What's The Difference Between Cement & Concrete?

   29 September 2023

What's The Difference Between Cement & Concrete?

Cement and concrete are two of the most common building materials in the world. They are often used interchangeably, but there is a key difference between the two. Cement is a powder that is used to bind together other materials, such as sand and gravel. Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water.


Here is a table that summarises the key differences between cement and concrete:






Fine powder made from limestone, clay, and other minerals

Mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water


Grey powder

Gray, brown, or other colours depending on the ingredients


Low strength on its own

High strength when mixed with other materials


Used to make mortar, grout, and other cementitious materials

Used to make pavements, roads, buildings, and other structures


The Difference Between Concrete And Cement & How It Is Made

Cement is made by heating limestone, clay, and other minerals to a very high temperature. This process causes the minerals to react and form a new substance called clinker. The clinker is then ground into a fine powder, which is cement.


Concrete is made by mixing cement, sand, gravel, and water. The water reacts with the cement to form a paste that binds the sand and gravel together. The concrete then hardens over time.


The strength of concrete depends on the type of cement used, the amount of water added, and the size and shape of the aggregates. Concrete can be made to be very strong, and it is often used to make structures that need to be able to support a lot of weight, such as buildings and bridges.

How Water Reacts With Concrete & Cement

Before choosing cement or concrete for your building project, a key consideration is how the materials react with water. Knowing the relationship between water and material is essential for the safety and build quality of your job. 

  • Cement is not water-soluble, but concrete is. This means that cement can be stored in a dry place, but concrete needs to be protected from water.

  • Concrete is a porous material, which means that it can absorb water. This can cause the concrete to weaken over time.

  • Concrete can be made to be resistant to water by adding admixtures to the mix. Admixtures are chemicals that can improve the properties of concrete, such as its strength, durability, and workability.

Quality Groundwork & Construction

Overall, they are both important building materials that are used in a variety of applications. However, it is important to understand the difference between concrete and cement in order to use them correctly.


Are you looking for dependable groundwork and construction services? Look no further than JW Clark. Our team have over 20 years of experience in the industry and have the skills and knowledge needed to ensure a high quality job. From planthire to aggregates, we have the lot.


Contact JW Clark to discuss your construction project today.

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