How to Mix Masonry Cement

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Mixing masonry cement is a tricky process. The key to successful mixing is to know what type of mortar you need. Mortar is the combination of dried cement powder with lime, sand and other elements to create the substance you will apply to bricks and stone. As the mortar dries, the space between stacked blocks hardens into a solid element to hold them in place. Check cement bag labels, ask your architect or speak with your local home repair shop representative to determine what type of mortar your project requires.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Cement
  • Lime
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Cement mixer
  • Mix Type-S mortar. Combine one part -- one cubit-foot bag, for example -- of dried cement powder with a 1/2 part of lime. Add the total volume of these two ingredients: 1.5 bags, for instance. Triple the total volume of the cement and lime (1.5) to equal the amount of sand you need: 4.5 parts -- or bags. Add 1.25 gallons of water per one-cubit foot bag of cement. Mix continuously for five to 10 minutes. Type-S mortar is a standard compression strength mix.

  • Mix Type-M mortar. Combine three parts cement, one part line and a dozen parts sand. Add up to 3.75 gallons of water, depending on your mixing needs. Mix for up to 10 minutes. Type-M mortar is a high strength compression mix.

  • Make Type-N mortar. Combine one part -- equal parts -- cement and lime. Add six times as much sand -- six bags of sand for every one bag of cement and lime, for example. Add a maximum of 1.25 gallons of water for every one cubic-foot bag of cement you use. Mix for up to 10 minutes. Type-N mortar is used for exterior walls.

  • Make Type-O mortar. Combine one part cement and double the amount -- two parts -- lime. Add nine parts sand for every one part cement. Add a maximum of 1.25 gallons of water for every one cubic-foot bag of cement in your mixture. Mix for a maximum of 10 minutes. Type-O mortar is necessary for non-load-bearing interior walls.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear work gloves at all times to protect your skin.

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References

  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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