AMR Labs
817-366-8376
MortarLab@gmail.com 

AMR Labs is dedicated to matching mortar.
This is why we offer various forms of matching mortar including mortar analysis, mortar testing, sand analysis, mortar composition testing, and custom mortar color matching.

 

 

Matching Brick Mortar Color

Matching brick mortar color is often the most challenging part in repointing brickwork. This is due to the details that change mortar color. Mortar color is a direct result of the materials used to make the mortar and how they have aged. Without an understanding of the existing mortar mix composition and ratio, it would not be possible to match mortar color. This is because using different materials will tend to age differently. Even with a good mortar color match today, it may look completely different in a few weeks due to weathering of the materials used in the mortar mix.

Many brick pointing and repair companies boast about their grand method of matching mortar color for pointing cracks in brick walls, and some of them do a great job of matching the color the day of the repair. For many, the subtle tones that they are off, are not very noticeable until you step back a little from the wall or after the mortar begins to age. This is because they use different add-mixes and iron-oxide pigments to change the mortar mix color of their pointing mortar. To be clear, I'm not saying not to use these materials, but rather that most tuckpointing companies do not understand how to use them because they don't know the composition of the existing mortar or how to match mortar properly.

Iron-oxide pigments continue to bleed color as they oxidize. This is the intent of the material to prevent fading over time. Since your existing mortar continues to fade as it ages, and pointing mortar with iron-oxide pigments get bolder in their colors, the two mortars will not age together. When using these pigments to match mortar color, it is very important to only use enough to get close (if that much). Unless a mortar definitively contains pigment, it is not really recommended. Most of your mortar color should come from the composition materials used in the original mortar mix. These are primarily the sand and type of mortar mix.

Mortar Color Matching Services

Mortar Color Matching Services can provide mortar testing and analysis of the composition and properties of the existing mortar by analyzing samples. This provides the much needed information about the composition of the existing mortar mix and the color and grade (or particle sizes) of the original sand used, and if pigments were added to the old mortar to change the color. The analysis of mortar samples will provide a complete mortar formula of the existing mortar composition including sand to mix ratio.

This mortar formula can then be adjusted using different colors of the base materials to change the tone between white and grey mortar as needed to match the base tones of the mortar color. Matching the sand will dramatically change mortar color because the mortar is about 2/3 sand, and properly matching the sand will match the mortar color and texture most of the time, but it always adds to and changes the under tones of mortar color. When both the grey-white tone and the sand under-tone are matched, the color adjustment is often not needed to match mortar color, but small amounts of pigment may be needed to match staining unless a pigment was found during testing, and more pigment is needed for mortar color matching to the existing cement.

 

 

You can send samples of hardened mortar for testing to us at the following address.

AMR Labs
1525 Corona Dr.
Granbury, TX 76048

 

Click here to order/get prices and procedure for mortar testing/matching.

 

 

 

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