Concrete is a beautiful material for any construction project. This binds the components to combine and form a firm wall surface that can stay longer in its shape. However, such concrete material does not work best for the smooth and clear surface since sandstone or gravels are present in the concrete.
If you have noticed in the old areas that people used to have their sidewalks’ rocky appearance that looks like old school, that can be changed and don’t want your sidewalks like them. But the only concern that might be bothersome is how this can be achieved. For example, how you can avoid having this kind of curvy sandstone shape.
Concrete without rocks
Can You Make Concrete Without Gravel?
Yes, concrete without rocks or concrete without coarse gravel is called mortar concrete. Mortar concrete with a fine-grained appearance is made from Portland cement, sand, and fine aggregate. Popular mortar concrete brands that sell mortar mixes in the US are Sakrete, Quickrete, and Sika.
One of the terminologies that explain the concrete, which does not contain any gravel or rocks, is called the “mortar concrete.” Several ingredients make it look smoother and plain when applied. There is portland cement present in it, plus fine aggregate and sand. It provides a completely smooth look. Once used and let stay set, it will appear as a smooth surface for your sidewalk or any surface you want to work on.
See on the image left, “mortar concrete.”
Famous brands in the US that sell mortar concrete mixes are:
These are the concrete mixes made up of fine aggregate material, so there is a possibility that there would be rocks in there, but you can use other methods to avoid having the rocks in your concrete material.
Read on to determine which brands sell the best fine aggregate concrete and how you can make your aggregate concrete material.
Here is the following list.
1- Concrete Aggregates
What is aggregate in concrete?
Concrete aggregates are inert granular materials such as sand, gravel, crushed stone slag, recycled concrete, and geosynthetic aggregates. Usually, fine aggregates consist of crushed stone or natural sand, with most particles passing through a 3/8-inch sieve. Concrete aggregates provide concrete strength, thermal and elastic properties, dimensional stability, and volume stability.
In this article, the word aggregate is used more often, and it is a term that indicates the material that is being mixed with other components to give the whole new mixed-up material for the concrete mix to use.
Concrete aggregates are the sand, cement, rocks, and gravel components that create the new concrete mix. Every combination has various aggregates present in them; some have less, and some get high doses, but it is for sure that every mix has the aggregates present in them.
There are two types of aggregates two of them are the following:
1- fine aggregates
2- Coarse aggregates.
These are fine components like sand and ground gravel. These materials are textureless surface gives the smooth and fine touch of the gravel material’s surface.
These aggregates are almost textureless to the touch and have no visual appeal, so they are what you are looking for in a mix without rocks or large gravel, giving an almost clear visual appearance. On the other hand, crushed concretes, gravels, or rocks are components (aggregates) that can provide an apparent texture when adding up with concrete. Since in many of the concrete, they are all present already.
Now here is the concept of what aggregates would be and what their concepts are. What do they need to do with that if they are present in your concrete material?
To put it simply, the aggregates are the materials that are being added or already are present in the concrete material to enhance the concrete mix’s strength.
The aggregates help to increase the strength and durability of the concrete mix. It also adds smoothness and fineness to the concrete material (mix) after the final appearance.
Different aggregates work differently, and multiple aggregates can have numerous features—similarly, they are put in other materials according to their features and capabilities.
Many people might be wondering about the difference between the concrete add-ups whether the concrete aggregate with the strength is more appropriate to use or the other one with gravel or stony one would be more preferable.
So here are some of the facts that will help you to decide. Since many people want to have a smooth and fine surface of the concrete they have used, those using fine sand-like concrete (aggregates) will be a perfect choice.
But there is one disadvantage as well that this fine aggregate concrete offers the lower strength of concrete. Because of this quality, this fine aggregate concrete is used for those construction areas where less traffic would be and most of the time on those areas where there is no way to cross.
Mortar Concrete Mixes
If you want to get the recommendations for all other concrete mixes with or without the gravel stone in them. This is the right portion of the article where you can get precise knowledge about the concrete.
The fine aggregates that give the fine and sleek look are known as the “mortar mixes.” So this is the terminology that will help you to ask in the market about this product. Since not always the word fine aggregates suits the shopping way of many people. Having complete knowledge of the desired product is better than buying without any know-how.
Concrete vs. mortar
What is the difference between concrete and mortar?
Differences between concrete and mortar are:
- The mortar mix contains only cement, sand, and water.
- Concrete has aggregate added, such as gravel or perlite.
- Mortar is a thicker mixture than concrete.
- Mortar is less durable than concrete.
- Concrete is much stronger than mortar.
- The water to cement ratio in mortar is much higher than in concrete.
- The low water-cement ratio in concrete making concrete an unfit bonding material
- The mortar needs to be replaced every 25-50 years.
- Concrete works intact for a very long time
- Mortar is using as a bonding element.
- Concrete is used as a support element (beams, walls, structure elements)
Mortar is the mixture of all those stone gravels grounded and transformed into powder-like form, used in the concrete to provide a sleek-like shape.
Many marketers or even the brand sell those products in the name of fine aggregates with small plus visible rocky stones. To avoid having this type of brand and product, you need to ask the marketer or the businessman for the mortar mixes. Mortar mixes are powder-like material in shape, and once it is dry, it gives a smooth and sleek shape.
Which is an excellent deal for the countertop and the walls. Where the impact is lower than the sidewalks or roads, mortar is the best option for this purpose if you plan to make countertops or have a sleek, smooth appearance wall. Some mortar mix types with their prices and affordability features plus the quantity available and easy to buy and use.
Can I use mortar mix instead of concrete?
Can use mortar mix instead of concrete in plastering works to hide the joints and to improve appearance, to give a soft, even bed between layers of stone or brick masonry, to fill up the spaces between stones or bricks for making walls tight, in concrete as a major matrix, for ornamental purposes or molding. However, mortar can not replace concrete in works where it is necessary to achieve strength.
Can you mix mortar and concrete?
Mortar and concrete can not be mixed because mortar has higher water content, making it difficult to make a suitable mix. However, if you have mortar for decoration, you can add gravel or other additions to provide texture or strength to the mix.
The Best Mortar Mixes and their rates.
Mortar mixes are preferable for the instructions of those of the areas like walls and countertops. These mortar mixes are doing the interior’s major part of the construction, and for you, we have researched mortar mixes on the internet. They find out which of the mortar mix products is affordable with which rate and what most people have to say about them.
We are confident that they will be the best commercial option for your mortar mix project.
Here is the first product:
Sakrete Mortar Mix Type N:
This mortar mix comes in various packaging, but a 40 lb bag arrives at the cost of $29.49. Source. Plus, it has fantastic reviews with five stars on Amazon.
Quickrete Mortar Mix:
Quickrete’s 60 lb mortar mix sells for $39.99 on Amazon and is rated five stars. Source. Quickrete is also a reliable and popular brand, making it a safe choice if you have never worked with mortar concrete before.
DIY Fine Aggregate Concrete
You can always try this construction project at home on yourself, and it is straightforward to do it. Here is the list of those components you will need for this project, and then further on, you will see the details about how you can mix up what product in which quantity to apply.
- Fine sand
- Portland cement
- Tools to apply the material (concrete)
- Buckets o mix the mixture
Once you have these components, it’s time to start measuring; here are the measurements.
1 part of cement
Two parts of sand
Four parts of fine aggregate.
Take a mixer and add these components to that mixer. Mix them until you get the fine uniform grounded powder shape (form). After this, when all the material is mixed together quite wholly, add a bit of water. Always go with a small quantity of water and mix gradually until you get a perfect consistency.
Adding too much water at once can ruin the material (concrete). Then add the mixture to the holder; here is one of the best tips that make half of the mix of concrete that is required. By doing this, you can get the fresh material of concrete every time. So precisely, your material is enough in the first round; you won’t need to make the second round, which can save your concrete. Plus, making all the material can affect the concrete since the remaining material in the holder will dry and become useless when you start applying.
Tip: Help yourself by writing down all the procedures first and then start it. This is going to help you to be more organized and be more efficient. As a result, you will be less likely to forget anything in the procedure and end your project more perfectly.
Ask your friends to help you with the construction, so this will end in no time only you all have to clean up the mess of the remaining things and tools.