28 Nov

Difference Between Concrete And Cement

What is the difference between concrete and cement?

Concrete and cement are very important materials in the construction industry. Unfortunately, many people still think that concrete and cement are the same things.

The terms cement and concrete can confuse people who have never worked with the materials before and are giving DIY a go. 

Even though the 2 terms are commonly used synonymously, cement and concrete are actually very different materials. Cement is a very fine material that is a component of both concrete and mortar that is never used alone. While concrete is an extremely strong reliable building material composed of cement, sand, and gravel.


Cement is a building element in both concrete and mortar. It is most commonly known to consist of the following elements, limestone, clay, shells, quartz, and sand. These ingredients are crumbled and mixed with other elements (including iron ore), then heated to about 1500 C. The resulting clinker material is ground into a fine powder. Cement can also be called Portland cement as it was first created in England in 1800. Portland cement is the most common type of cement today, it is a type of “hydraulic cement that hardens in combination with water.


Concrete is used all over the world in construction. It consists of cement, sand, and crushed stone, or other fine, coarse aggregate. Cement is activated when water is added to it. You can buy ready-made mixtures of cement where all you have to do is add water. Such ready-made mixtures of cement are suitable for small technical tasks. For large projects, you can buy cement packets and mix them with sand and gravel on your own. 

Cement and concrete: The basics

There are lots of questions that first-timers have when it comes to concrete and cement. Here are a few answers for you.

How can I control the strength of my cement?

The element that affects the concrete strength the most is the ratio of water to the cement paste that binds all the elements together. The higher the ratio is the weaker the concrete will end up and vice versa.

Why does concrete crack?

Concrete, just like all other materials, will slightly change in volume when it dries out. Joints are put into concrete footpaths and floors to allow the concrete to break in a straight line at the joint when the amount of the concrete changes due to how it has decreased in size.

Concrete Cracking On The Ground

Will my concrete strengthen underwater?

As mentioned previously, Portland cement is a hydraulic cement, this means that it sets and hardens due to a chemical response with water, meaning yes it will harden underwater.

We hope that our blog has helped you understand the difference between concrete and cement. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01442 389105 or alternatively head over to our contact page to fill in our online enquiry form. 

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