Cconcrete setting postsoncrete and mortar are both used in building projects but there are some differences in their composition and therefore their strength which means they should not be interchanged and one should not be used as a substitute for the other. Basically concrete is stronger and more durable so it can be used for structural projects such as setting posts whereas mortar is used as a bonding agent for bricks, stones, etc.

Concrete is a mixture of water, cement, and sand just like mortar. However, it also has gravel and other coarse aggregates that make it stronger and more durable, rendering it a fitting choice for flooring and other construction needs by different professionals providing concrete lifting in Denver, and elsewhere. Besides, it also has a low water-to-cement ratio and has a thinner consistency than mortar. In addition, it is often reinforced with steel when used as the structural support of a building. However, concrete can also be supported by the ground such as steps, sidewalks, concrete, and appliance pads. It is ideal for setting posts such as fence posts, mailbox posts, basketball posts, deck posts, lamp posts, and swing sets.

One of the concretes we sell is the Quikrete Fast Setting Concrete Mix. It is a special blend of fast-setting cements, sand, and gravel designed to set hard is approximately 20 to 40 minutes. It allows you to set posts without mixing- just pour dry mix into hole and soak. The strength of this particular concrete is 4000 PSI (pounds per square inch) at 28 days.

mortar mix bricksMortar, which is a mixture of water, cement, and sand, has a higher water-to cement ratio than concrete. It has a thicker consistency which makes it a great adhesive and bonding agent for bricks and tiles. Mortar mix can be used for construction and repair of brick, block, and stone for barbecues, pillars, walls, tuck-pointing mortar joints, and planters.

We sell Quikrete Mortar Mix which is a blend of masonry cement and graded sand. You simply add water. The strength of this particular mortar is 750 PSI (pounds per square inch) at 28 days.


See our Concrete Product Brochure here. For information on your specific project, please see our Paint or Hardware department.

247 Comments » for Knowing The Difference Between Mortar & Concrete – Which Do You Need For Your Project?
  1. Sean Dooher says:

    If I add sand to my Quikrete will it make it weaker I am building a deck and using Quikrete for my footings and my concrete Piers which are approximately 2 feet high I wanted to put sand in to reduce the cost of concrete

  2. Gary says:

    I’m thinking of adding glass to the concrete for a certain sidewalk look .
    What do you think?

    • Weaver's Hardware says:

      How exactly do you plan on using the glass? Are you laying concrete and then placing glass pieces in the laid concrete for decorative look? Or are you mixing glass into the concrete for a shiny/speckled finished look? Depending on the method we may have some different tips. If you want to talk directly with one of our experts we can certainly set that up. Thanks for the great question.

      • Olga Burns says:

        I want to make a border around my flower bed using motor and broke. Tiles for decorating.Q. how dfy do .moter ha r to be before adding peices of tiles And how do I remove 2 by. 4 with out mortar sticking

        • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

          Use a thin set mortar and you can apply tiles right away. You can apply a number of things to to the wood surface before pouring your mortar to prevent sticking like a varnish or oil or a form-release agent or lard/shortening.

      • Mo says:

        If I want to fill in a long, about 0.5 to 1 inch wide crack, across a concrete patio, and then decorate the crack with small pieces of glass and tile what products are needed, and how do I make it perfectly even/flat with the existing concrete.

  3. Jim says:

    Can quikcrete be premixed and poured, or will it dry too fast? – Can I mix, then pour it inside a basketball pole?

  4. Jerome E Puttler says:

    I wish I had seen this stuff before. I rebuilt part of a soil retaining wall, (originally; stone, brick and mortar) wall that had collapsed. The rest of the wall I had repaired with Spec mix S, but did not get to the part that collapsed, in time. 😉 Anyhow, I used the same Spec Mix S, for the base as I did in building the rest and the previous repair. I did dig a trench about 8-10 inches deep and 10 inches wide, and filled it at about a 45 degree angle with the Spec Mix mortar.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      The Spec Mix S is for masonry and retaining walls so you used the right product and filled it correctly. You should be good to go but let us know if you have any other questions.

  5. David says:

    I am building a wall with Gabion baskets and rock the concern is during a severe storm the waves come up high enough to hit the wall and water will go through and get behind causing mud which can wash out and water that stays in the wall will freeze and cause problems so I am considering pouring enough cement into the baskets to fill the voids and stop the water would cement or mortar be the best do you have any thoughts

  6. Red says:

    Can I use Quickcrete hydraulic waterstop cement on my outside foundation wall to repair some crumbling and cracking below the corner of the basement window? want something that bonds well and that will fill it nicely. Dont want bugs or moisture getting in. Old water problem has been solved, just need something to fix the old damage. Will this work or do you reccommend something else?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Hydraulic waterstop sets fast and is water proof. It’s a good crack or hole sealer. This will make a permanent patch. It can be used on interior or exterior masonry walls. So this should work for you.

  7. Steve Gaddie says:

    Can i mix type n masonary cement with the quickrete and pour a 3ft x3ft 3in thick slab for three steps into my garage

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      You shouldn’t have to mix the two types for a slab. Type N is basically for walls and chimneys and the quickrete is for slabs. So you can just use the quickrete and according to the concrete calculator it would take about 2- 60 lb bags.

  8. jane says:

    can I use ready mixed concrete patch by DAP to reapply outside tiles on a porch

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      The mixed concrete patch by DAP is primarily used to patch small cracks and breaks, or spot level concrete and masonry surfaces such as basement walls, patios, steps, sidewalks and driveways. It dries to a durable, hard finish and is non-shrinking. For your project, it is recommended to use a polymer-modified, dry-set mortar adhesive like Simple Set Pre-Mixed Thin Set Mortar.

  9. Good morning, I m planning on using the quickcrete for a project but from all that I have seen, I havent seen a stone or gravel in the mix. So, I as confused cause I want concrete not mortar. Can you explain pls and help me decide what to buy. I thought concrete should have visible coarse aggregates. But can’t see in the quickrete. Thanks.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      The concrete mix does have a gravel mix in it. You may not see it, but it’s in there so that is the one that you should probably use.

  10. Mary says:

    I am laying just 1row of breeze blocks can I use ready mix fence concrete. There are on 5 breeze blocks.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Yes- you should be good using the Ready Mix Fence Concrete. This is fairly fast setting so put your blocks in place and set them.

  11. Marc g says:

    Can I use mortar mix to level a corner of sidewalk cement, and do I need a bonding cement to apply mortar over existing cemen? Thanks for your help

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      You would be better to use a vinyl concrete patcher if it is not too thick. The mortar would be a second choice. We would recommend using a bonding cement with it.

      • kyle says:

        hey my name is kyle and i need to know if i can put cement on gravel for my basketball hoop so is that possible.

        • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

          Frame with 2x4s and fill to the top for a 3-4″ slab. The concrete is then usually poured on the gravel.

  12. Tony Dietz says:

    I would like to build outdoor concrete coutertops. Which brand of mix will work best for Wisconsin weather? Quickrete Counter mix or Rapid Set Motar Mix? Do I need rebar for the Rapid Set? Slabs will be 8’× 24″, 6’×24″ and 6’× 36″.
    Thank you.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Thank you for reaching out to us. Unfortunately we are an Ace Hardware store in Berks County Pennsylvania so we can only recommend based our local area. If you have a local Ace Hardware store, maybe you can call or email them and they would be more then happy to help answer your concrete questions. Thanks again.

  13. Jonnie says:

    What can I use to bond a concrete pier to concrete patio so I can put 4×4 post up? Mortar?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      We need more information so we can answer your question correctly. So you may contact one of our stores directly by calling. Fleetwood (610) 944-7681 Douglassville (610) 385-4600 Sinking Spring (484) 878-2570
      Thank you.

  14. Michael Davis says:

    I am going to use it for basically a small area to extend my boys basketball playing area, which product should I buy

  15. DIY says:

    Hi. I want to do some DIY projects like planters, coasters, candle holders, maybe some small tables. What would be the best mix?

  16. Rex says:

    I have a mud bed covered with a membrane for a shower pan I’m building. But I am concerned the mud bed won’t be durable enough for the final finish layer. I am not going to tile the floor. I want a finished concrete or mortar floor. What would be the best and strongest/most durable product for the final layer?

  17. Viktor says:

    Im in the process of creating stepping stones, however ive seen people use both mortar and concrete. Im confused as to which to use. Are they both ok to use for this task. I would like something solid, that would last for a very long time. What would you recommend?

  18. Mary Smith says:

    Hi, I’m building a new building with precast stone what is better for me to use mortar or sealant?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Mortar is most likely best but we recommend consulting with contractor or builder first to confirm.

  19. Mike Heavers says:

    I set a fence post without pre mixing regular concrete mix. Just pouring water over it like you would with fast setting concrete. Will this hold?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      It should hold but you won’t know if a problem occurs. For example it could be solid at top but lower portion may be drier and brittle. So premixing is the best method.

  20. Diane says:

    If I sprinkle a dry cement mix on my gravel driveway, then wet it, will it help my gravel from washing down?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      We don’t recommend using the cement mix for this. We’ve heard scenarios from customers where this did work for a few years and then we’ve heard other scenarios where it didn’t work at all because it just breaks up when you drive over it or it doesn’t solidify at all.

  21. Steven S says:

    I’m need to repair the mortar between cinder blocks in the wall in my basement. I saw the comment about hydraulic cement being waterproof. What is the correct application in this case?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      If there is a leak where water is coming through, hydraulic water-stop cement is best. However if you’re just repairing joints between cinder block, mortar mix will work well.

  22. Ryan says:

    I am looking into a water holding tank for a reserve tank for our water well.
    Have been debating on a plastic tank but am cautious because the warranties and it would be in an area of our finished basement. So I thought of possibly constructing a reservoir from cement.
    What would you recommend to make one?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      You can certainly use concrete to make a water tank. That’s a more advanced project than the standard DIY projects we help with so you should consult a professional builder/contractor.

  23. Andy says:

    I am repairing the exterior of my 100 year old foundation. The foundation is basically rubble with some mortar thrown in and rocks are falling out as I excavate. The area that needs the most work is below grade. Would you recommend mortar and trying to replace the loose rocks or filling the voids with concrete?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Mortar should be sufficient. Repairing the mortar will restore the structural integrity and improve the appearance also.

      • Shari says:

        Hi, thank you for your comments about the 100 year old stone foundation repair. I need help with mine. I had started with Quickcrete Sand/Topping Mix which was great to use but after watching YouTube videos about stone foundation repair, I was concerned that product may be to heavy against the foundation. Mortar was recommended for the lime against my foundation which likely includes a fair amount of limestone (and rubble and fieldstone). I had a foundation expert and another contractor out when I bought the house 22 years ago. They said the foundation was great and I have never had water issues. I just need to replace the exterior cement skim coat that now cracked off because I didn’t repair it in time. I wish I could share photos. I am a DIY woman, bought my first equipment and materials for this project. What do you recommend? Thanks very much.

  24. Mike says:

    Looking to make an outdoor table… can I use the mortar mix for the surface? If so, do I need to use any metal remesh for support? Also, do you have any recommendations for a food-grade finish/sealant for the table?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Concrete mix would be best. If tabletop is 1″ thick or less, no need for reinforcement. If thicker than that, you’ll need to use wire mesh or hardware cloth for reinforcement. There’s a product called Eco Advance Concrete Waterproofer.

  25. Linda D says:

    We installed formed pavers using a molded pattern. I would like to pour a dry mixture of something between the pavers (sweep into the cracks) and then gently add water over to create a barrier to prevent grass and weeds from growing between the pavers. What type of mix should I use for this project?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Quikrete Mortar Mix can be applied dry to the hardened concrete to fill in the joints. Brush or sweep the dry mix into the joints and then water.

  26. Tom K says:

    I am rehanging a gate to a concrete wall. The previous holes have enlarged so that just a new anchor is not an option. I plan to fill the holes and drill new ones. Is quickcrete an adequate product for this? How long should I let it set before drilling?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      A Portland Cement would work well because this is specifically formulated for high strength repairs. It should set in 24 – 48 hours.

  27. Patty says:

    How to reattach a piece of veneer stone that has fallen off a concrete foundation wall.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Apply about 1/2″ layer of mortar to the back of the stone and spread with a flat trowel to cover the entire back. Once you’ve pushed stone back into place, grout it and allow time to harden a bit but them smooth and scrape away excess.

  28. Larae Jalbert says:

    I need to fill small acorn holes inmy driveway can I use quikrit sand morter. Nt dad used it to clean up stains but the pits getting bad.

  29. Wayne McGinnis says:

    I need to replace a concrete walk that’s approx 9 ft. X 4 ft.
    I want it 4″ thick. From what I’m reading, I’m thinking Quikrete.
    (About 45 bags of it). I’m using a portable mixer to mix the water with it.

    I’m new to this and I want to DYI.

    Set me straight. What am I up against?

  30. Joe Palladini says:

    I am laying veneer stone blocks 19×20 on top of a glass fireplace hearth. Which mix should I use?

  31. Darlene says:

    Hello folks, I am making stepping stones to use as my walkway. Please advise me, do I use Quikrete Mortar Mix.
    Thank you!

  32. Paul Dickinson says:

    I have to repoint a three season stone fireplace which is located in the north where it can reach -35°F in the winter. Repairs are of two types. The face of the fireplace and inside the firebox.
    1. Is there a concern for cracking the mortar in extreme cold, considering that water is used in the cement? I’m thinking that fresh mortar could stay damp for a long time into the cold season.
    2. What is the best mortar mix to use? I have been heard of refractory cement for high temperature jobs.
    3. Would two different mixes be advised?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      In our area of Pennsylvania, we don’t see temperatures that low so we don’t have experience with working with mortar in those temperatures. Quikrete does have a website that offers live chat so they might be able to better answer your questions. Thank you for reaching out.

  33. Lucas Raines says:

    Hi guys im trying to repair some holes and some exterior spalling of my concrete foundation. I’ve previously read somewhere that cement and mortar mix do not mix but i would prefer to use the mortar mix that i already have. Would this be ok?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Mortar should be sufficient. Repairing the mortar will restore the structural integrity and improve the appearance also.

  34. Daniel says:

    Hi. I accidentlly mixed a mortar bag with concrete together for a fence post. I bought concrete for the posts but had a mortar bag that I misplaced in the pile. Will the post be secure enough and what about the future possibly structural probless? Thanks.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      You should be ok. Mortar has lower PSI than concrete but 1 bag should not make a huge difference; however, it is best to consult a building professional to be sure.

  35. John Jones says:

    I have contracted to have a window in my den replaced. It is about a foot below the cathedral ceiling. The technician that measured the window space said the brick window frame is not level, that the builder apparently did not construct the brick frame level at the time of construction (in 2006)). My reason for replacing the window is that it leaks periodically, without a consistent pattern, and runs down the wall to my hardwood floor. The technician said the defective leveling appears to be the reason, and recommended that the contractor use either waterproof concrete or waterproof mortar to level the brick window frame before installing the window. I subsequently learned that the store I bought the replacement window from contracts with window installers, but not with contractors that level brick window frames. My two questions are 1) should waterproof cement, or waterproof mortar, be used?; and 2) do you know of any contractors that do brick window frame leveling? I’ve seen several window job contractors, none that specifically do brick window frame leveling.
    Thank you, and please feel free to address any other suggestions you may have for my dilemma.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Waterproofing mortar would be sufficient. Not sure of your location but we are an Ace Hardware store in Pennsylvania so we are only familiar with our county in Pennsylvania.

  36. Tim says:

    Can I mix mortar and concrete, got mortar by mistake, have some concrete already

  37. CRAIG HARRISON says:

    If I want to extend my driveway 4×9 feet will this product work?? Just the front to tires of my F250 will sit on it

  38. Brandon Brummett says:

    Good evening,
    I have a 1920s basement that requires repair. There is some degradation in some of the concrete due to water. I am wanting to render the wall, but also increase/maintain the structural integrity. I was advised to use mortar, as the concrete used in my area in the 1920s allows for it to breathe and moisture to get through (I do plan to add a French drain and liquid rubber coating on the exterior). That being said I was also told most concrete nowadays does not allow this. What would be your suggestion.
    Side notes- use of river rock in concrete. Areas of degradation are no more that 1’x1′ and depths not exceeding 3/4 “. Lots of water and snow in my area almost year round

  39. Mike H says:

    I am building a step for my front door 2 feet by 4 feet by 4 inches thick, can I use quikrete sand mix? How many 60 lb bags ( I can’t handle the 80 lb bags) do I need. What do you recommend for the job.
    Thank you,
    Mike H

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      For steps, Quickrete Concrete Mix or Quikrete 5000 Concrete is recommended. For a 2 x 4 at 4″ thickness, you would need about 6 – 60 lb bags.

  40. Thank you for explaining that concrete is used for structural projects while the mortar is used as a bonding agent. I’ve been wanting to give my house a more textured look. I wonder how I could use cement to do this.

  41. Chris says:

    Happy Halloween! My family is big into Halloween, and my wife found these fireproof “logs” which are priced outside of our budget…

    I thought perhaps I could DIY them. I found a suitable mold and bought the rutland high heat mortar (to pour in the mold). But I am concerned the mortar will be too brittle. Any recommendation on concrete, mortar, or something else to try for my DIY project? Thanks!

  42. Jenifer Lewis says:

    I would like to use at my travertine to my front door, what is the best way to do this?

  43. Mike says:

    I have a cinder block hole to fill in ( about 5” X 5” X 5” ) I mixed water and mortar in a container got a good consistency however the mixture is not hardening or thickening at all in the container . Is it possible that the mortar is bad ? Its been in storage for 6 years .

  44. Grant says:

    I would like to apply a mortar between the stone crevices of a dry-stack stone wall to eliminate gophers from pushing dirt through the crevices which ends up in a pile on my flagstone patio. Not sure which Quickrete product I should purchase.

  45. Susan Elmore says:

    I am pouring a shower curb that will be 6”x 5’ and a depth of 4”. It needs to be a smooth finish. I bought mortar mix and rebar. Is this the correct product to use? Thank you!

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Mortar should be ok- just make sure to follow instructions so that is mixed to the proper wet consistency – otherwise a crack could develop.

  46. Don Smith says:

    I am putting natural stone on the face of a fireplace, what is a good material to use to secure the rocks to the wall.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Mason mix will work. It’s best for structural blocks or brick applications and has easy, superior workability.

  47. Paul says:

    I wanted to lay a row of bricks over an existing row of bricks. The Home Depot guys set me up with Quickcrete (concrete). It turned out awful (lookswise). Now I have learned I should have used Mortar. Do I have to chisel and remove all of the concrete to use the mortar or can I fill in the gaps with the mortar, and level it all out with the mortar so it looks better (in essence using the mortar to cover the concrete in full)?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      It is best to clean out/chisel the joints, wash the wall/surface, then apply the mortar to the joints. Quikrete has a very helpful website with instant online chat and we do recommend asking for their advice also as they are industry experts.

  48. Paul Gillen says:

    Want to build a concrete bar in a micro brewery. Approx. 30′ long. Looking to do a build in place project. What product do you recommend? What thickness?

    Thanks – Paul

  49. Leon Acosta says:


    I am casting pool patio bullnose for a remodel, is high stength mortar ok for 1.5 inch thick mold? Dimensions of bullnose is 9x18x1.5. This will lay on top of existing concrete pool patio.

    Thanks – Leon

  50. James says:

    I’m repairing a large hole (about 5-6 blocks in size) in the cinder/concrete block foundation going around my home where a car hit it. Should I use mortar to lay the replacement blocks and fill with cement or could I use cement for both?

    Also do I have to remove the old mortar/cement(not sure which was used originally) from the blocks not being replaced?

    • Steve Myers says:

      You will want to chip out all of the old block and mortar and use a wire brush to get as clean a surface as possible. In general, the best choice for setting the new concrete block would be a mortar like Quikrete Mason Mix. Quikrete has a great video detailing how to correctly lay concrete block, check it out here: Quikrete also has a very helpful chat feature on their website, to get you advice from the industry experts.

  51. Luca says:

    Hi, I use rapid concrete in silicon molds to make little objects and plant pots. Although it’s supposed to set in 30 min even when I live it to dry overnight it still brittle when it come out of the mold and it stays that way. How can I make it more resistant?

  52. Nonie says:

    Can I use the quickset mortar mix to make stepping stones for a walkway?

  53. Gary says:

    I have a slate patio laid over a base of crushed granite and sand.
    The gaps between the stones were filled with sand.
    I want to replace the sand in the gaps with concrete or mortar.
    Which would be best?

    I plan to work a small area each day, like 4ft x 4ft.
    So I will need to be able to mix small batches.

    Can the mix be applied with a piping bag, or a caulking gun ?

    • Steve Myers says:

      Quikrete has a great video on laying a patio using jointing or polymeric sand, which will set hard and last a long time if the instructions are followed correctly. Check it out here;

      If you choose to go with a mix product, mortar would be the best choice. You should be able to mix only as much mortar as you need at a time. The standard method to apply the mortar would be with a trowel so you can firmly press the mortar into place.

  54. jill fridley says:

    Hello, should I use morter mix or? I only want a thin skim coat maybe 3/16 ? Less in some areas? to cover some imperfections on my home’s exterior in AZ. The paint that is on there is flat and has baked in the AZ sun for 13 years I am going to power wash then roll on weld-crete. What is my best choice for skimming?? Thank you! PS I love Ace

    • Steve Myers says:

      Mortar mix is more designed for bonding stone, brick, and concrete block so it may not be a good choice for a finished surface. If the exterior of your home is stucco, Quikrete has an excellent video on crack and hole repair with product recommendations that may be helpful: For further help, we recommend contacting your local Ace Hardware – our stores are in Pennsylvania, so a local expert would have more experience with homes in your area. You can also use the online chat at; their industry-leading experts are available to answer any specific questions there!

  55. Matthew Pilatti says:

    I am building a short (1 ft) flower bed (rock wall) out of River rocks…..should I use Mortar or Concrete to stick my rocks together?

    Does it matter?


    • Steve Myers says:

      Mortar would be a much better choice as it is designed for long-lasting bonds for rock, brick, and concrete block. Concrete is a great choice for a finished surface, but as a bonding agent, mortar is what you need.

  56. Lakshmanan Ramakrishnan says:

    We have paver stone stairs in our backyard. Installers had used locklite landscape glue to hold them in. But one of the stone is loose and reapplying landscape glue has not helped. So planning to use mortar or concrete to hold the stone to the bottom of the stairs.

    Can you please advise if this good and should i be using Concrete or mortar for this? If mortar, should i be using type N or type S. Thanks in advance

    • Steve Myers says:

      For adhering stone to another surface, mortar would be the more appropriate product. Type S mortar is designed for structural applications, like building a brick or concrete block wall, where type N mortar is designed for non-structural work like veneer stonework and planters. If you’ll be walking on the surface of the product (like on the stair tread), type S might be a good choice. However, if you are simply applying the stonework to a vertical face, (like on the riser portion of the stair), type N may suit your needs. Check out this mortar selection guide from the industry experts at Quikrete;

  57. Gary oppenborn says:

    I cut a 9 inch wide channel in concrete driveway for a row of pavers. What material works best to bed and grout the pavers.?

  58. Jasper Salts says:

    I used cinder block as the base for my outside two steps up to a fire pit area, I filled the blocks with Quickrete fast setting concrete to about 2 inches from the top. Now I want to use a top coat to cover the blocks with a finished look. My contractor suggest Spec Mix. Would this work since it is a mortar or is there another non rock solution?

  59. Russ Verkest says:

    I am putting in a walkway using bricks. From what I have read, I am putting down first a 2 to 3 inch base that will be tamped down firmly. Then, will put a 1 to 2″ paver sand that will be leveled. I will then put down each brick using a 1/2″ space between each brick, leveling carefully with rubber mallet.
    I will be pouring the mix dry, filling up all the spaces between the bricks, sweeping it clean, then misting the mix once every hour for a few hours.
    From what I have read, some use the Quikrete Brown Jointing Sand, some use the Quikrete Patio Paver Jointing Sand, I read one of your replies to use Concrete Mix, and also some use Mortar Mix. So which one would you recommend, or does it matter?
    I would assume Concrete Mix is not a good choice since the spacing is only 1/2″. Better to use a mix that does not have gravel, correct?

    Since there are definite differences in price and availability, what would you recommend?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Fill walkway joints with sand or mortar mix. Sweep the sand or dry mortar into the section contours and spaces between sections. For mortar, mist the joints with water so they harden in place.

  60. Randy says:

    I am trying to fill and seal gaps between my outside sidewalk where it meets my foundation just above the basement. What should I be using to do this?

    This link recommends using caulk and reapplying yearly.

    Is there something better and more sustainable? Can I use type N masonry cement for this?

  61. Mario says:

    Can I use mortar to make a top/cap for a brick smoker?
    3 1/2 × 3 1/2 1 1/2 inch thick.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Yes- you can use mortar mix – it is specifically designed for laying brick, stone, and concrete units.

  62. archie says:

    I’m redoing an outside shower floor and want to use concrete with some river rock mixed in to make it look better, will quikrete work for this project?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Yes but it is recommended to mix the concrete according to package instructions then add your rocks after you pour concrete but before it hardens. Once no water is visible on the surface of your poured concrete you can add the rocks over the surface of the concrete and drag a broom over the entire surface to spread evenly. Allow it to sit until surface is no longer shiny and wet. Then sweep surface with a broom. Then spray the surface gently with water. Allow to completely dry before using.

  63. Ronny Reed says:

    I used quick crete Mortar mix to set post by accident for a deck. Will the post be strong enough? If not what do I need to do?

  64. Pete Wendy says:

    I’m building a slump stone block wall and using RapidSet mortar mix. I’m only mixing enough for one block at a time. Problem is, it starts to harden too quickly, and I don’t have the time to position the blocks correctly. Is there a slower setting mortar mix, that will give me a little more time and flexibility? Quikrete Type N? Type S?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      So the Type S and Type N is actually Mason Mix- not Mortar. For structural building, Mason Mix Type S is recommended. Whether you use regular Mortar Mix or Mason Mix on projects, dry/cure time is 24 – 48 hours.

  65. Steven says:

    I am installing glass brick to replace the basement windows, the rough opening was taller than expected when removing the old window (there was a concrete sill on top of the wall that pushed right off). I’ve been using Mason mix type S to raise the sill to where it was, just wanted to make sure this was okay or should I have used something different?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Mason Mix Type is best for structural block and brick applications so this should be ok.

  66. Maria says:

    I have used quikrete to repair 3 damaged bricks. I would like to paint the finished area white.

    How long do I need to wait before painting?

  67. Debi K says:

    Hi. I’m laying a side area of my patio with 12X12 X1 brick slabs. I picked up the Rapid Set Concrete mix, and think I should have gotten mortar. Will the concrete work just fine, or should I trade it back for mortar? The size of the area is 14 X 2

  68. Sterling says:

    I have rebuilt an old stone foundation using mortar to bond the stones, with a wall width of about 8″. I now need to level out the surface of the foundation in order to lay down wood bottom plates and anchor them to the foundation. Should I use mortar or concrete to level out the surface of the foundation? Keeping in mind that I plan to drill anchors into the stone and concrete/mortar, and the thickness of the concrete/mortar needs to be such that retaining walls are not necessary and it will not run off the sides of the foundation. The load the foundation will be bearing will not be too significant.

  69. Megan says:

    I have a small square hole (15” x 15” with a depth of 4”) in my poured concrete garage floor where an old chimney was located. I removed the chimney and now there is just the hole with a dirt base (in a non-traffic area—no walking or driving on it). The surrounding garage floor has a really smooth finish, so I’m concerned that concrete mix will be too rough and show too much gravel. Any suggestions as to what I should use?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Concrete should be fine; however for a smoother finish a concrete trowel is recommended. Just use it at the right time- step on surface and then check the bottom of your shoe, if there is no reside then that’s when you should use the trowel to finish and smooth the concrete.

  70. I used quickrete quick setting cement to lay some brick,is that ok instead of regular mortar mix?

  71. LB says:

    I am looking to fix my stone steps. These are outside steps used daily to access the house. Should I use concrete or mortar for the repairs?

  72. I have a question. Recently, poured small steps to a patio but did not do a good job with smoothing. Can I correct corners with mortar mix. All I want is to smooth out a few places. Also, need to fill vertical holes in the steps. Please advise

  73. norvin gilliam says:

    I am replacing loose pavers on the edge of my front porch. The haunch edging has cracked and the pavers have shifted several inches. I want to replace the existing haunching with new haunching. My question is, should the new haunching set on top of sand only, or gravel?

  74. David Powell says:

    I am extending a deck and have to level of a brick wall, which I will then skim to form a level platform about 40mm thick to support a wooden beam – would quickcrete morter mix be suitable for this application?

  75. Howie says:

    I need to fill the holes in my retaining wall block that was used to make my back steps. after I fill the holes I need to glue the pavers back on then drill through the pavers into the cement and then use 3/8 masonry bolts to install my railings and posts. My question is what is the best thing to use to fill the holes and be able to drill for the bolts as quick as possible.( anchoring cement, hydraulic cement or fast setting cement.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Anchoring cement sets in 10-30 minutes and is typically used for fastening bolts or anything metal in concrete so this should work for you.

  76. Mark says:

    I am setting a 2”x2” metal post for a gate I made. I want to make sure it won’t bend so I am filling it with mortar mixing and adding a piece of rebar in the middle to strengthen it.
    Is that my best bet? The aggregate in concrete makes it too hard to Pore down down the post.

  77. aaron says:

    I am building a 48″ square and 18″ tall fire pit using cinder block and covering the top in brick pavers and the sides in river rock. I am using quikrete mortar to attach the pavers and stone, how thick can I apply the mortar on the walls before I attach the rocks to smooth out some inconsistencies?

  78. Robert says:

    I am planning to use concrete blocks that are 2 feet x 2 feet by 4 to 6 inches as a floor in my carport. I need to space the blocks 4 to six inches apart so that it will fill the area. What do I use between the blocks, morter or cement? It will be over packed dirt or sand and sometimes I will be jacking car up or use jack stands.

  79. Frank says:

    What would be the better product to fill a 1-2″ wide gap between my sidewalk and house slab? Gap is about 4-6″ deep and sidewalk is about 40′ long.

  80. David says:

    I need to put a skim coat on a domed pizza oven as the original overcoat is fine-line cracking (5 years old). There is the inner cast oven, thick rock wool insulation (held in shape by chicken wire) and then the original overcoat on that which is about an inch plus thick. As I noted, and as expected, fine cracks have developed and I just want to seal the entire dome once again. I am thinking 1/4 inch application using a trowel? What Quickrete product would be best for this application and do I need to apply a bonding agent as well?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Typically to repair a pizza oven, it’s recommended to use mortar, refractory cement, or clay. To use the Quikrete mortar, make sure surface is free of any of loose debris for best possible bond. Curing is required due to the very high heat conditions. Apply a gentle mist of water to surface to prevent premature drying and improve strength of mortar. For more advice about your project, Quikrete has a helpful website.

  81. Karin Barrow says:

    Hi, I want to make decorative stepping stones with sea glass or pebbles imbedded in the top. Not really for walking on. I accidentally bought Quikrete Mortar. Would this be ok for what I want, or should I return it for something else? Thanks

  82. max says:

    Hi I have a slab which is not leveled.
    it is about 10′ long and 1.5″ elevation difference .
    can I place mortar at 1.5′ thick and tapering along the length of the 10′ to 0″?
    I can not use concrete mix as a filler to level the slab, because slab is not flat. one side is 1.5″ higher than the other side.


  83. Gary Berry says:

    Hi I am looking to cast a table top. I want a smooth finish and will cast the top upside down. Can I use mortar mix to do this? I also want to to make the top lighter, can i use fiber glass to add volume and reduce weight? I will be using steel mesh to the top and also 10mm bars around the edge.

  84. Randy says:

    Im repairing an older foundation wall of poured concrete that has very big aggregate in the original wall. The home is 95 yrs old. My question is do I use a concrete product or mortar mix to skim cracks and repair some rather large areas under the existing wall that have come out while cleaning and prepping the area to be repaired?

  85. can I spread dry quikcrete over limestone gravel and wet it to harden as a pad

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Unfortunately no – the Quikrete cannot be poured dry and then sprayed with water- the slab will not set. The concrete has to be mixed to set.

  86. Mark says:

    I have uneven brick pavers which I would like to make an even surface so I can put artificial grass on top of. Can I use mortar to do this@

  87. John says:

    I’m not finding any straight forward answer here. I am making pavers, 2 inches thick. Is mortar mix too weak for this application, or not?

  88. Sandy says:

    Hi! If I dig 10′ square footings with 6″ edges and 4″ pad, layer gravel & rebar, pour & level dry Quikrete, then gently wet thoroughly, will the finished product be sufficient to support a 4 man hot tub?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Unfortunately no – the Quikrete cannot be poured dry and then sprayed with water- the slab will not set. It has to be mixed to set.

  89. Ryan says:

    Thank you for this information. So I misunderstood the difference between mortar and concrete :/
    I want to build a shower wall of 1.2m x 1.8 meter. . The cement is 42.5 ‘N. I mixed it 1:2 (one part cement 2 parts building sand) I understand now that it should have been 1:3 or perhaps 1:4. I only built the bottom 2 layers yet. Should I rather start over?

  90. Kelly Christo says:

    Hi I was mortoring my walls it appears home Depot is out of mortar can I use sand mix and will it work the same as mortar

  91. Steve Paulson says:

    Hello, I am repairing a stucco finish on cinder block where it has failed and I have removed all the loose stucco. Do I need to use a bonding agent over the cinder block first or can I just use a type s mortar mix directly over the block? And if so, any recommendations for bonding agent? I went around with a hose and scrub brush to remove any dust or debris already. Thanks.

  92. Dan says:

    I need to patch some small gaps in our exterior brick wall because mice may be using them to get into the house. I’d like to do it now, but the temperature will go below freezing every day for the next week or so. Can I use mortar mix? Or hydraulic cement?

  93. Greg Lubberdink says:

    Hi, I am trying to make curling rocks out of stainless steel bowls filled with Cement and once the Cement is cured remove the bowls… I better off using concrete mix or mortar mix….or something else?

  94. jamie martin says:

    Should I use mortar (which type?) or concrete? To refasten and tuck point some broken slate sidewalk stones to the cement slab that is underneath.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      You can use mortar. Our Ace stores sell Quikrete mortar- not all Ace stores do sell Quikrete. Here is the product selector from Quikrete and just your straight Mortar Mix should work. Always best to check with your local Ace Hardware store though – they have experts that can help you too. Thank you for checking with us.

  95. Sherri Strickland says:

    We want to put down a 36×20 (6″ thick) parking pad. Is there any way at all I can use commercial grade mortar cement (I am stuck with 128 bags at 75lbs each and would like to use it up) and mix it with other ingredients to make it work?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      We don’t recommend this. Mortar is not as strong as concrete and is not typically used as a “building” material. Mortar acts like a glue to hold together bricks, stones, etc.

  96. I’m making concrete planters with the Quikrete mortar mix, but it keeps breaking. any suggestions?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      It could be breaking for a number of reasons – too much water in the mix, not curing long enough, the mix you chose may be not the best for the planter you’re making (depends on your specific project), could be an old bag of mix that expired, or you could have an issue with the mold your using. Quikrete has a great help desk that you can provide additional details to them and they can further answer your question.

  97. Joseph Miller says:

    Looking for a solution for my concrete pad. It was brought to grade using crushed stone (approximately 7″) and compacted. Pad was poured and now I have the crushed stone remaining. I would like to find a filler that once I remove the form board that is still holding the crushed stone back, that I can fill the void of stone that falls out and grout it to a semi smooth finish. Don’t worry this is not a traffic area, only the end of my carport pad. I was thinking of putting chicken wire in for reinforcement and then filling with some kind of mortar mix/grout….. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

  98. Gary says:

    The top corner of my garage door bricks cracked at the lintel and stair stepped 7 layers up to the eve. Ground out the cracked mortar & replaced 2 of the bricks that were broke.
    The job turned out very good, but I did the complete repair with 10#/bag ( Quikrete Cement mix ) instead of 10#/bag (Quikrete Mortar mix ).
    How bad did I screw up using the Cement mix instead of the mortar mix. I would sure hate to completely grind out all the cement & replace with motor mix.

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      While mason and mortar mix are typically used for structural and non structural brick applications, you should be ok with the concerete mix but it’s best to check with your local hardware/home improvement store as applications can vary based on temperature. Also Quikrete has a helpful website too.

  99. Adam Kittelson says:

    Can I use quickrete mortar mix to pour a 3 inch thick hearth

  100. Andy says:

    I pulled down drywall and insulation from a basement wall and discovered a leaking pvc pipe that was apparently used at one time for a washer/dryer. The pipe is about 3 inches in diameter, has some mud/pebbles in it, and continues to leak down the wall. I would like to fill the pvc then seal the hole. With what should I use to fill and seal the hole (Concrete? Mortar? Hydraulic cement?) After sealing it, should I apply Dry-Lock to the patch?

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Concrete should work fine (as long as you don’t ever plan on using that pipe) and then you can seal it with a PVC cap or plug.

  101. Petro Dick says:

    Hi I want to my make my own garden pots for plant…
    How is the best measurement for the sand and sement?

  102. vicki beegle says:

    What kind of concrete or mortar should I use to put around a plastic ball. The quikrete I used has small pebbles in it which made the finish rough. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  103. Jim Nogen says:

    I need to replace, in some spots, the cement that is failing and falling out of the spaces between the bricks in my chimney. The house is from 1920. What mix should I use? Thank you.

  104. Willie Petrkitty says:

    I’m building a large smokeless outdoor wood fire ring using 16″ blocks with 1.5 in pipe between each brick. This will get very hot. There will be a small forge at one end.
    I’m worried about the 1.5 in between bricks being big for mortar. Is there something special for high heat?

  105. Mike says:

    I’m looking to replace an approximately 2’x3’x1.5″ thick slab of stucco at the base of my house that was ripped off by a truck. What would be the best product to use for this job?

  106. James says:

    I have irregular shaped flagstone set on a concrete pad. I need to repair a continous crack between between a few stones. The crack has been widen and cleaned from debris. The crack is an inch deep in some areas and less than that in other spots and 4 feet long.. What I’ve read so far is the best material to fill the crack is to use concrete. I did buy Mortar S originally, but I’m not sure it that is the proper material to use on my walkway. Suggestions are most welcomed.
    Thank you

  107. Matt Whitham says:

    Hi, I want to edge my lawn with bricks or blocks – what cement/mortar product should I use please?
    Regards Matt

  108. sanjoy says:

    Thank you for the valuable informative blog post about the difference between the mortar and concrete.

  109. Joanne Jackson says:

    I want to build a 2-high brick retaining wall for a flowerbed and want to use something to keep my bricks level and keep them from sinking in the ground. Should I use quikrete concrete mix as a foundation?

  110. Fernando F says:

    Hello, I built a 2 steps landing using 24x24x2 concrete steps. Can I add a 1″ layer on top of concrete or mortar mix type s? Which is best?

  111. Laura says:

    Which one is better for out door ceramic

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      Ceramic is a different material but if you want to make something like a cement planter or bench, concrete mix is best.

  112. Chris says:

    I just purchased 2 5cm Travertine slabs 6’ X 8’ and I need to know how to set my foundation in the entryway of my house?

    Setting: currently the foundation is removed down to dirt about 9 inches deep. I live in an area in SO CA that is dry so I don’t think I need to worry about moisture any recommendations on how to prep?

  113. Chris says:

    Excellent! Thank you so much!!

  114. Donnie Putnam says:


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