Difference Between Mortar and Concrete

Mortar vs Concrete

Mortar and concrete are two of the most common products used in the construction industry. Whether it is constructing a wall or laying a runway at an airport, products made by cement are used. While concrete is another name for strength and durability, mortar is indispensable because of its ability to bind bricks and stones together. There are many similarities between mortar and concrete, but they serve two very different purposes. This article attempts to highlight the differences between mortar and concrete.

What is Mortar?

This is a paste of cement and water that is invaluable in the construction industry because of its ability to bind bricks together to allow construction of walls. It is impossible to imagine large structures without the use of mortar. This is a mixture of cement and sand in water that you see in between bricks of a newly constructed wall that has not been plastered and painted. It is not just walls of bricks, but even floors where a bed of mortar is made before placing tiles upon it. In a short time period, mortar sets in and becomes hard. This allows it to bind to the objects that are placed over it, whether they are bricks or tiles. Think of mortar as frosting in the construction industry. Just as frosting keeps different layers of a cake together, so does the mortar by keeping together bricks or stones in a wall.

What is Concrete?

Concrete is perhaps the most used material on earth. Foundation stones of buildings and other structures are usually made of concrete because it is considered to have a very high strength while being very durable. Bridges, runways at airports, dams, roads, etc. have a bed of concrete because of the strength of this material. Concrete is a mixture of cement and sand in water. However, it also contains coarse aggregates such as chippings of rocks. These rocks bind together as the paste sets and have a much greater strength than a simple paste of mortar. Concrete is called a composite material, and the properties of the final product are different from those of the ingredients.

What is the difference between Mortar and Concrete?

• Mortar and concrete are mixtures of cement and sand in water, but concrete also contains coarse aggregates like rock chippings whereas there is no coarse aggregate in mortar.

• Concrete is used to make buildings, runways, bridges, foundation stones, roads, etc. as it is known for its exceptional strength and durability.

• Mortar is known for its ability to bind together bricks and stones and is widely used in construction of walls and floors.

• Mortar is less strong than concrete but serves the important purpose of binding bricks together.

• Cement is the common ingredient in both mortar and concrete.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Cement and Mortar
  2. Difference Between Asphalt and Concrete
  3. Difference Between Cement and Concrete