Hardscape Materials: Redi-mix morter is the way to go

For small projects, it is so much easier to use a redi-mix product because all you have to do is add water.

This mortar is basically sand and cement mixed to the right proportions. It's simple and clean, and can be mixed in a wheel barrow in just a few minutes.

For larger projects however, it's a lot more economical to mix the ingredients on site. A mortar mixer is a must. You will have to dump a load of sand that creates quite a clean-up job.

On medium size projects, you can sometimes work out of the back of a pick up truck and avoid that mess. Either way, the formula for most projects is a solid 3 parts sand to 1 part cement.

See our video clip on the hard facts of cement to learn more on which type of cement to use. Experienced mason crews measure by the shovel full.

Non-professionals should use the bucket method, 3 1/4- 5 gal. Buckets of sand per 1 c.f. bag of cement.

But for most projects, redi-mix is the only way to go. Simply dump the bag in a wheel barrow, add just a little water, and mix away. Always start out dry and add water to get the proper consistency.

The proper wetness for flat stone is like the consistency of whip cream. Not to dry and not to wet. A good test is to get a little on the trowel, give it a tap,and if it sticks upside down, then you've done good. You may have to keep a opened bag of mix around in case you get it a little to wet, you can add a shovel or two to dry it up a bit.


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