Choosing the Best Mortar Type for Your Masonry Project

There are several different types of mortar that you can choose from, so make sure you are picking the best one for your specific masonry project!

With so many types of mortar mixes on the market, it can be difficult to choose which type of mortar will be best for your upcoming masonry project. Whether you are more of a DIY person or you are going to hire a professional, it is still important to understand which mortar types are best for certain kinds of projects. Mortar mixes are classified based on compressive strength, bonding properties, and flexibility. Each kind has a different ratio of cement, lime, and sand. Here are some of the different types of mortar and when you should use them. 

Mortar Type N

You should use mortar type N for exterior and above-grade walls that are frequently exposed to severe weather conditions and high heat. This type of mortar has a mid-level compressive strength. It is composed of one part cement, one part lime, and six parts land. This is the perfect type of mortar for soft stone masonry, and it is the mortar that is used the most for general application.

Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


Mortar Type O

Mortar type O has a low compressive strength and is best when used on interior and non-load-bearing walls. It should rarely be used in outdoor areas. It is super consistent and can be easily applied. Best used in interior environments!

Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks.


Mortar Type S

Mortar type S has a high compressive strength and is ideal to be used for masonry at or below grade. It can fight soil pressure, wind, and even seismic conditions. Mortar type S is great for projects like foundations, manholes, retaining walls, sewers, brick patios, and brick pavements.

Mortar Type M

Mortar type M has the highest percentage of cement in it out of all the mortar types. It is best for heavy loads, foundations, retaining walls, and driveways. Although it is extremely strong, its adhesive properties are poor so it should not be used for sealing. Type M mortar is great when used with stone.

Mortar Type K

Mortar type K is rarely used. It is only necessary when refinishing historic or ancient buildings that require a special mortar mix. It has a very low compressive strength and is very difficult to manage. Mortar type K should never be used for DIY projects.

Contact Del Prete Masonry for Your Next Masonry Project!

Whether you are ready to start your next masonry project or are still hesitant and have questions, Del Prete Masonry is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to get it right the first time. Questions? Want to visit some of our residential or commercial projects? Ready to set up a consultation? Feel free to give us a call at 410-683-0650 or visit us online. We are happy to serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and to keep up with our new and exciting projects, be sure to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.


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DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


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“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks.


We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

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