Last updated: August 8, 2021

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Welcome to our big cement mortar test 2021. Here we present all the cement mortars that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best cement mortar for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to when buying cement mortar.




Summary

  • Cement mortar is used in many areas of construction.
  • Its use is advantageous for building stable foundations.
  • Cement mortar offers special protection for pipes, is heat-insulating and is used to fix walls.

The Best Cement Mortar: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying cement mortar

Who is cement mortar suitable for?

Cement mortar is one of the most frequently used building materials in house and building construction. It is used as a floor substructure and as plaster for exterior and interior areas. It also forms a universal adhesive for smaller foundations for many components made of concrete and stone.

Cement mortar has many applications. (Image source: unsplash.com/Martin)
The main uses are certainly as joint mortar for masonry blocks made of stone, clay or concrete, but certainly also as fixing mortar for window sills, for example, or as a lintel over doors and windows.
It is also used as cement plaster for exterior or interior use in damp rooms such as bathrooms. Furthermore, cement mortar is often chosen as a base material when cement coating is selected instead of liquid screed or antihydrite screed. Anyone who owns a house will inevitably come into contact with cement mortar more often.

In what quantity should I buy cement mortar?

Area sizes provide only partial information about the amount of mortar needed for a construction project. For a layer of mortar, the thickness of mortar must be multiplied by the area.

In general, however, a buffer of at least five percent should always be calculated.

For grouting of any kind, the calculation becomes much more complicated and is influenced by other parameters such as joint width, joint depth, type of mortar and shrinkage behaviour.

When using ready-mixed mortar, the quantity required per running metre of joint is usually stated. In order to calculate everything correctly when mixing yourself, the width, length and depth of the joints must be taken into account.
Multiplying the length by the width and depth of the joint gives the volume required for one running metre of joint.

What does cement mortar cost?

For an average package size of 25 kg of cement, you should expect costs of 3 to 6 euros. In the following example, 250 kg of cement are needed. The costs for this are calculated as follows:

  • 250 kg cement / 25 kg bag = 10 bags of cement
  • 3 Euro per bag x 10 bags = 30 Euro
  • 6 Euro per bag x 10 bags = 60 Euro

In our example, the costs can therefore vary between 30 and 60 euros. In addition, there are the costs for other materials. For sand, for example, 30 to 50 euros per tonne can be expected, depending on the size.

Thus, the calculation example would be a price of 60 to 110 euros. It should also be taken into account that the delivery of such large quantities often also costs a surcharge.

A 25 kg bag of cement costs on average between 3 and 6 euros at a specialist dealer. (Image source: unsplash.com/Tim Mossholder)

What alternatives are there to cement mortar?

An alternative to conventional cement mortar is "Bremer Muschelkalk". This is a ready-mixed dry mortar and contains lime from washed, burnt and slaked sea shells as well as pozzolan as a binding agent. The binder is supplemented by a selected aggregate.

Shell lime mortar is a sustainable and ecological alternative to conventional cement mortar. It is mainly used for the preservation of historical buildings. (Image source: unsplash.com/ Adam Littman Davis)

According to a manufacturer, this is a good alternative to cement-based solutions and is particularly advantageous in terms of its compressive and flexural strength. The area of application is renovation.

When set, the mortar also has a high lime bond, is low in tension, capable of diffusion and largely resistant to weathering. The colour of shell limestone is light grey.

Decision: What types of cement mortar are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a cement mortar, you can basically distinguish between two different types. These are

  • Lime-cement mortar
  • Repair mortar - lime cement
  • Trass mortar

With the help of the following comparison, you should know the essential specifications and advantages and disadvantages of both types in order to find the right one for you.

Lime-cement mortar

With lime-cement mortar, lime is mixed in in addition to the cement mortar. Lime-cement mortar is also often called universal mortar and is also sold ready-mixed in stores. Lime-cement is somewhat less resistant, but easier to work with.

Advantages
  • Universally applicable
  • also available as ready-mixed raw material
  • easy to process
Disadvantages
  • less resistant
  • less stable

Repair mortar - lime cement

Lime cement is often used as a kind of repair mortar. Because of its ease of application, its suppleness and its adhesive properties, it can be used to repair damage to dry cement and concrete.

Advantages
  • easy to use
  • supple
  • adhesive
Disadvantages
  • less resistant
  • less stable

Stone or clay joints that have become outdated or possibly even completely deteriorated over time can also be repaired well with the lime-cement mortar.

Trass mortar

With trass mortar, ground tuff is mixed into the cement mortar. This special stone allows the cement to harden more slowly. This is why it is often used when working with natural stone.

Advantages
  • applicable for natural stones
  • long-lasting
  • dense
Disadvantages
  • not a good result with iron-reinforced concrete
  • slow setting

An application example would be the use of natural stone on a terrace or for natural stone walls. Without the addition of trass, the cement mortar will not adhere to any natural stone.

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate cement mortars

Cement mortars are available in different variations from a variety of manufacturers. In principle, you can distinguish between them on the basis of the following criteria.

  • Material
  • Application
  • Strength
  • Weight

To help you find the right product for you, we have summarised these important criteria below, which you should consider when buying your cement mortar.

Material

Cement mortar is a mixture of cement and a so-called aggregate. Usually, mortar consists of water, these two substances and often an aggregate. The aggregate usually consists of sand, fine gravel or even brick dust.

The aggregate gives the mortar the necessary mass and changes its properties. The aggregate serves to change the property of the mortar. They can accelerate the chemical reaction, such as the hardening of the building material. They can also make the mortar harder, more elastic or resistant to water.

Application

In the following table, we have listed the most important areas of application for different types of cement mortar:

Type of mortar Area of application
Joint mortar for masonry blocks made of stone, clay or concrete
Fixing mortar for window sills, door frames and lintels over doors and windows
Cement plaster for exterior use as well as for interior use including damp rooms
Cement mortar as a base material if cement screed is chosen instead of flow screed or antihydrite screed, as a foundation

Strength

In the following table, we have placed the three different types of cement mortar in relation to their strength.

Mortar type Compressive strength Mortar group
Lime-cement mortar low P2
Repair mortar (lime-cement) low P2
Trass mortar high M10

The letters/numbers of the mortar type stand for the mortar group. In our case, P stands for plaster mortar and M for masonry mortar.

Weight

The weight depends on the material composition of the mortar. The weight varies depending on the bulk density. The following guide values apply to the usual types of mortar:

The material and quantity you ultimately choose depends on your area of application and scope.

Facts worth knowing about cement mortar

How do I mix cement mortar correctly?

Since you need different amounts of cement mortar for different projects, it makes sense to be aware of the quantity ratio when mixing cement mortar.

First, you need one part cement. Secondly, you need 4 parts of sand. Finally, you need water. You can calculate the amount of water according to a rule of thumb: Add half a kilo of water per kilo of cement.

If you want to change the consistency of the cement mortar a little, just add a little more water. You should be careful with this, because adding too much water can affect the resilience of the cement mortar.

Besides the quantity ratio, you should also think about how and where you want to mix the mortar.

If you only need a small amount of cement mortar, you can mix it in a bucket. For larger quantities, such as house building, we recommend using a concrete mixer.
  • Bucket: If you want to use a bucket, first mix the sand thoroughly into the cement. Then gradually add a little water with a cement stirrer.
  • Concrete mixer: The advantage of the concrete mixer is that it turns electrically. First you add two thirds of the water, then the sand and the cement. Then you add the rest of the water. After about three or four minutes, your cement mortar should have reached the desired consistency.

How is cement made?

The raw material for cement is obtained from mainly natural raw materials. First of all, these raw materials are ground and mixed. Then they are continuously burned in a rotary kiln, cooled and ground again.

The raw materials are limestone, clay, sand and iron ore. By adding additives, such as special sand, unique properties can be produced. The raw materials are then extracted in quarries or opencast mines and transported to the cement plant. All raw materials are then ground and dried together in a mill.

The resulting raw meal is then burned in a hot kiln at temperatures of around 1,400-1,450 °C to produce cement clinker. After heating, the raw material is cooled to a temperature below 200 °C and then ground in a mill together with gypsum to produce the finished product, cement.

What is the shelf life of cement mortar?

It is not uncommon for cement to have to be stored because not the entire quantity has been processed. The problem is that cement can harden during storage. This is due to the extremely high water sensitivity of cement mortar.

Therefore, if you are forced to store a surplus of cement mortar, you should at least make sure that it is stored in a dry place. But even with this approach, it is not recommended to store cement for more than one to two months.

What is the difference between concrete and cement?

The terms concrete and cement are often confused. So that this doesn't happen to you again, we have listed the essential differences and characteristics here:
  • Strictly speaking, cement is a binding agent. When it comes into contact with water, it hardens through a chemical reaction.
  • Limestone and clay form the basis for cement. In nature, these often occur mixed together. We explained in more detail how cement is made in the previous section.
  • Cement forms the binding agent, for example for cement mortar or concrete. Mortar and concrete consist of water, cement and an aggregate.
  • The difference between the raw materials concrete and mortar is the size of the aggregate. For concrete, significantly larger aggregates are used.

Image source: 123rf.com / 26962190

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