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mortar vs cement

Mortar vs Cement: What Are the Differences?

VWB Blog 2 years ago 1

In 2021, Zippia found that Americans spent $538 billion at home improvement stores. The same study found that 76% of American homeowners did a home improvement project in 2020.

However, home improvement projects often include unique materials. For example, many driveways and garage projects include either mortar or cement. If you’re unfamiliar with these substances, it can be difficult to choose between them.

So, how can you choose between mortar vs. cement? If you’re unsure, don’t worry! We’ll explore the differences and uses of these two substances in this guide.

Cement Guide

It’s best to discuss cement first since it is an ingredient in mortar. Cement is a fine, manufactured mineral powder used as a binding agent in several other products. Some of these products include mortar, concrete, and other construction materials.

Cement is not the same as concrete and cannot be used alone. Several “ingredients” make up cement, including:

  • limestone
  • clay
  • shells
  • silica sand

Generally, limestone is the most prevalent ingredient in this mixture. Manufacturers make this material by crushing and combining the ingredients and heating them to roughly 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. There are several different kinds of cement, such as Portland cement and self leveling cement.

Most cement uses involve mixing it with other products, including mortar. We’ll give a mortar guide in the next section.

What is Mortar?

Mortar is a mixture of several ingredients, including:

  • Portland cement
  • fine sands
  • water

Most mortar uses involve holding other masonry building units together. Mortar often works as a glue that keeps items like bricks attached.

Mortar is not as strong of a compound as concrete. It also comes in different packaging than cement. Most manufacturers sell mortar in bags of dried powder, although you can also mix it from individual components.

You can also find mortar in different forms. These forms are:

  • N
  • M
  • S

The most common form of mortar is the S type. This form is a medium-strength compound when compared to other options.

Mortar vs. Cement

As you’ve seen, cement rarely stands on its own. As such, it’s hard to say when there’s a time to use it instead of mortar. Mortar can work on its own to bind several materials together.

However, you may wonder when it’s appropriate to use mortar instead of concrete. After all, many people often mistake cement for concrete.

Concrete is a similar substance to mortar. It comprises a mixture of water, cement, and sand.

However, concrete is a much stronger and more durable product than mortar. As such, you can use it as a structural material for things like floors and walls.

Start Your DIY Project Today

Several differences between mortar vs. cement make them suitable for different purposes. The primary thing to remember is that mortar can work alone, while cement is only an ingredient in various compounds.

This knowledge can help you determine what to use for your DIY project. So, get started on your project today!

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