For preparing mortar, first a mixture of cement and sand is made thoroughly mixing them in dry condition.
Water is gradually added and mixed with shovels. The cement to sand proportion recommended for
various works is as shown is Table 2.1
Curing: Cement gains the strength gradually with hydration. Hence it is necessary to see that
mortar is wet till hydration has taken place. The process to ensure sufficient moisture for hydration after
laying mortar/concrete is called curing. Curing is ensured by spraying water. Curing normally starts
6–24 hours after mortar is used. It may be noted that in the initial period water requirement is more for
hydration and gradually it reduces. Curing is recommended for 28 days.
Properties of Cement Mortar: The following are the important properties of cement mortar:
1. When water is added to the dry mixture of cement and sand, hydration of cement starts and it
binds sand particles and also the surrounding surfaces of masonry and concrete.
2. A mix richer than 1:3 is prone to shrinkage.
3. Well proportioned mortar provides impervious surface.
4. Leaner mix is not capable of closing the voids in sand and hence the plastered surface is
5. The strength of mortar depends upon the proportion of cement and sand. Strengths obtained
with various proportion of cement and sand is shown in Table 2.2.
Uses of Cement Mortar
Mortar is used
1. to bind masonry units like stone, bricks, cement blocks.
2. to plaster slab and walls make them impervious.
3. to give neat finishing to walls and concrete works.
4. for pointing masonry joints.
5. for preparing building blocks.
6. as a filler material in ferro cement works.
7. to fill joints and cracks in walls.
8. as a filler material in stone masonry.