Differences Between Mortar and Grout

Differences Between Mortar and Grout

In the realm of construction, two cement-based products play crucial roles in building projects: mortar and grout. While both serve important functions and share a cement base, they possess distinct properties, varying uses, and cater to different purposes.

The key disparity lies in their fluidity, which influences their applications and characteristics. In this article, we will delve into the dissimilarities between mortar and grout, shedding light on their compositions, functions, and applications.

Differences Between Mortar and Grout


Mortar, consisting of cement, sand, and water, is a thick paste employed as a binding material between various surfaces. Its primary function is to unite stones, concrete, and bricks in building projects, thereby providing structural integrity. Mortar offers greater stiffness compared to grout, allowing it to effectively secure different materials. The workability of mortar is also higher, as it adheres well to a trowel and is easier to handle during construction. Typically, mortar assumes the color of the cement used, giving it a uniform appearance. Moreover, it comes in different types, including cement mortar, lime mortar, surki mortar, gauged mortar, and mud mortar, each tailored to specific construction requirements. Mortar is non-porous, ensuring durability and resistance to moisture. However, it requires curing for proper hardening and has a longer setting time compared to grout.

Applications of mortar extend to various construction tasks. It acts as a bonding material in brick or stone masonry, facilitating the assembly of structures. Additionally, mortar is utilized in plastering works to conceal joints and enhance the overall appearance of surfaces.


Grout, on the other hand, is a highly viscous material utilized as a filler for spaces and joints between ceramic or stone tiles. While it shares a cement base with mortar, grout serves a different purpose and possesses distinct characteristics. Comprising cement, water, and sand, grout’s primary function is to fill gaps in tiling work and seal cracks. It is important to note that grout is not an adhesive; rather, it relies on the underlying mortar to hold the tiles in place. Due to its higher water content, grout is less stiff and more challenging to handle with tools such as a trowel. The viscosity of grout is considerably higher than that of mortar, allowing it to effectively fill and seal gaps. Furthermore, grout offers a range of color options to suit different aesthetic preferences and design requirements. Some common types of grout include sanded grout, unsanded or wall grout, epoxy grout, furan grout, and acrylic grout. Unlike mortar, grout is porous and retains water even after hardening. It requires no additional water for curing, as the initial quantity provided is sufficient for the hardening process. Grout also has a faster setting time compared to mortar.

Grout finds application as a filler in tiles and cracks, ensuring a seamless and visually appealing finish. It plays a crucial role in preventing cracks or bedding planes in weak areas and strengthening the ground for dam foundations through grouting processes.


In summary, while mortar and grout share a cement base and are integral to the field of construction, they possess distinct characteristics, functions, and applications. Mortar acts as a binding material, securing different surfaces together and providing structural integrity.

It offers greater stiffness, workability, and durability. Grout, on the other hand, serves as a filler material for tiles and cracks, ensuring a seamless finish and preventing structural issues. It exhibits higher viscosity and a range of colors. Understanding the differences between mortar and grout is essential for selecting the appropriate material for specific construction needs, ensuring the longevity and quality of the built environment.

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