Mortar has played a major role in construction since ancient times with the oldest example having been found in Israel and thought to date back 10,000 years. Much of the ancient mortar still in existence remains durable today, a testament to the long lasting nature of the material.
In practice, a mortar joint acts as a sealant, a bearing pad, the glue that sticks the units together yet keeps them apart and, in this sense, performs as a gap-ﬁlling adhesive.
Today, mortar in the UK is produced to the speciﬁcation BS EN 998-2: Speciﬁcation for mortar for masonry – Part 2: Masonry mortar
BS EN 13318 defines a screed as: A layer or layers of screed material laid in situ, directly onto a base, bonded or unbonded, or onto an intermediate layer or insulating layer, to obtain one or more of the following purposes:
- To obtain a defined level;
- To carry the final flooring;
- To provide a wearing surface.