Cement and concrete—two building materials that look alike but in reality are incredibly different. With unique strengths, compositions, and uses, they each have their niche in construction and decorative projects, and as such, it’s critical that the homeowner looking to renovate their backyard understand the difference.

Creative Concrete, as a local concrete company of New Brighton, is here to help. Below, you’ll find out the finer details of what separates these two substances from multiple standpoints, and when you may want to use one over the other.

Compositional Differences

Cement, in actuality, is an ingredient of concrete. The latter is made up of cement, rock, sand , and water, while the former is a substance all on its own.

Depending on what kind of cement you’re talking about, it can be made up of limestone, clay, bauxite (a metal-heavy rock), iron, slate, and shells—and that’s not even an exhaustive list! The most common type of cement used in the concrete industry is called portland cement.

When builders talk about what’s in their cement, they’re referring to a small part of the concrete and not the decorative concrete structure as a whole. While cement is still important from a structural standpoint (we’ll get to the specifics on that in a minute), it’s just a part of the bigger picture that’s the concrete.

Different Structural Roles

Concrete and cement play different roles in creating a given structure. Cement works as a binding agent, sort of like eggs do in a cookie recipe; it glues whatever it’s touching together. Because of this useful property, cement is often used outside of concrete creation and has many versatile roles in the construction industry.

Concrete, on the other hand, is much more well-known for its strength and ease of shaping than its stickiness. Because it can be manipulated easily into a variety of structures, it’s a go-to for the creation of a variety of innovative structures—stamped concrete anyone?

Different Strengths

Concrete is much stronger than cement and can last for hundreds of years. When combining stone with water and cement and allowing the substance to rest, the results amount to one of the most durable building materials available.

Creative Concrete: Residential Concrete Contractors Near You

With our thorough knowledge of our craft and drive to provide great service, Creative Concrete is the obvious choice for all your decorative concrete needs. Give our New Brighton office a call today at 612-414-7932.