Why Use Lime Mortar Instead of Cement Mortar?

Why Use Lime Mortar Instead of Cement Mortar?

Are you looking for a strong and durable material to use for your masonry projects? If so, then lime mortar might be the perfect choice…

Lime mortar is an age-old building material used in many structures around the world. It has been used since ancient times and has stood the test of time due to its ability to weather extreme conditions without crumbling or cracking like cement can.

In this guide, we will explore why you should choose lime mortar over cement mortar and how it can benefit your project both in terms of durability, longevity and cost savings. So let’s get started!

What is Lime Mortar and What is it Used For?

Lime mortar is a traditional building material composed of sand, lime and water. It is used as an adhesive to fill gaps between masonry blocks or stones, to create a strong bond.

It has been the preferred choice for centuries due to its ability to form a flexible joint which can withstand movement in the structure caused by weather extremes or other environmental conditions.

Lime mortar is also incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of applications, such as restoring ancient buildings or modern construction projects. It can also be used for interior walls, foundations and plasters.

Lime Mortar vs Cement Mortar: The Basics

When it comes to choosing a mortar for your masonry project, there are two main types: cement mortar and lime mortar. While both have their own strengths and weaknesses, using lime mortar has some definite advantages over cement mortar. Cement mortar is made from Portland cement and sand, while lime mortar is a combination of hydrated lime, sand, and water.

Cement mortar tends to be very hard and rigid, while lime mortar is softer and more pliable. This makes it more suitable for use in masonry projects that require flexibility such as those in damp conditions or with unstable foundations.

The main differences between cement mortar and lime mortar include:

  • Lime mortar is more breathable and permeable, making it better for masonry structures in damp conditions.
  • Lime mortar has a much higher workability than cement mortar and can be applied to walls at any angle.
  • Lime mortar also has greater adhesive properties, meaning that it creates an extremely strong bond between the bricks or stones that it is being used on.

While cement mortar can be suitable for some masonry projects, such as those in dry conditions or with stable foundations, it is not as strong and durable as lime mortar. In addition to this, using cement mortar can also result in increased costs due to the need for more frequent repairs and maintenance.

Why Use Lime Mortar Instead of Cement Mortar?

Lime mortar has many advantages over cement mortar. The most notable is that lime mortar is more breathable than cement, meaning it allows moisture to move through the masonry instead of trapping it within the walls, which can cause cracks, crumbling, and other damage.

Additionally, lime mortar also offers superior flexibility and workability compared to cement which is more rigid and brittle. As such, it can provide a much more secure bond between the bricks or stones, making it ideal for masonry structures in damp or unstable conditions.

In terms of durability, lime mortar has been used for centuries and is known for its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions without breaking down. It also won’t shrink or crack when exposed to temperature changes, unlike cement which is prone to cracking over time.

Lastly, lime mortar offers better insulation than cement mortars which can help to reduce energy costs in the long run if you’re working on a project that requires insulation.

When You Might Need Lime Mortar…

If you’re looking for a mortar that is compatible with damp or unstable foundations, has superior flexibility and adhesion properties, offers better insulation and weather-resistance, then lime mortar is the ideal choice. It is especially suitable for projects in humid or coastal environments where cement mortars can quickly break down due to their lack of breathability.

Lime mortar is also ideal for projects that require a strong bond between the masonry material, such as walls and floors. Its superior adhesive properties make it perfect for these kinds of applications. Overall, lime mortar can provide superior strength and durability when compared with cement mortars, making it an excellent choice for any masonry project.


Final Thoughts

Now that you know why you should choose lime mortar over cement, it’s time to get started on your project! With its superior qualities, lime mortar is sure to provide a strong and durable foundation for whatever masonry you might be working on.

So go ahead and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Lime Mortar vs Cement Mortar FAQs

Does lime mortar set hard?

Yes, while lime mortar is softer and more malleable than cement mortar when wet, it does set hard as it dries, making it more than suitable for masonry projects that require a strong and durable mortar.

Is lime mortar more expensive than cement?

No, lime mortar is not generally more expensive than cement mortar. In fact, it can often be more cost-effective due to its longer lifespan and higher durability compared to cement mortars.

What are the advantages of lime mortar?

The main advantages of lime mortar include its superior workability, breathability, and adhesive properties. It also offers greater flexibility and insulation than cement mortars, making it a better choice for damp or coastal environments. Additionally, lime mortar is less prone to cracking over time due to temperature changes.