What Is Dry Mortar?

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  • Written By: Jodee Redmond
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2019
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Mortar is the substance used to join bricks when constructing a wall. Dry mortar is made up of the raw materials needed to make a substance that can be used to make a strong brick wall. This product has become increasingly popular in recent years, as contractors are no longer responsible for the quality of the mortar. The manufacturer of the product is the one who bears it instead.

Dry mortar is made from the following raw materials:

Other materials may be added into the dry mortar mix depending on its intended application. Dry mortar can be used for a number of projects, including those using concrete blocks instead of bricks. This product can also be used for the following applications:

  • interior and exterior stucco
  • filler
  • adhesive for tiles
  • repairing plaster
  • stucco repair

When bricks are being used on a construction site, the dry mortar compound is mixed with water shortly before use. The dry mortar compound is delivered in a bag or the water can be added to the mix manually or by using a continuous mixer. Once the mix has been moistened, it is only good for a relatively short time.


The bricklayer should only mix up the amount they will be able to use within a couple of hours. Once the mortar runs out, another batch can be made up. The mortar compound may be applied manually or by machine.

The process is faster and more economical for builders, since less time is needed to mix the compound. In the past, the bricklayer would be responsible for mixing the mortar on site prior to getting to work. The quality of the product may not have been consistent using this method, since it was dependent on the person preparing it each time.

Some manufacturers will provide their customers with custom mortar products on request. This means the customer can get the combination of ingredients that will work best for the project they are working on. Materials available locally will be used for this purpose.

Dry mortar is available at a building supply store. Safety glasses should be worn when replacing old mortar, since there is a risk of injury due to mortar flying into the bricklayer's face as any loose parts are being removed. A pointed trowel is used to replace the mortar, and an "S" jointer is used to seal the joint afterward.


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Post 2

@Almita - I do a lot of brick making myself and there are two ways you can minimize cracking. Try adding metal supports to the bricks horizontally -- it keeps them together better and if a crack does form, the metal supports keep it from getting too big. Using chicken wire in the bottom of the bricks is also a great idea.

It sounds to me like your problem is actually that the bricks are getting too hot. If they are in direct sunlight, the water in the cement dries out too fast -- causing cracks. Try covering your bricks with plastic. Avoid using paper, it will dry them even faster.

Hope this helps.

Post 1

I helped my mom make bricks from a mold to use along the garden path. She has a hip injury and needed a firm walkway for all the gardens she has around her property. We learned how to mix mortar and cement in a cement mixer that you roll along the ground -- the little barrel kind.

It worked pretty good, but we had trouble getting it into the molds. The first problem was only having a few molds -- but the biggest problem was that some of the bricks cracked in the warm weather.

We have a lot more garden walkways to do, any ideas on how to prevent the bricks from cracking again?

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