When it comes to mortar in housebuilding and construction in general, it’s essential that the mortar mix is right and that it’s ready on site at the time when you need it.
Although use of ready to use mortar (often called factory batched mortar) is on the increase, there is still some confusion around whether it’s a better option than site mixed mortar and the dry silo option.
In this blog post we take a look at the benefits of ready to use mortar compared to dry silo and site mixed, and compare the costs of all the mortar options.
The 3 main mortar options being used in the construction industry
The most common type of mortar mix is site mixed. Traditionally it has been seen as the best way to ensure the mortar is ready when needed and can result in less wastage. However, in recent years there have been concerns around crumbling mortar in housebuilding due to poor mortar mix ratios which reduce strength and durability. There are also health and safety concerns around cement inhalation and dangers of skin contact.
Dry Silo mortar
Once a project is underway it can be common to have a silo delivered to site, giving workers a ready supply of mortar that’s mixed to the correct quantities for the job. This is a more reliable option than site- mixed where the mortar quality is concerned, but does still rely on accurate water being added. There are also a number of different costs associated with the silo (see below) which can be affected by severe weather and loss of power.
Ready to use mortar or factory batched mortar
Generally delivered to site with a quick turnaround; factory batched mortar can be used straight away and the tubs positioned around the site close to where bricklayers are working. This not only increases productivity but also reduces manual handling, mess and dust. In the case of Premier Mortars, there’s a minimum two day retardation on the product, giving less wastage. However, when it comes to the cost of factory batched mortar, there is a misconception that it’s the most expensive option, so keep reading below to find out if that’s still the case.
Which is the most cost effective mortar option for the construction industry?
The infographic below shows the rough comparative costs of the three mortar mix options discussed in this article. Based on pricing by Premier Mortars*, ready to use mortar is shown to be the most cost effective option.
Unlike site-mixed mortar, there is no cost for additional labour with a delivered product and you don’t have the installation, removal and power costs of a dry silo.
Not only is Ready to Use Mortar the most cost effective option out of the three mortar types discussed here, it is also the only way to ensure that all elements of the mix are accurately recorded. If you add too much water to a dry silo mix, the mortar won’t dry out fast enough and pointing will be difficult. With on-site mix, the wrong quantities of any of the elements will result in crumbling mortar or a product that is unfit for purpose and a risk of failure.
Buy Ready to Use mortar through Marshalls Premier Mortars
With 14 sites across the UK and a 24 hour turnaround time, Marshalls Premier Mortars can have superior quality mortar on site just ahead of when it’s needed. Want to increasing efficiency further? The Premier Mortars app allows for ordering at the touch of a button and the ability to schedule single and reoccurring deliveries.
With a strict quality control process see video below, the ready to use mortar comes in a number of colours too.
*All costs are an approximation based on available data as of August 2019.