Mortar vs. Concrete

Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by Asfa Rasheed

Did you know that 5 billion tonnes of cement are produced each year? Cement is used in both mortar and concrete but they’re very different from one another.

Do you know the difference between mortar vs. concrete mixes? Do you know which to use for your next construction project?

The following mortar and concrete buying guide will explain their key differences. Read on to learn which situations to use each mixture for the best results.

What Is Mortar?

Mortar is a mixture consisting of water, cement, and sand. It has a higher ratio of water to cement than concrete. It also has a thicker consistency and makes an effective bonding agent and adhesive for bricks and tiles.

Mortar mix is typically used for construction projects and repairs of brick, block, and stone. Uses of mortar include barbecues and ovens, walls, pillars, tuck-pointing mortar joints, and planters.

Mortar can even be used for small arts and crafts projects like candle holders. Another trend is using mortar to create yard ornaments for landscaping.

What Is Concrete?

Concrete is a mixture made of water, cement, sand just similar to mortar. Although, concrete also includes gravel and other coarse aggregates to the mix. This makes it much stronger and more durable.

Concrete uses a lower water-to-cement ratio which gives it a thinner consistency than mortar. Concrete is often reinforced with steel for added structural support when constructing buildings.

Other uses of concrete include ground-based construction like steps, sidewalks, and driveways. It’s the best option for setting things like fence posts, mailboxes, basketball goals, decks, and lamp posts.

Larger concrete projects typically require companies like Desert Dreamco for professional installation.

Mortar vs. Concrete

The strength and durability of concrete make it better than mortar for many structural projects as previously mentioned. However, mortar retains water and has a high air content which makes it better for certain projects.

For example, the water content in mortar freezes in winter climates. Air bubbles (high air content) in mortar give expanding ice a place to go without causing damage. This is good for outdoor stone walls that tend to flex.

Large amounts of concrete won’t crack in freezing temperatures either. But it’s still not for bonding because it won’t adhere to surfaces.

Mortar wouldn’t support the weight of vehicles for projects like driveways. Its lack of strength would lead to cracking, lots of repairs, and wouldn’t look aesthetically pleasing.

Think of mortar as glue and think of concrete as an anchor or standalone surface. One isn’t better than the other, they just serve different purposes in construction.

Ready To Choose a Cement Mixture?

Now you know the main differences between mortar vs. concrete mixtures. Mortar is for bonding and concrete is for strength. Remember this guide before starting your next project and pick the right mix for the job.

We hope you’ve found this brief guide on mortar and concrete helpful. Please check out the rest of our site for more amazing tips and fascinating information.

Read more: Understanding foundations and foundation walls