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Old 12-17-2006, 12:36 AM   #1
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Changing mortar color?


I have an interesting situation that I need some help with. I'm purchasing a brand new home from a track home builder. The finished home is going to be vinyl sided with a brick foundation. The brick I selected is Silas Towne from Nash Brick, which is sort of a random brown brick.

Okay, here's where it gets a little silly. When I signed the contract several months ago I asked the builder to use straw mortar, since I felt it matched the Silas Towne color better. At that time I was told that they had to use gray mortar since the house I was buying was vinyl sided. The only way I could get straw mortar was if I purchased a full brick faced home, which I was perfectly willing to do. Unfortunately, this builder doesn't allow two houses next to one another to have the same brick or siding color and my future next door neighbor already selected Silas Towne.

Anyway, I didn't think much of this until I visted the homesite today and saw the finished brick. As it turns out the masonry contractor mistakenly used straw mortar for the front porch and gray for the rest of the foundation. Personally, I like the straw color but it's against their color policy. BTW, the first picture shows gray mortar to the left of the corner and straw to the right. Second picture is all straw. Third picture is all gray.

So here's my question. Is there anyway I can tint or color the gray mortar to match the straw color I like? If so, how is this done and how permanent is the coloring?

Thanks,
Kelly
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Last edited by kcrossley2; 12-17-2006 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:52 AM   #2
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Changing mortar color?


I am pretty sure you could use concret stain to tint it although to just do the motor at this point it going to take awhile and alot of patience or you could stain the whole thing to match the other brick

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Old 12-17-2006, 12:00 PM   #3
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Changing mortar color?


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Originally Posted by clasact View Post
I am pretty sure you could use concret stain to tint it although to just do the motor at this point it going to take awhile and alot of patience or you could stain the whole thing to match the other brick
How permanent is concrete stain and what brands do you recommend? I'm trying to avoid a maintenance problem.
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:29 PM   #4
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Changing mortar color?


There is no DIY way to fix it. There are two ways to change the color of the mortar permanantly with no future maintainance issues:

You can cut out the joints and tuckpoint them.

You can hire a company that does brick/joint staining and they can make the joints (and the brick) look like whatever you want.

Neither solution is cheap or easy.
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:53 PM   #5
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Changing mortar color?


Why do you think they used straw for the porch and gray for the balance of the foundation? That just doesn't seem to make much sense.

Last edited by kcrossley2; 12-17-2006 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:55 PM   #6
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Changing mortar color?


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Neither solution is cheap or easy.
How much do you think tinting the mortar costs?
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:01 PM   #7
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Changing mortar color?


About half of what it would cost to tear it out and redo it.
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:03 PM   #8
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Changing mortar color?


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About half of what it would cost to tear it out and redo it.
Is tinting the mortar something most brick masons can do or is it a specialized process?
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:07 PM   #9
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Changing mortar color?


Your terminology is incorrect. You tint the mortar when it is plastic. After it is laid, you are staining the mortar.

Most masons can tint mortar, very few can stain it, although most can tuckpoint it.
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:37 PM   #10
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Changing mortar color?


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Your terminology is incorrect. You tint the mortar when it is plastic. After it is laid, you are staining the mortar.

Most masons can tint mortar, very few can stain it, although most can tuckpoint it.
Oops! Sorry. Okay, what's tuckpoint?
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:50 PM   #11
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Changing mortar color?


You grind out the joints to a depth of 3/8" to 1/2" and replace the mortar with fresh.
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:55 PM   #12
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Changing mortar color?


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You grind out the joints to a depth of 3/8" to 1/2" and replace the mortar with fresh.
That sounds like a PITA. Are you sure staining wouldn't be cheaper?
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:15 PM   #13
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Changing mortar color?


Almost all masons can tuckpoint, only a few nationwide provide the service (to an acceptable extent) of staining. Which do you think is cheaper?
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:25 PM   #14
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Changing mortar color?


Well since the mason mixed the mortar colors (gray for the porch, and straw for the rest of the foundation), do you think asking them to tuckpoint ONLY the front foundation of the house is a reasonable solution?
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:30 PM   #15
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Changing mortar color?


Will you be landscaping the home? If so, you are back to that same 99% who will never notice.

If you want to fix it yourself, there is an alternative that you can do that will last long enough for it not to matter (because of normal grime accumulation on a foundation). You can mix a slurry of cement, bonding agent, and pigment to the desired color and and scrub it into the joints. Not a recommended practice, but it does work.

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