When a handful of bags of Cement Australia Trade Mortar and White Cement, along with a range of oxides turned up on my desk to test I picked up the phone and called Bon Rich from BR Masonry.
When I asked if he could give the Trade Mortar a run with some oxides his reply summed up our overall great experience. “Of course I can, I love that stuff, their oxides are the best,” Bon replied with enthusiasm.
As Bon and his brickies ripped in onsite a week later, all agreed it’s a fantastic product from start to finish.
Brickies are looking for consistency in performance, colour, and strength. These three elements, when right, allow for fast and stunning brickwork. It comes down to the consistent quality of cement, sand, and additives in the exact right proportions. It is removing any concerns about the quality of bulk sand deliveries or raw materials.
Even if the labourers had a big weekend and are running on autopilot, there are no batching errors or chance of using out-of-spec Trade Mortar. Add water and you are good to go, saving time and reducing the chance of errors.
But we wanted to go a bit further than just showing the Trade Mortar in its traditional form, so after getting the boys to do a few standard Trade Mortar Mixes we pulled out the oxides and decided to have some fun.
To start with Bon had been using the black oxide and black brick on a nice job in the Eastern Suburbs, but as luck would have it the boys ran out of the black brick the day before I arrived on site and deliveries from Melbourne were a good week away. As Bon’s wife was almost ready to have their first child my only chance to see the oxides in action was to catch up with Bon on another job his team was working on, which was being rendered down the track. This opportunity gave us the perfect time to try out some of the colours that Bon hadn’t used before, so with that the Blue Oxide was thrown into the mixer, and we were away.
Oxide Additive Colours:
Black Dark Brown
Sandstone Ocean Green
Light Brown Blu
Test 1. Trade Mortar With Blue Oxide
The Trade Mortar is always nice and fluffy and a pleasure to use, and after the first two mixes of Trade Mortar without any oxide, the look on the boys’ faces when the first blue mix came out was priceless. But as the bricks went down you could really see how with the right brick choice or mixing the oxide into a render mix, this blue would look amazing.
Adding the colour oxide to the mixer first then adding the Trade Mortar was the preferred method by Bon who swears by Cement Australia products. “I’ve used lots of Cement Australia oxides for a range of jobs around Australia. The colours are consistent and look great. The maximum colour saturation is a 10 per cent oxide of the cement content. I’ve mostly used the black and sandstone oxides, so it’s very cool to see the blue used here today.”
- For a deep colour use White or Off-White cement based render or mortar
- Change to sand can affect colour so purchase enough sand in the one transaction for the entire job
- Oxide colour will slightly lighten over the first week
- Long-lasting colour intensity
- Resistant to UV radiation
Test 2. Trade Mortar With Red Oxide
It’s funny when you first see the mix get poured out of the mixer and lifted up onto the board it looks intense, but once you see it laid out over a few courses, you quite quickly get a feel for how amazing it could look in the right application with an architectural or designer brick application. The sky’s the limit once you start to get the creative juices flowing for the number of unique applications that could be possible for an inspired architect, designer or homeowner.
As much as we had a little fun with this job because our wall is being rendered, what is very clear is what becomes possible to bring life into mortars and renders with the addition of Cement Australia’s range of oxides. With a convenient size being available you can purchase what is required and trial the other colours.
Both Cement Australia’s Trade Mortar and White Cement provided consistent results, which brickies have grown to know and love – Bon and his team included!