Which is Best Masonry Cement or Portland Cement?
The answer is both. They are different but each have their place in the construction industry. The following blog compares the different aspects of each and what they are used for.
Masonry cement is a preblended, factory-mixed mortar that can be used in construction projects without additional mixing. They are typically packaged in bags and can just be added to water before being applied to the surface you are working on.
Portland cement is a hydraulic cement used for a wide variety of applications. It is available in mulitple colors and can be mixed with aggregate to produce Portland cement concrete for decorative purposes. Portland cement may be confused with similar products that are not cement based such as mortar or grout.
To start, both Portland Cement and Masonry Cement are manufactured from a combination of limestone and other materials. The main difference between the two is that Masonry Cement contains additives that help with the bonding, water-resistance and durability of the product. The additives allow for more flexibility in application and thus are often used in brick laying, tuck-pointing or stucco work.
Portland cement on the other hand does not contain additives. It is often used in the pouring of concrete slabs, driveways or any application where a strong bond is not necessary. Another important difference between the two cements is the strength you can expect when it hardens. Masonry cement has a PSI rating of around 1000 while Portland cement can be as high as 5,000 PSI depending on which version you purchase.
Both masonry cements and Portland cements are available in many different types depending on what work you will be doing. For example, when pouring a driveway or sidewalk you may use Type I Portland cement whereas if you were pouring a basement foundation you might want to use Type III which has an even higher strength rating. Likewise, if you are laying brick or blocks for a new wall you will want to use Type S masonry cement which
The question of whether to use masonry cement or portland cement for your project can be answered by examining the different aspects of each type of cement. If you are looking for a general purpose cement to use in your project, Portland is probably the best bet. Portland is mixed with sand and aggregate to create concrete, while masonry cement is mixed with sand only.
Portland cement is a very common type of cement used all over the world. It is blended in with materials such as sand and water to make concrete and mortar. This cement is created through a process that involves burning limestone and clay together at very high temperatures. The result is a fine gray powder that has many benefits including:
strong bond created when it dries
resistance to acids
Masonry cement is made for brick and other masonry work. It is a combination of portland cement, lime, sand and water. Masonry cement is not the same as mortar mix (see below), which is also a mixture of portland cement, lime and sand, but has no water added. Masonry cement is the product desired for the numerous projects requiring mortar. Mortar mix can be used on its own or as a component in masonry cement.
What is Portland Cement?
Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general usage in many parts of the world, as it is a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco and most non-speciality grout. It usually originates from limestone. It is a fine powder produced by heating limestone and clay minerals in a kiln to form clinker, grinding the clinker, and adding 2 to 3 percent of gypsum. Several types of Portland cement are available;
Type I – For general usage where no sulphate attack is anticipated
Type II – For general usage where moderate sulphate attack may occur
Type III – For use where high early strength gain is desired or when temperature are low during construction (i.e., cold weather applications)
The Short AnswerThe short answer to the question is “it depends.” The correct choice of masonry cement or portland cement is based on the needs of the project and the limitations of the contractor.
The Long AnswerMasonry cement is a prepackaged product that is factory blended with sand, lime and other additives (like polymers). Portland cement has a more limited ingredient profile. Portland cement can be mixed with aggregate and water at the job site to create a masonry mortar.
Masonry cement offers a number of advantages over portland cement that should be considered when choosing between the two materials:
Masonry cement provides excellent workability and strength.
Masonry cement comes in a variety of colors, which can make it easier for contractors to match existing mortar color or project requirements.
Masonry cements simplify the estimating process, since their use does not require the aggregation of multiple materials at the jobsite.
To choose between masonry or portland cements, contractors must consider the requirements of the job and their own capabilities. For example, if matching existing mortar color is not important or if there are no other special requirements, portland cement may be a good choice. If, however, job specifications call for specific characteristics or control over final materials cost
Masonry cement is a combination of Portland cement (or blended hydraulic cement) and plasticizing materials such as limestone, hydrated lime, or air-entraining agents. When mixed with water, the masonry cement produces a plastic mortar for use in masonry construction.
Portland Cement is a type of Hydraulic Cement that is the most common used cement for structural purposes worldwide. It’s actually made from limestone and clay and it binds together when mixed with water to create a hard and durable substance that won’t rot away over time.
Portland cement on its own can be mixed with sand to form mortar for masonry applications but adding plasticizers can help the mortar hold up better under stress and cracking.
Masonry Cements are designed to produce uniform masonry units with good bond or interlock between units.
Masonry cements generally have lower amounts of portland cement, so they are usually weaker than straight portland cement mixes. They also contain some additives which can affect the color of your finished product. However, if you want a more uniform look to your product, then you should go with a masonry mix.
Masonry cement is a type of portland cement that is designed for use in mortar for masonry construction.
Masonry cement differs from regular portland cement because it contains additional components to increase bond strength and water retention. The result is an easier-to-use material that produces superior, more durable mortars.
ASTM Specification C91 defines masonry cement as “a pre-blended mixture of Portland or blended hydraulic cement and plasticizing materials (such as limestone, hydrated lime, air entrainment admixtures, etc.)together with other possible components (such as waterproofing agents, pigments, etc.) that are manufactured in accordance with the requirements of this specification.”