MORTAR COLORS – Tuckpointing and Brick Repair

(color me purple)

Mortar color camples. Actual cured mortar with color additive sample

The most basic and readily available colors area pictured here. More colors can be created by combining and playing with mix ratios

Gray, the base color, that is unless you substitute the commonly used standard Portland Cement with its brother, White Portland Cement. This White Portland Cement with lime and white Silica Sand produces, you guessed it, a white mortar.

So, your bases for mortar are gray or white, with every shade in between. This is before you add any color powder or liquid. The rainbow of that spectrum is only limited by your imagination. However, it would not be suggested to go to far away from the beaten path with fancy or unusual mortar colors. Remember, you must live with this choice a long time. Tuckpointing is an expensive task, and one you should not take too lightly.

The main choices of mortar colors besides the basic white to grays is red or black. You can have any shade of those to pick from depending on your mix.

The type of sand is very important, for that is the base of the base. You can choose Meramac Sand, Missouri Sand, Mississippi Sand, or Silica sand, to name a few. Any of these are a fine selection from a structural standpoint. They all act as aggregates that make your mix strong and durable. The rest is a mainly matter of aesthetics.

Over the years, different members of our crew have worked with many colors. There’s the Irish Catholic Church that chose green mortar. Specialty jobs have called for shades of yellow or blue. No ones seen a purple, but there may be one somewhere? The browns, chocolates, reds and blacks are way more common—less flashy too.

In our opinion, a good tuckpointing job is better used to highlight the brick or stone. It should not be the focus of the appearance of your home or building. The best jobs of tuckpointing are not readily noticed.

With few limitations to your imagination you have a wide spectrum of colors and shades of color to choose from.

Be aware there are few qualities of a given color that can have any effect on a mix . The two of the exceptions can be price and longevity.

The darker colors, blacks and browns or chocolates, have the problem of fading. Depending on where the job is, how it sits in the sun, different sides, different sections fade at different rates. Therefore your home could look two-toned or worse. It can be dark black on the front and a shade or two lighter on the back. Also, black has the other attribute that it attracts and holds more of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This deteriorates the mortar quicker. We are talking over many years here, so that should be considered.

Whatever color you select for your St. Louis home or building, if you need or want our help, we will supply that. We will help you select the appropriate color mix for the individual job.

The gist is you can pick almost any color, but it is best to choose wisely.

by Jacob Thompson