What’s the Difference Between Cement and Concrete?

By Brian Ki, P.E. | April 21, 2021

Often, the terms of cement and concrete are mistakenly used interchangeably. In fact, cement is an ingredient of concrete and other building materials (such as mortar) and is rarely used on its own.

To create concrete, several ingredients are mixed. This mix always includes crushed stone or gravel, sand, Portland cement, and water. Sometimes additives are used to help control the mixture’s properties, such as dyes, temperature control, or setting time.

As one of the ingredients of concrete, cement acts to bind the other ingredients within the mix. Portland cement is a generic type of cement used, not necessarily a brand. Just like copper or aluminum can be associated with flashing materials, Portland cement is a type of cement, and happens to be the most common type.

While are working on your next building project, be sure to use the proper terminology and order the right material!

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