Lime Binders

High quality natural and non-hydraulic lime binders for creating lime mortars, including Lime Putty, St. Astier NHL, Quicklime and Prompt Natural Cement.

Limes have been used as mortar and render binders for thousands of years. There are two key types of Lime used in mortars: Non-Hydraulic Limes such as Lime Putty, and Natural Hydraulic Limes (NHL’s), which are harder and more resistant to adverse weather conditions.

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A binder is any material, such as lime, gypsum or cement, that holds other materials together to form a composite, thus creating a mortar.

Lime binders are used instead of modern Portland cement or gypsum to function like the ‘glue’ in the mix, which holds the overall material together. Lime has been used as a binder for millennia around the globe.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to which type of lime should be used. We always advise that each project is unique, and what lime is most appropriate should be determined by several factors, including the period of the building, internal or external environmental factors and the condition of the masonry. When in doubt, seek professional guidance or speak with our team, who is happy to help advise you.

We strongly advise against the addition of cement to a lime mortar. Lime has been used for millennia successfully without the need for the addition of cement. There is often an assumption that strength equates to durability; however, these are two different characteristics. The qualities that make cement an excellent modern material, impermeability, strength and high density, make it inappropriate for solid wall construction. Cement reduces the porosity, vapour permeability and overall breathability of mortar, which can lead to issues with moisture or the decay of the stone or brick masonry. For those looking for additional strength but breathability for more modern construction, we recommend the Cornerstone Newbuild range.

Lime is often more expensive than cement due to the scale of manufacturing. The volume of lime produced each year globally is much lower than its cement counterpart. However, lime is much bulkier, so when comparing a bag of cement with a bag of lime at the same weight, you will get more buckets of lime than cement per bag. As such, consider this when comparing prices, as using a weight-to-price ratio alone might be less helpful.

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