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What Are The Different Types Of Concrete?

Not many people think that there is much to concrete. Isn’t it just the stuff we pour down to make our roads, buildings, and driveways? Is there really more than one type of concrete in Australia? Well, do we have news for you! 

What are the different types of concrete? 

There are five different kinds of concrete that we will run through. All have different purposes and functions to be used for a range of tasks.  

First, we have plain concrete. It is the most popular type of concrete, and of course, for a good reason. It is easy to use, sleek, simple and utilised in any home or project. People love plain concrete because it is classic. Plain concrete is the type of concrete you see used most often for pavements, footpaths and buildings. Despite its high natural strength, structural builds don’t use plain concrete without steel reinforcing bars. The steel bars make this type of concrete more suitable for structural applications and exposure to major compressive strength. Despite needing reinforcement for high compressive builds, concrete remains the second most consumed material in the world after water. We know it works, lasts a lifetime and is versatile in its uses. But for some, the minimalist grey doesn’t match their personal style.

Coloured concrete is the same as plain concrete; it’s long-lasting and durable but also jazzed up! During the concrete mixing process, to create the desired hue, pigment is added to the mixture. These days, there is a range of concrete shades and colours. So, if grey doesn’t tickle your fancy, try one of the many colours on offer today. By mixing colour with concrete, you create a coloured product that will last in various weather conditions and over time without fading. We have 35 shades of concrete to choose from, from bright yellow and red, to dusty lime and latte. We have a colour selection to meet the most subdued or extravagant colour palettes. Coloured concrete is popular around pools and entertaining areas. When you combine the right colour additives with concrete, you make the creation your own.

Polished concrete has a couple more steps than plain concrete installations. After you pour and set the concrete mixture, grinding back the concrete cuts into the aggregates to various depths to achieve different finishes. The degree to which you grind exposes different levels of the concrete to achieve the unique look you desire. Polished concrete differs from plain concrete because it contains a penetrant chemical called a hardener. This hardener creates a chemical reaction, which results in a concrete surface’s resistance to dust (Yes, you heard that right, it’s dust resistant!). And, the addition of a dye achieves an even more personalised finish.

The next type of concrete type we have is exposed aggregate concrete, which is starting to make its way up the ladder to compete with plain concrete in popularity. Exposed aggregate is fantastic because it gives you variations in textures and colours, making your project stand out. Aggregate works by mixing stones, pebbles or even shells into the concrete mix and laying it on your surface. When sanded back, the mixed textures and additions are exposed. You can tailor your mixture to your own likings and style. We love this style in pathways or entertainment areas.  

Finally, lightweight concrete is a mixture of lightweight coarse aggregates, like clay or slate. This mix gives lightweight concrete a low-density characteristic, making it ideal for building modern structures, which require fewer cross-sections in the foundation. Lightweight concrete has higher water content than traditional concrete due to its porous aggregate properties, which increases the time it takes to dry. So the drying process isn’t even more time consuming; coarse aggregates are pre-soaked in water before being added to the concrete. Commonly, load-bearing walls, bridges and sewer systems use lightweight concrete. Thanks to its favourable properties, this concrete has become just as popular as plain concrete, and we will continue to see it selected to build sleeker foundations. While some may assume that it is cheaper due to its lower weight, often lightweight concrete requires extra material for cladding, framing or steel reinforcements. Despite the additional cost, lightweight concrete remains a cost-effective alternative.

Choosing the right type of concrete 

Choosing the right kind of concrete for your needs is crucial to your project’s success. Once you have a plan for what you want to do, i.e. fill in your driveway or lay down a new slab for your entertaining area. You should consider your budget. Are you willing to pay for the best quality materials to ensure long-lasting, high-quality work? What kind of style do you want? Then, have another read about the many concrete types discussed here, and pick what you think will look best for your project.

At Midland Mini Crete, we will save you time, money and put to rest your doubts about all things concrete.  We offer ready mix concrete, pre-mixed concrete, coloured concrete, and we deliver in Perth! Our ready-mix concrete is premium-quality, affordable and ideal for your building or home project. If you need a push in the right direction, head over to our concrete calculator to work out how much concrete you will need for your project.

Did we mention we deliver? We have a fleet of mini trucks available to deliver concrete to you, no matter how tricky your destination may be to reach! We can also supply loads as little as 0.2m³ (which is around three wheelbarrow loads). Our friendly staff will help you with prices and answer any questions you may have. Either send a message through the website for a quote, give us a call on (08) 9250 2322, or visit us at 30 Stanhope Gardens, Midvale, WA 6056. If you are looking for the best concrete suppliers in Perth, get in contact today.

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