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, sand just like mortar. However concrete also has gravel and other coarse aggregates that makes it stronger and more durable. Concrete has a low water-to-cement ratio and is a thinner consistency than mortar. Concrete is often reinforced with steel when used a structural support of a building. However concrete can also be supported by the ground such as steps, sidewalks, concrete, 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.

34 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.

  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

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      We have seen customers use high strength masonry cement for similar projects. However, this is not our specific area of expertise. Thanks for the question.

  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?

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