cement mixer with wheelbarrow of mortar

How to Mix Mortar for Patio Laying

How to

When constructing your patio using Bradstone paving ranges, you’ll want to ensure that the laying bed is of first-class quality. This means creating an expert-level mortar mix which is ready to pour and work with. Here we’re aiming for a feature that is both long-lasting as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Whether you’re creating a concrete paving patio or a carpet stone path, our guide will help you mix the perfect mortar every time. 

What Is Mortar?

If you are researching mixing mortar for your patio, it is essential first to understand what mortar is. 

Made from a mixture of cement and sand, mortar is a glue-type building material used in masonry. We’ll clearly need to compare mortar to its sibling concrete. It is similar to concrete in many ways including most of the ingredients, durability, as well as intentions however we are unlikely to be using concrete for our paving requirements.

Mortar is generally at a lower strength than concrete and rarely used in thick applications but it’s certainly ideal for achieving our intended purposes of laying a patio. As well as that, one of the advantages of mortar over concrete is it is much more workable, a great benefit when working with a garden space.

Mortar mixing may sound complicated, but with the right tools and an understanding of the required techniques, anyone can make light work of mixing mortar for your patio!

bradstone installer laying patio bradstone installer laying patio

Tools And Materials Required For Mortar Mixing

Having the right tools and materials before you start mixing cement for your patio will simplify the whole process. Here we recommend making mortar by using a mixer to speed up the job. You can still make mortar by hand however it’ll be a more arduous process. The things you will need to mix your mortar are:

  • Cement
  • Sharp sand
  • Water
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Buckets for measuring ratios
  • Protective clothing such as work gloves
  • Powered mixer

Before starting the project we recommend discussing the materials with your builder's merchant or installer.

Cement can be corrosive, so wearing protective gear whilst cement mixing is essential.

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Step One: Measure Your Materials

The first step in mortar mixing is crucial to ensure you get the right consistency. 

The ideal ratio is 4:1 using sand and cement.

Use your bucket as a method to measure your materials accurately & consistently.

Step Two: Set Up Your Cement Mixer

Your cement mixer will need to be close by and within easy reach of a power source. If this is not possible at your home, you can hire a site generator or petrol-powered mixer.

Using the safety and operation instructions, turn the cement mixer on and clean it before starting.

Cement mixer Cement mixer

Step Three: Add Water And Half Of The Sand

After you have measured out your materials when mixing mortar for your patio, add some water first to the mixer to prevent sticking then add half of your sand.

Step Four: Add Cement

Then add your cement to the container. Once you have added both materials, start to run your mixer to combine them.

Step Five: Add The Rest Of Your Sand

The ingredients used for mortar mixing must be combined to create the adhesive. It’s recommended to add a little water as you go depending on the consistency of the cement you need; ideally, your mortar should be wet enough to pour but not too runny that it loses its shape. 

It’s best to start off small as you can always add more, so gradually add a small amount of water and mix it with the dry materials. Keep adding water until you’ve reached the consistency you are looking for. You’ll be looking to achieve a fairly dry but pliable mixture.

Step Six: Mix Thoroughly

When mixing cement for your patio, patience is key, and you must take your time to ensure that there are no lumps or dry pockets within the mixture by testing the consistency. Take your time and use the mixer well to combine the materials thoroughly. Keep mixing until you reach a uniform consistency.

Step Seven: Apply The Mixture With A Slurry Primer

Once you’ve mixed your cement and sand to reach the right consistency, you can use the mortar mixture to lay your patio! Remember all paving needs an application of slurry primer to the underside of the paving slab prior to laying on your mortar bed. For more advice on laying different kinds of paving stones, take a look at our advice section.

If you want high-quality paving stones to improve your home and landscape your garden, your local Bradstone stockist can help. Please click here to find yours. Alternatively, visit our to order up to three free samples today!