What Is the Difference Between Cement and Concrete?

Creating a new parking lot for your property often requires you to hire commercial concrete services Brookhaven NY. If you contact them and ask for a cement parking lot, they will probably be outwardly polite, but inwardly they may become amused or frustrated. This is because cement and concrete are not the same thing, although they are related. Many people say the word “cement” when they really mean concrete.


Cement is made of materials such as clay and limestone that are rich in the element silica, as well as calcium. These materials give it adhesive properties. Cement is sold as a dry, powdery substance that turns into a paste when it gets wet. As it dries, the particles stick together in a new solid form. While cement tends to hold its shape, it is susceptible to cracks. For this reason, cement is rarely used for large projects. It has more value as a binding agent and can also be used to repair concrete that has broken and for smaller jobs such as grout.


Along with sand and gravel, cement is an ingredient in concrete. That is how the two are related and why people use the two terms interchangeably. Mixing the cement with aggregates and then making a paste by adding water makes concrete much stronger and more durable than cement would be alone. Concrete can last for hundreds of years, while cement alone has a much shorter life expectancy. Concrete’s durability makes it a more desirable building material as well as a more versatile one. It is as effective for small projects, such as walkways and landscape edging, as it is for large ones such as your new parking lot.

Your concrete contractor probably won’t get mad if you accidentally refer to concrete as cement. However, if you can refer to the material correctly, it does show respect for the profession.