Which building material should you use in your next project?

Concrete is the most used construction material in the world. What many people don’t know is that even though the words “concrete” and “cement” are often used interchangeably, they are two totally different materials. We’re here to set the record straight. For more fun facts, check out the other resources available on our website

Concrete is more durable than cement; in fact, concrete is one of the most durable materials in the world! It can last hundreds of years and is resistant to rust or rot that is common in humid environments, which makes it the perfect building material in Florida. If you’ve been reading our other blogs, you may already know that cement is actually used in the process of making concrete. 

Let’s break it down further. Concrete is made with water, an aggregate like sand, and cement. The reaction between the cement and concrete is what makes concrete so strong. That chemical reaction is a process known as hydration. 

To get cement, first limestone is quarried. Then it’s mixed with a silica source and fired in a kiln. The substance that comes out of the kiln is referred to as “clinker.” Clinker is then ground down into a fine powder and mixed with some additives in a cement plant, producing the end product we know as cement. 

Cement’s unique adhesive properties caused by the silica and other materials in the cement make it a very good binding agent. On its own, cement is prone to cracking, but in concrete, it’s a very strong material.  

Concrete is best for large jobs like sidewalks, roads and even kitchen countertops. Cement works great for smaller projects, such as repairing cracked concrete, specialized masonry projects, or grouting.

No matter the project, Tolley Concrete is here to help. For more advice on what building material is perfect for your project, visit our website or give us a call.