hear the word “cement,” you think of permanence and longevity. The last thing on your mind is fragility or instability. Cement is supposed to be long-lasting, durable, and strong. When you build something with cement, you expect it to last.
Mortar is a combination of cement, sand, and water, and sometimes a flexible mortar additive. Mortar is used to secure building materials, such as bricks, tiles, or stone, in place. When water is added to the dry components, it becomes a thick paste. Bricks, tiles, or stones can be pressed into mortar while it’s still wet.
Once mortar dries, it secures those building materials in place to create a durable and beautifully crafted final product. However, if you want your final product to look the way you’ve envisioned it, you should be sure to use a flexible mortar additive when mixing your mortar.
The purpose of using a flexible mortar additive is to give mortar the ability to adapt to minor shifts that may occur during the drying process without losing integrity. Using a flexible mortar additive improves your mortar’s workability, and prevents it from disintegrating or crumbling.
When you opt to use a fortified mortar for your building projects, these 5 tips will get you the best results.
Use an Automatic Mixer
It’s crucial that your flexible mortar additive is distributed evenly throughout the mortar you’re mixing. If it’s not, you will see clumping and poor results once it dries. Plus, mortar can be very viscous, and you may become too physically fatigued when trying to mix if by hand. If you attempt to mix it by hand, grow tired, and slow down, your mortar may begin to harden before you apply it.
Follow Instructions on Packaging
Mixing mortar is an exact science. There should be no guesswork involved! If you even slightly miscalculate the proportions of the various ingredients, such as the flexible mortar additive, your mortar will not turn out the way you’d like it to.
Mortar can take 48 hours to harden completely. If you meddle with your mortar before it’s adequately hardened, you could wind up making a mistake that’s difficult to undo. You may have to move neighboring tiles or bricks to fix the mistake, and this can result in a domino effect. Before you know it, you’ll have to pry up all your nicely laid tiles and start anew.
Choose the Right Sand
Mortar consists of cement, sand, and water, and a flexible mortar additive if you’re smart! Every ingredient used to mix your mortar plays an important role in its overall effectiveness. Sand, or a mortar’s aggregate, affects the mortar’s framework, padding, density, and shrinkage. Don’t overlook the importance of the sand you select.
Acquire the Proper Tools
Before you start mixing your fortified mortar, take an inventory of the tools you have. You may need to acquire a few more before you start mixing, or you’ll be in serious trouble! If you find that your mortar is already starting to set and you don’t have the tools you need for the job, you’ll be in bad shape. Some tools you may need include: wheelbarrow, hoe, trowel, waterproof gloves, and safety glasses.