What is the difference between “cement,” “concrete” and “mortar”?

Often, the terms “cement,” “concrete” and “mortar” are used almost interchangeably. The terms refer to materials that have three different purposes:

Cement: The binding element in both concrete and mortar.

Concrete: A product composed of cement, sand and gravel or other coarse aggregate. When water is mixed in with this product, it activates the cement, which is the element responsible for binding the mix together to form one solid object.

Mortar: A product composed of masonry cement (or portland cement and lime) and mason sand. When water is mixed in with this product, the cement is activated. Whereas concrete can stand alone, mortar is used to hold together bricks, stones or other building materials.

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