Even professional Masons continue argue the pro’s and con’s of mortar vs. sand joints. Short answer: a variable decision.

Here are the facts.

Traditional mortar is a powdered mix of Portland cement and water. After drying it becomes hard as a rock. Mortar creates a very permanent patio that, with proper installation and water drainage, lasts for decades. However it does have a downside, when mortar fails it can present large cracks. These cracks can be caused by freeze-thaw, tree roots or shifting soil under the patio. Cracking joints or major settling issues do require repair, which has led to more sand-joint patios than years past.

Sand-jointed patios are more flexible than mortar. They are designed to flex, rather than crack and when issues arise, they can be fixed relatively easily. But they can flex and settle too much. It’s not uncommon to “re-set” a sand joint patio every few years. So while it may not be as costly, initially, to fix, these patios can create more “routine” repairs, more often – it’ll add up.

For a permanent patio, nothing beats a mortar joint. It is a classic look and if in ideas stalled properly and maintained properly, will last decades with minimal issues. If you are a DIY-er, a sand-joint patio may suit your fancy. Both options do require the due-diligence of proper maintenance.

If you’re just altogether still on the fence about it, give us a call, and we can collaborate together, and come to a decision that is best for your homeownership wants and needs. Your Outfitters would be happy to hear about your project and provide a free estimate for a solution that meets your vision and your budget.