GGCL Guide: What is a good mortar for large porcelain floor tiles
Mortar is the adhesive material which is used to bonds bricks and other units of masonry together; it is also used to adhere tiles to an underlayment. Mortar also provides structural integrity to the walls, floors, and other structure but is also flexible enough to allow shifting without cracking. Although it must be noted that mortar isn’t same as cement, concrete, or grout. Cement is the binding element found in both mortar and concrete. Concrete is a much stronger material than mortar and is often used on its own to build walls, floors, and other building components. Grout is formulated without the lime additive found in mortar, and it has high water content. Grout doesn’t adhere materials together, but rather serves only to fill the gaps between tiles.
While we have been classifying mortar as just another bonding agent, all the mortars aren’t the same. The mortar itself comes into four different types and each type of mortar serves a different purpose. Each type of mortar has different characteristics, such as compressive strength, flexibility, and bonding properties. You need to identify your requirements and choose the mortar based on your task specific requirements.
The mortar type S and type N are quite similar with having strength of 1800 psi and 750 psi respectively. The type S mortar is relatively stronger and is ideal for use on the exterior walls and outdoor patios. It’s ideal for applications where the building materials come into contact with the ground. The type N mortar is recommended for interior load-bearing walls. The type N mortar withstands high heat, low temperatures, and severe weather and is considered to be a general-purpose mix. Based on our study of all the four types of mortar, it can be safely said that type S mortar should be used with the porcelain floor tiles used on the outside and type N mortar should be used with the porcelain floor tiles installed in the interior.