You probably know what grout is, and you probably know what cement is. But unless you use both professionally, you may not know all the minute differences between the two.
Both products start out as powders and are combined with water to form a sticky substance that are made to bond products. They also both dry and cure. But they are not the same.
This article will look at the differences between the two items and answer the question, can I use cement as grout?
What is Grout?
Grout is often confused with mortar, but there are differences between the two.
Grout is a type of mortar without the lime additive. The lime is used to increase durability and pliability, so the lack of the substance makes it more of a gap filler and sealer than a primary glue for connecting pieces of masonry. Therefore, its commonly used to fill gaps when laying down tile and in heavy construction for connecting sections of precast concrete.
Grout is also one of the few structural pastes that forms a watertight seal. That’s why it’s often used in kitchens and bathrooms. It also comes in a wide variety of colors.
What is Concrete?
Concrete is made from a combination of sand, cement, and a coarse aggregate like gravel. It can be used in a variety of projects including building foundations, sidewalk constructions, setting fence posts and more. It can be molded to form almost any shape and will dry to form the rock-hard material we are familiar with.
Concrete Vs. Grout
Here are some ways concrete and grout differ.
Concrete and grout are both used in construction. However, grout is typically used in filling gaps in ceramic tiles in bathroom and kitchens. Its viscosity allows it to fill tiny gaps as small as 1/8” wide.
Concrete is used in heavy duty applications like setting mailboxes and fenceposts and pouring slabs.
When talking about strength, we must consider the compressive strength, or the material’s ability to withstand pressure, the tensile strength which is the product’s resistance when it is being pulled apart, and its flexural strength which is its ability to resist breaking when being bent.
The tensile and flexural strengths of grout and concrete are difficult to measure but when it comes to compressive strength, concrete is generally stronger. However, this depends on what type of concrete and grout you are using.
Concrete’s compressive strength generally falls between 3500 and 8000 PSI while grout ranges from 2500 and 5000 PSI. However, there are high strength grouts that can be as high as 12500 PSI.
Grout and concrete have several similar properties, but their uses are very different. Now that you know the characteristics that define them, you can decide which is best suited for your projects. Which one will you choose the next time you DIY?
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