brick and mortar? or concrete?

I need to rebuild a brick planter outside my home, since over time it has deteriorated to eyesore level. I think I can rebuild it myself, however I need to understand which mortar or concrete I should use.
Home Depot sells something called "Mortar Mix" that you just mix with water - it says on the package "intended for masonry projects." But someone told me that it's better to mix up some concrete and add sand to it for better performance. Can anyone shed some light onto this for me?
Thanks!
Jeb
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I need to rebuild a brick planter outside my home, since over time it has deteriorated to eyesore level. I think I can rebuild it myself, however I need to understand which mortar or concrete I should use.
Home Depot sells something called "Mortar Mix" that you just mix with water - it says on the package "intended for masonry projects." But someone told me that it's better to mix up some concrete and add sand to it for better performance. Can anyone shed some light onto this for me?
Thanks!
Jeb
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Mortar and concrete are very similar, the main difference is the ratio of gravel and sand used WRT portland cement.
Your friend may have meant to say to buy portland cement and mix in your own sand and lime to custom mix a mortar more to your own liking. In fact, if color is important, the color and type of sand will make that differnece. From a bag, you get standard grey. Also if hardness were important, a custom mix will allow for that as well.
Mortar is normally used to stick bricks together but it can also be used to form concrete structures. It lacks large gravel and has some lime in it to make it more sticky (gooey).
Concrete will have a variety of gravel sizes in it (aggregate) which might make it hard to put into a small form or may show up on the exterior of the finished object but the concern is mostly asthetic. THe aggrigate will interfere with setting of bricks, so don't use it for that.
Sand mix is mixed more of a happy medium. like mortar but with more sand and lacking the lime which makes the mortar more sticky.
So if you are looking to repair a brick planter and plan to reuse the bricks, use mortar. Additional lime could be added to adjust the consistancy (I.e. you do not add more or less water to adjust this) but you shouldn't have to.

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Mortar or cement: concrete is cement, sand and gravel. you don't use it with bricks.

Mixing your own mortar is supposed to be better and certanly is the way to go for most large projects (sand can be bought in bulk cheaper and cement and lime can then be mixed to spec), but for a small project: use the bagged stuff, add a shovel of cement to each if you want a higher quailty mortar mix.
John
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actually sakrette although pricey appears to do a good job
a neighbor used 70 bags and put in a small patio, the mix was visibly way too wet.
it didnt finish well but is now 6 or 7 years old and hasnt fallen apart
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actually sakrette although pricey appears to do a good job
a neighbor used 70 bags and put in a small patio, the mix was visibly way too wet.
it didnt finish well but is now 6 or 7 years old and hasnt fallen apart
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I mixed my own mortar with cement a while back and the wall I built ended up falling apart after a few years. I think I must have messed up the right mix of sand, or heck I might have bought the wrong cement mix for the project. Anyways, I was relatively new to masonry and if you are in the same boat I highly recommend getting someone you know to go through mixing the mortar with you. Or you can always go with the pre packaged stuff.
Mike
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jebber007 wrote:

No. There is a difference. You want mortar. It is a little softer mix than cement. Cement is too hard and can damage the brick under certain weather conditions. It also could create some maintenance problems down the road. If they were all the same, or if cement was better, they would not sell both.
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