Get In Touch

Get Answer To Your Queries

Select a valid category

Enter a valid sub category


Please check this box to proceed further

Understanding the Different Types of Mortar: Properties, Uses and More

This blog explores the importance of mortar, which is a mix of a binding agent like cement with some water and fine aggregate. There are many variants of mortars and the use of each sub-category depends on the purpose for which it is to be utilized.


Mortar is a workable paste that is used to bind stones, bricks or tiles together. The primary ingredients in this composition include binding agents such as lime, cement etc. along with water and a fine aggregate (sand/surkhi). The ratios of the ingredients and the ingredients themselves may vary depending on the ultimate purpose for which the mortar is to be used. The blog below gives an elaborate account of the different types of mortars and their uses.

Types of Mortar

Construction of any structure in the architectural world is incomplete without a binding material. Any building article - bricks, stones, tiles, etc. would need a securing paste or mortar. Mortar is an indispensable part of the construction process as it fills the gap between the building blocks. The basis of using different types of mortar depends on the application, the density, and the purpose

What is Mortar Mix?

Generally, mortar in construction is a mix of water, binding material, and fine aggregate (sand or surkhi). The ratio of the ingredients in the different types of mortar mix depends on the kind of masonry material used, the compression strength required, and the final application. Mixing mortar varies depending on the final application of the same.

Different Types of Mortar



1. Cement Mortar

 As the name suggests, the binding material is cement in this classification of mortar mix. The ratio of blending cement, water, and sand would depend on the purpose and durability that one vouches for. Typically, first, the mixing of cement and sand takes place. The gradual addition of water then follows. The proportion of cement to sand could be anything from 1:2 to 1:6.


Also Read: Difference Between Mortar and Concrete?


2. Lime Mortar

Lime is the primary binding material in this mortar type. Lime is of two varieties - hydraulic lime and fat lime. When working under dry conditions, fat lime is the most suitable option (preferably 2 to 3 times the quantity of sand). However, in areas experiencing heavy rains or water-logging, hydraulic lime would be the right option (lime-sand ratio being 1:2). 



3. Gypsum Mortar

The securing material in gypsum mortar is plaster and soft sand. It offers a very low durability in moist or wet climates.



4. Gauged Mortar

When we use a combination of lime and cement as blenders and sand as a fine aggregate, gauged mortar is the resultant mix. It takes the best of both - lime mortar and cement mortar. Lime adds the requisite plasticity, while cement gives durability. The cement-to-lime ratio in this mix varies between 1:6 and 1:9. It is one of the most economical mortar options. 



5. Surkhi Mortar

Combining lime, surkhi, and water, we get surkhi mortar. Surkhi acts as a fine aggregate. Burnt clay in the finely powdered form is surkhi. It adds more strength to the mortar mix than sand and is much cheaper. Occasionally, we can use half a portion of sand and half of surkhi.



6. Aerated Cement Mortar

Working with cement mortars could be tricky because of low plasticity. However, if we add air-entraining agents to the mix, there could be a significant improvement in its workability. Aerated cement mortars hence come into the picture. 



7. Mud Mortar

When cement or lime is unavailable, we can replace them with mud as the binding agent. Mud amalgamated with cow dung or rice husk as the fine-aggregate results in mud mortar.



8. Heavy and light-weight Mortar

Mortar whose bulk density is 15 KN/m³ or more is heavy mortar. Heavy quartzes are fine aggregates in this type of mortar. On the other hand, in light-weight mortar, the bulk density is less than 15 KN/m³. These mortars use lime or cement as binders and sand, saw-dust, etc., as fine aggregates.



9. Thin-set Mortar

If we are looking for an tile adhesives, we use thin-set mortar, which is thinner. However, this mortar is unfit for use with bricks or heavy stones. It comprises cement, sand, and water retention agents. Nowadays, it is common to use thin-set mortars with tile mastic. Tile mastic is an adhesive to stick tiles to the walls or floors.



10. Epoxy Mortar

Advancements in the compositions of mortars are commonplace, and one such revolutionary product includes the epoxy mortar. The mortar comprises of epoxy resins, solvents, etc. This mortar is adhesive and water-proof. It is stain-resistant and has faster curing than cement mortar, making it an obvious choice to use while working with tiles. 



11. Fire-resistant Mortar

Aluminous cement is a significant ingredient in this sub-division. Mixing the fine powder of fire bricks and cement makes a fireproof mortar. 



12. Packing Mortar

Cement-loam, cement-sand, or sometimes cement-sand-loam constitute packing mortar. Due to its strength and water resistance, the construction of oil wells uses this binder. 



13. Other Variants

Mortar that uses cinders and pumice as fine-aggregates in addition to gypsum, slag, or cement develops soundproofing qualities, and hence, we obtain sound-absorbant mortar. For structures prone to chemical attacks, we can use chemical-resistant mortar. X-rays have ill effects, and to ensure that the walls of X-ray rooms are well-protected, a heavy bulk density mortar (22 KN/m³ ) comes into play.

Properties of Good Mortar

Also Read: What is the Right Water Cement Ratio?


While usage of binders depends on the applicability and purpose, the properties of good mortar are:


1. Adhesive

The primary purpose of mortars is to bind building blocks like bricks, tiles, etc. Therefore, adhesiveness is a very crucial property of mortars.


2. Water-proof

Good mortars are water-resistant to withstand rainy weather conditions.


3. Durability

One of the most significant qualities of any architectural construction is its ability to last for long durations without much wear and tear. Therefore, the mortar should be of premium quality to withstand any adversity.


4. Usability

The mortar should be easy to use and work with.


5. Crack resistant

Mortar, when exposed to high pressure or temperature variations, could lead to being deformed easily. Consequently, the tiles or building surfaces could develop cracks. Hence, good-quality mortar would ensure sturdy joints and grips for longer durations.



Uses of Mortar


1. Binding Agent

The primary function of mortar is to bind bricks or stones together.


2. Resistance

Mortar ensures resistance and strength against adverse weather conditions and other agencies (chemical attacks, loud sound, etc.)


3. Joint fill-ups

Thin mortar (grout) assists in filling up joints and spaces between tiles or bricks.

In conclusion, mortar is a versatile building material with a wide range of types, each designed for specific needs. Its essential role in construction, combined with its various properties, highlights its significance in creating durable structures. Understanding mortar types and their applications is crucial for anyone involved in the construction industry.

 Related Articles

Recommended Videos

  Tools for Home Building

Cost Calculator

Every home-builder wants to build their dream home but do so without going over-budget. By using the Cost Calculator, you’ll get a better idea of where and how much you might end up spending.



EMI Calculator

Taking a home-loan is one of the best ways to finance home-building but home-builders often ask how much EMI they’ll need to pay. With the EMI Calculator, you can get an estimate that will help you better plan your budget.


Product Predictor

For a home builder, it is important to find the right store where one can get all the valuable information about home building. Use the Store Locator feature and visit our store for more information on home building.


Store Locator

It is important for a home builder to select the right products during the initial stages of constructing a home. Use the Product Predictor to see which products will be needed while building your home.