Building Materials

Working with cement, concrete, and mortar

The terms cement, concrete, and mortar can be confusing to beginning builders because they are often used interchangeably, which is inaccurate. Cement, concrete, and mortar are three different materials. Cement is a binder, a chemical substance used for construction that sets, hardens, and adheres to other materials to bind them together. Cement is seldom used on its own, but rather to bind sand and gravel (aggregate) together. Cement mixed with fine aggregate produces mortar for masonry, or with sand and gravel, produces concrete.

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