How do get a nice warm sand-coloured mortar for pointing?

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by berto2002, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. berto2002

    berto2002 New Member


    We are having our house repointed and we really want a sand-coloured, not a grey-coloured mortar.
    I got some golden-coloured sand from Wickes and some darker reddish sand from B&Q and experimented.
    But with a 4:1 mix and standard Blue Circle cement, both come out largely grey (the golden sand comes out a lighter grey).
    I have tried adding in a little Snowcrete and it does soften the colour a bit to allow some sandy tones but it's still not proper sand coloured.

    Without colouring, can anyone recommend how to get a strong pointing mix that is a sandy colour? The original pointing was strong cement so we are planning on a like for like.

    If it helps, I am looking for the sandy colour that this chap was able to get in his "this is how it turned out" picture (but funnily enough he wanted more grey!):
    (pic also attached)

    I wonder if I need a different cement, to include lime not snowcrete, a different colour sand? If anyone can help I'd be grateful.


    Attached Files:

    ED muller likes this.
  2. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    You want normal builder's sand. It's light orange. 4-1 mix.

    Test a bit, make sure your test is at least 10mm thick and let it dry for more than a day.

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  3. Yellow sand and whte cement.
  4. berto2002

    berto2002 New Member

  5. berto2002

    berto2002 New Member

  6. berto2002

    berto2002 New Member


    When trying with yellow sand, the mortar comes out extremely light grey, even on a 3:1 mix. When I try more orange/red sand we get a bit of a warmer tint through.

    So I've done some testers of the following (red/orange sand):

    <ol>[*]3:1, 7:2 and 4:1 using grey cement only[*]The same using 1/2 grey and 1/2 white cement[*]The same using 2/3 grey and 1/3 white cement</ol>
    Hoping that one of them will come out to have a warmer shade of grey; but they don't look like they will be anything like the orginal attached image.

    Kaiser, the guy who took the attached pic said I should use an orange sand but he cannot remember the mix.

    I'll post the results in a day or two when they have dried.

    Oluyemisi likes this.
  7. Nick W

    Nick W New Member

    I have the same issue, everyone else seems to be able to have a sandy coloured mortar with a standard mix, nothing special, but I get a light grey. Just wondering how you solved this conundrum?
  8. 4 soft yellow builders sand, half snowcrete ( white cement ) and 1 lime.

    Will give a cream/sandy coloured mix.
  9. bricky by trade

    bricky by trade New Member

    standard blue cement is very dark try there mastercrete then should get colour after
  10. Nick W

    Nick W New Member

    I found a darker more ginger coloured sand and used a 1 white cement, 0.5 lime, 5 sand.
  11. tiler7777

    tiler7777 Member

    The less cement the more it will be yellow but it wont last as long, Ive seen roof tiles fall off beacuse the mix was too weak
  12. Oluyemisi

    Oluyemisi New Member

  13. Oluyemisi

    Oluyemisi New Member

  14. Oluyemisi

    Oluyemisi New Member

    Please I will like to know berto's result of grey cement and orange sand
  15. Ellwood Taylor

    Ellwood Taylor New Member

    Would anyone happen to know what sand is used in redimix? Usually the tubs I get delivered are quite pinky brown but they pretty much dry grey. I'm wanting to do a mix myself to be a fairly close match but I don't know if to order standard building sand or red sand? I wonder if it's anything to do with the retardant they use or what ? Thanks in advance for any opinions ! Ell
  16. Danny32

    Danny32 Member

    I realize this is an old thread but it’s just the problem I’m currently having.
    I’m repointing the side wall of my property and the mortar mix has been a consistent sand colour.
    After giving half a bag of sand to a neighbour, I bought exactly the same red/orange Tarmac builders sand again and the mix is drying light grey.
    Shown here to the right of the white piping.
    I’m using 5/1/1 sand, cement and hydrated lime.
    It looks completely different and thinking of tinting it but I need to try and get back to the original mix I had.
    Just wondering if the OP’s issue was resolved.
    Any help appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  17. TheJay

    TheJay Member

    I guess we will never know.
  18. Danny32

    Danny32 Member

    I’ve bought some buff MortarTone to try.
    The recent area I repointed stands out a mile. With very little in the way post pointing treatments available, it’s the only option.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
  19. MRY

    MRY Screwfix Select

    If you use white cement and builders sand you will get a very biscuit coloured/orange dogtrud colour. Maybe a bit too colourful. Perhaps you could adjust the sand to suit.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice