In construction, mortar and grout both are used for their individual capabilities. You can always rely on mortar’s adhesiveness to keep your bricks stuck to each other very efficiently, and the grout would be a great filler material after installing the tiles or any minor crack repair.

If you look at the mixture components of the mortar and grout, you would find they are a mixture of cement, sand, and water.

So a question may emerge, if they have the same materials in the mixture why do they have different names? Can you use grout as a mortar substitute or vice versa? Let’s take a look and learn more about the difference. 

Can I use grout as mortar?

Grout and mortar both hold similar building compounds, only the ratio of water, sand, and lime or cement are different from each other.  Grout can be used as an alternative to mortar. However, the grout may not possess satisfactory bonding capability compared to traditional mortar. 

Is it okay to use grout as mortar?

No, it is not okay to use grout as mortar. In construction, both grout and mortar have different purposes to fulfill. A mortar is a mix of cement, sand, and water. It is used as a binding agent for brick walls and floors. It helps fill the gap between bricks and blocks.

But grout is mostly used to fill the void after installing the tiles, it has a fluid texture with a high quantity of water and less amount of cement or lime compared to the mortar.

The cement, sand, and water ratio between mortar and grout are quite different, due to this the binding capability shows a huge difference in comparison. A grout will have less adhesive quality and will be comparatively a weak binding agent.

It is highly recommended to use a proper mix ratio of mortar for construction work.

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What happens if you use grout instead of mortar?

Following scenarios can occur if you use grout instead of mortar –

Less bonding capability:

Mortar has a thick paste-like texture and gets significantly hard after drying. Its adhesive capability made it the number one choice for brick masonry work.

On the other hand, grout possesses a fluid runny texture which makes it a great choice as a filler, for tile work but if you are trying to use grout in place of mortar, it is surely going to disappoint you.

Grout won’t provide sufficient adhesiveness in between brick and block. Due to the greater water content in the grout, you won’t get a satisfactory paste-like texture which is required to keep the bricks and blocks in place. 

Structural failure:

Brick wall, shear wall, floor and several other aspects of a structure relies on mortar for the overall bonding and stability of the building. If grout is used in place of mortar the bond between bricks, blocks are at risk.

The wall might collapse down and may cause total structural failure.

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Should I use grout or mortar?

Mortar is a thick paste made out of cement, sand, and water. Grout also has the same components only the water quantity is high and low on sand.  Mortar and grout both have their own dedicated purpose in a construction site.

Mortar would be a great adhesive for your brick wall and grout would be a great filler for tile work. The fluid runny texture of grout makes it reach evenly and provide satisfactory results.

However, grout won’t be able to provide satisfactory adhesiveness compared to mortar, and the mortar may be great as a bonding agent but its thick paste texture makes it hard to reach narrow places to fill any void.

So you would need both mortar and grout in your construction site.

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Which is stronger grout or mortar? Is grout as strong as mortar?

When it comes to adhesiveness the mortar has the upper hand. The thick paste of mortar works as a bonding agent in the brick wall and floor, once fully dried it can last up to 10 to 20 years pretty effortlessly.

Grout may contain a similar compound as mortar but the mixing ratio of cement, sand, and water content is different. Grout has a higher viscosity which means it can easily spread, flow, and will work as a great filler.

But when it comes to adhesiveness grout doesn’t pack any punch. The runny fluid-like grout won’t be as strong as mortar in comparison

What’s the difference between grout and mortar?

Few differences between grout and mortar are given below –

Components:

A mortar will be a mixture of cement, sand, and water.

For a grout the cement, sand, water ratio would be different, sometimes epoxy and polymer are added to that mixture. 

Purpose:

The mortar is used as a binding material for brick & stone masonry. Also used in plastering works to enhance the overall appearance. 

The grout would be used in tile work and for repairing minor cracks. Grout also improves the durability of the ground for dam foundation.

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Texture:

Mortar has less water content and has a thick paste-like texture. It is non-porous which makes it easy to carry and increases its workability features. 

Grout holds a significantly bigger water content that gives it a runny fluid-like texture. When it comes to working with grout, It would be quite hard if you are using traditional construction tools.

Type and appearance: 

you can have several Mortar types such as Cement mortar, lime mortar, mud mortar, surkhi mortar. The appearance of the mortar would be gray like cement.

Grout also has several types available, they are sanded and unsanded grout, Epoxy grout, acrylic grout, and many more. The grout has various colors, mostly white color grout is used in tile work to keep them blend in. 

Drying and curing:

Grout is a porous material, it will hold water even after drying. However, it has a relatively shorter drying time and doesn’t require any additional curing.

The mortar needs sufficient curing, it takes almost 15 to 20 days to settle and takes even longer to dry properly.

How to grout with mortar?

You can grout with mortar as well by following few simple tips –

Add more water:

A significant difference between grout and mortar is the water content. If you are thinking about grout or filler work with mortar then it would be necessary to at least make the mortar as fluid and runny as possible.

Turning a thick paste mortar into runny liquid is the first step.  

Add additional ingredients to the mix:

You can add epoxy, polymer, and acrylic to the mortar to make it more smooth and obtain a certain color. It will help the mortar blend in perfectly with the surroundings.

Add more cement to the mortar:

Adding more cement and keeping a 1:1 cement and sand ratio will eventually make your mortar good enough for filler work.  

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Can you use grout as mortar for tile? 

Using grout as mortar may cause undesirable consequences. Grout wouldn’t have the required adhesiveness necessary to hold onto tiles. The fluid runny texture of grout makes it hard to stay stuck to the tiles and won’t create the required bond between tiles and floor.

On the other hand, the mortar would be perfect for keeping the tiles stuck to the floor, it will provide sufficient adhesiveness for the tiles to set perfectly with your floors and walls. Grout can be used as a filler after installing the tiles with mortar.

Grout can’t be an ideal substitute for mortar, using grout in place of mortar may ruin all your hard work.

Can grout be used as filler? 

Grout is generally made to be used as filler. The fluid runny texture of grout makes it perfect to flow evenly throughout the tiles and cracks. The epoxy, polymer, acrylic mixed with grout make it extra smooth and helps it blend in with the surroundings.

So grout can be perfect as filler work.

What is mortar used for?

Mortar is mostly used in brick and stone masonry work. It helps keep the bricks or stones stuck to each other. The thick paste-like texture makes it easy to carry and apply to the bricks. You would need a mortar layer on your floor or wall before installing any tiles or marbles.

Mortar with its enhanced adhesiveness will keep the tile stuck to the floors or wall. You can also use mortar to repair cracks or hide any exposed joints of your structure and enhance the overall appearance.

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What is the purpose of grout? 

Grout is mainly used as a filler material for tile work. It can also effortlessly reach a narrow place to repair any cracks. You can also add grout to increase the durability of your foundation.   

Final Thoughts:

Grout and mortar contain equivalent building components, with just a change in the amount of water, sand, and cement. Grout can be used in place of mortar. However, when compared to mortar, the grout may be unable to bond adequately. so It would be wise not to use grout as a mortar substitute.

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