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Masonry and Cement Products Buying Guide

The first step to a good masonry project is choosing the right product. But, with such a wide selection how do you decide? Use our guide to put your project on a firm foundation.

Masonry and Concrete Projects

Concrete

Concrete is normally used as a structural component in building projects.

 

  Material       Characteristics       Uses  
 

Concrete Mix
Pre-blended combination of cement, sand and gravel.

      Must be used in conjunction with rebar or wire remesh.       Use of applications greater than 2-in thick.
Good choice for walks, steps and pads.
 
  Fast Setting Concrete
A special blend of fast-setting cement, sand and gravel.
     

Sets hard in 20-40 minutes. No mixing required when setting posts.
Pour dry mix into hole and soak with water.

      Use for applications greater than 2-in thick.
Good choice for setting posts and making small pads when fast set times are desired.
Improves efficiencies on commercial fence and deck installations.
 
 

Crack Resistant Concrete Mix
Pre-blended combination of cement, sand, gravel and synthetic fibers.

      Contains fibers to reduce drying & shrinkage cracking.
Provides increased durability and impact resistance.
Eliminate the need for wire mesh in slab on grade applications.
      Use for applications greater than 2-in thick.
Good choice for walls, walks, steps and pads.
Use in areas that are subject to high impact such as driveway aprons.
 
 

High Strength Concrete
Pre-blended combination of cement, sand, gravel and additives.

      Special additives provide high early strength.
Mix achieves 5000-psi strength within 28 days.
      Use for applications greater than 2-in thick.
Good choice when high early strength is required, for cold weather pouring or as a base for heavy objects or equipment.
Sets in 10-12 hours.
 
 

Sand/Topping Mix
Pre-blended combination of cement and sand (no gravel)

      High strength mix that provides a creamy texture ideal for trowling to a smooth finish.       Use for applications from 1/2- to 2-in thickness.
Can be used as an overlay when repairing and topping damaged concrete.
Use as a base for laying flagstone and paving bricks.
 
  Portland Cement
Common ingredient in concrete and mortar.
      Acts as the bonding agent for concrete and mortar.
Must be mixed with sand and gravel to make concrete.
      Good choice for large projects or custom field mixing.  
  All-Purpose Sand
Common ingredient in concrete and mortar.
      Must be mixed with cement and gravel to make concrete.       Can be used as an underlayment and filler for paving brick and stones.  
  All-Purpose Gravel
Common ingredient in concrete.
      Must be mixed with cement and sand to make concrete.       Can be used in landscaping.  

 

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Mortar

Mortar acts as a bonding agent for brick, block and other building materials.

 

  Material  
  Characteristics       Uses  
  Mortar Mix
A blend of Type N masonry cement and graded sand.
      Good adhesive properties and workability.
Type N Mortar.
      Good choice for laying brick and block, grouting stone or brick pavers and repairing mortar joints.
Use for above grade applications.
 
  Blended Mason Mix
A contractor grade blend of Type S masonry cement and graded sand.
      High strength, contractor grade, pre-blended.
Type S mortar.
      Use for structural masonry applications both above and below grade.
Ideal for block walls, tuck pointing, stone veneers and columns.
 
  Cement Type N Masonry
Common ingredient in mortar.
      Acts as the bonding agent in mortar.
Must be mixed with sand and water to make mortar mix.
      Can be used for laying brick and stone veneer in non-load bearing applications.  
  Cement Type S Masonry
Common ingredient in mortar.
      Acts as the bonding agent in mortar.
Must be mixed with sand and water to make mortar.
      Can be used for laying brick, block or stone in load bearing applications.  

 

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Good to Know

For projects or repairs that don't require a lot of concrete or mortar, look for smaller-sized bags of concrete and mortar mix. They're easier to manage than full-size bags and don't leave you with as much leftover material to store.

Coatings

Coatings are used to weatherproof and protect masonry structures.

 

  Materials     Characteristics     Uses  
Surface Bonding Cement
Pre-blended combination of fine sand, fiberglass and Portland cement.
  Good adhesive, weather and water resistant properties.   Waterproofs and strengthens porous masonry walls.
Rehabilitate existing cracked or damaged walls.
Can be used for new construction of dry-stacked (without mortar) cement block walls.
Heavy Duty Masonry Coating
Pre-blended mixture of Portland cement, waterproofing agents and sand.
Formulated to withstand moisture penetration. Weatherproofs and seals masonry for both above grade and below.
Good choice for interior or exterior use.
Use for basement walls, retaining walls, ponds or swimming pools. Available in white or gray.

 

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Patches

Patches are used to fill cracks and holes in masonry applications.

 

Material Characteristics   Uses
  Concrete Resurfacer
A special blend of Portland cement, sand, polymer modifiers and other additives.
      Excellent bonding characteristics and fast set times.
6-8 hour walk-on time, 24-hour drive-on time.
Provides a new surface to old, unsightly, structurally sound concrete.
    A repair material designed for making thin repairs to sound concrete in need of surface renewal.
Can be applied from 1/16-in to 3/8-in thickness.
Use as a broad coverage product on driveways, sidewalks, pool decks or patios to make old concrete look like new.
 
Crack Sealer
Ready-to-use liquid latex.
Good adhesive, weather and water resistant properties. Good choice for sealing cracks in walks, pads, driveways or steps.
Vinyl Concrete Patch
Pre-blended combination of exterior grade vinyl resin, fine sand and Portland cement.
Strong adhesive and weather resistant properties. Use for making smooth repairs to cracked or chipped concrete floors, sidewalks or steps.
Designed to be applied from 1/16-in to 1/2-in thickness.
Hydraulic Cement
Pre-blended combination of fine sand, Portland cement, calcium and quick setting additives.
Rapid setting high strength repair material designed to plug leaks instantly in concrete and masonry.
Sets in 3-5 minutes.
Use for blocking running water or leaks in cracked masonry or concrete surfaces.
Can be used on swimming pools, foundations and sealing around pipes.
Anchoring Cement
Pre-blended combination of cement and additives.
High strength pourable cement.
Expands as it sets to fill holes and create superior hold.
Sets in 10-30 minutes.
Used to secure bolts, posts and other anchors in existing masonry structures.

 

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Masonry Accessories

Masonry Accessories make working with concrete and mortar easier.

 

Material
Characteristics Uses
  Form Tube
Reinforced corrugated cardboard.
      Rigid fiber building form tube eliminates the need to build wood forms.       Forms post and columns below and above grade.  
Expansion Joint
Resilient cane fiber strips.
1/2-in x 4-in weather resistant fiber strips
designed to prevent damage during expansion and contraction of concrete.
Provides space for concrete pads to expand and contract. Controls cracking.
Use between concrete slabs and between slabs and structures.
Liquid Cement Colors
Ground mineral pigment.

Colors concrete or mortar through and through.

Good choice for coloring new masonry.
Available in Red, Buff, Charcoal and Brown.
Walkmaker
Reusable plastic mold.
Various patterns available: Country Stone, Running Bond Brick, European Block and Basket Weave. Used to create patterned paths, patios and courtyards.
Add liquid cement colors for a custom finish.

 

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Caution

When working with masonry products always wear goggles, a dust mask and gloves.