Common Differences Between Cement and Concrete

What's the Difference Between Cement and Concrete?

What’s the difference between cement and concrete? Many people may think that the terms cement and concrete are used interchangeably, but in reality, cement is an ingredient that goes into the making of concrete. Concrete itself is made with a mixture of cement, aggregates, and water. Aggregates consist of various types of sand, gravel, and/or crushed stone. Once the water and cement mix it causes the consistency to harden and bond to the aggregates creating the rock-like consistency we call concrete. The finished concrete product is the material that is associated with the building of driveways, patios, sidewalks, and other various structures that need strength and durability.

What is in Cement?

Since it is known that cement is an ingredient to concrete, then what are the ingredients of cement? Portland cement, which is a generic form of concrete, is comprised of many different materials like limestone, shale, iron, and clay. Those ingredients are then crushed, screened, and placed in a cement kiln. The high temperatures that are achieved in the kiln cause a rock-like substance that is then ground into a fine powder, known as cement.

When to Use Concrete vs. Cement?

Concrete is best used in larger projects while cement can be used for smaller DIY projects. The major projects that come to mind when deciding to use concrete include foundations, stairwells, buildings, and footers. Concrete can also be used for basement and garage floors, sidewalks, driveways, patios, and every flatwork job in between. Cement is better used for smaller jobs that do not always require a concrete contractor. These jobs can range from grouting to repairs for cracked and distressed concrete. If you are ever thinking of renovating your property, make sure you ask yourself if concrete or cement is the better answer.

Key Differences Between Concrete and Cement?

Concrete not only has different chemical components, including limestone, iron, and clay – they also accomplish different things based on your concrete needs. Cement is best used for smaller jobs like repairing small cracks, while concrete is used for bigger projects like walkways, patios, and more. See a full break down of differences between concrete and cement below.

Cement Uses

Cement is used as a binding tool in construction. Naturally, it has many different uses:

  • It is used in concrete for laying flooring
  • It is used for water tightness control
  • It is used for making joints for drains and pipes
  • It is used in masonry work 
  • It is used in the construction of water wells, streets, and water tanks, tennis courts, lamp posts, and many more 

Concrete Uses

Concrete is used for bigger-scale projects in construction. There are several specializations of concrete including structural concrete, flat-ground concrete, and commercial concrete. Here is a list of projects concrete is capable of handling:

Flat-ground Work:

  • Walkways
  • Patios
  • Driveways
  • Sidewalks
  • Garage Flooring
  • Basements
  • Pool Decks

Commercial Work:

  • Loading Docks
  • Storage Pads
  • Trash Pads
  • Parking Structures
  • Fences and Poles

Structural Concrete

  • Roads and Bridges
  • Overpasses
  • Architectural Structures
  • Motorways
  • Building Foundations
  • Pavements
concrete vs cement

Find the Right Person to Accomplish your Concrete Needs.

We at Sam the Concrete Man utilize concrete in order to fulfill large project needs that are in demand by our customers. We have been pouring concrete for over 30 years since 1989. We know concrete inside and out making us a reliable home improvement company you can always rely on for your concrete needs. We provide top-notch concrete that will be sure to satisfy any of your residential concrete projects. You want to always make sure you find a concrete contractor or company that you can trust, and you will always have that in us! Make sure to get your free estimate if you are ever in need of quality Concrete Services.


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