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What’s the ideal mortar mix ratio for a brick wall?

Getting the mortar mix ratio for a brick wall right is a crucial part of the bricklaying process.

Done correctly, it glues the bricks together, ensuring your construction is sound for many years.

So what’s the perfect mix to get a strong wall for years to come?

The perfect mortar mix ratio for a brick wall

  • Normal bricks – use a ratio of 4:1 (4 parts sand to 1 part cement)
  • For softer or second-hand bricks – use a ratio of 5:1
  • For very soft bricks – use a weaker ratio of 6:1 or even 6:1:1 (6 parts sand to one cement and one lime)
  • For period bricks – replace some or all of the cement with lime

Practice makes perfect, and the more experience you have mixing mortar, the better you’ll become at getting the ratio spot on.

You’re aiming for a mixture that’s smooth and consistent. It shouldn’t be sloppy but neither should it break apart into clumps when working with it.

If you’re a complete beginner, use this advice as a guide to get the right mortar mix ratio for your bricklaying project:

How to mix your mortar

If the sand is dry, start with the water first, followed by the cement and lime. Then add the sand, bucket by bucket.

If the sand is wet, put half of it in first, then add the cement and lime, followed by the rest of the sand. Then add water gradually.

Plasticisers and other additives can be combined with the mortar mix to improve its workability, but only if needed.

If in doubt, you can purchase ready-mix mortar, but check the reviews to choose a high-quality product and pick the right mortar for the work you’re doing.

Getting it wrong can cause damage to buildings and impact the integrity of your project.

Get help finding a professional bricklayer

Prefer to get the experts in? No worries. An experienced bricklayer can mix the perfect ratio for mortar with ease.

A professional bricklayer may cost less than you think, especially if you consider cost savings on mending any DIY errors, and time saved trying to do it yourself!

Just add your postcode to the search box below to see which bricklayers come highly recommended in your area.

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