Concrete VS Cement
Although the terms concrete and cement are frequently used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. Cement is a dry powder that is used to hold things together. Concrete, on the other hand, is a material that combines cement, sand, and gravel. Understanding the distinction between concrete and cement is important for selecting the appropriate material for your driveway installation project.
Types of Concrete Mix
After discussing concrete vs cement, let’s look at the three most common types of concrete mix. When using any concrete mix, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Individual setting times will be included in the instructions.
- Fast-Setting Concrete Mix: If you need to support a fence or mailbox post, or make a small concrete slab, fast-setting concrete is an excellent choice. This takes only 20 to 40 minutes to set.
- High-Strength Concrete Mix: When durability is important, high-strength concrete is an excellent choice. This is ideal for footers, foundations, and heavy equipment bases.
- All-Purpose Cement: When in doubt, go with all-purpose cement. This is perfect for repairing foundation walls, laying sidewalks, building steps, and installing posts.
Types of Cement
When looking at cement products, you’ll find that there are three common cement types available: Portland cement, masonry cement and mortar mix.
- Portland Cement: Portland cement is a material that is commonly used in the production of concrete. It works similarly to a strong glue, forming a strong bond that makes it a popular choice for laying driveways and pathways. This will be an important component if you are making your own concrete.
- Masonry Cement Mix: Building brick or stone structures requires the use of commercial-grade masonry cement mix. This mixture combines gravel and sand with water to form a strong bond.
- Mortar Cement Mix: Mortar is a cement mix that is commonly used to lay brick and stone. This mixture of masonry cement, sand, and water forms a strong bond, but it is not suitable for structural support. It is a better choice for ornamental facades.
Which concrete is best for a driveway?
The best concrete mix for driveways has a compressive strength of at least 3500 psi and is 5-6 inches thick over compacted gravel and earth with a water to cement ratio of .50 and aggregate less than an inch. Additional reinforcements, such as fibre, wire mesh, or rebar, are commonly added to concrete driveways as well. In cold climates, the air-entrainment value should be around 6%.
If you have any questions, please contact us and our London concrete contractors be happy to help.