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Dec 25, Concrete Without Gravel – Best Types of Concrete Mix For Diy Projects

Concrete without gravel is a cement and sand mixture called mortar mix. Mortar mix is not suitable for structural support but is used to lay brick and stone.

Republished by Plato



concrete without gravel

can you make concrete without gravel?

A typical concrete mix cannot be made without gravel. Concrete is made from a mixture of cement, sand, gravel (crushed stone), and water.  A mix ratio of 1 part cement, 2 parts sand, 3 parts gravel, and water, will give you a strong concrete mix.

If you subtract the gravel from concrete, you have what’s called a mortar mix. Mortar mix is made from combining cement, sand, and water.

It’s the gravel (or stone aggregates) in concrete that gives it a lot if its strength. It’s what makes it a structural material that can be used to build houses, bridges, and roads.

Without the gravel, it’s mostly used as a glue to hold bricks, blocks, and stone together.

how is concrete made?

what are the different types of concrete mix?

Regular concrete mix is made or Portland cement, sand, and gravel. It’s commonly used for slabs, patios, floors, footings, steps, and sidewalks.

Fast- setting concrete has the same sand & gravel but a special blend of fast setting cements added. It sets hard in 20 – 40 minutes. Use it for fence posts, steps, walkways, small slabs.

Crack Resistant concrete has cement, sand, and gravel, but also has air-entraining admixture and reinforcing fibers. This recipe helps reduce cracking from drying shrinkage and can be used for structural concrete building.

There’s many other different types of concrete mixes out there. They either have slightly different blends of cement, sand, and gravel, and/or they have various admixtures added to them for specific applications.

But, they all have some kind of gravel or stone as one of the ingredients. If they don’t, it’s not considered a concrete mix, it’s some type of mortar mix.

what’s the difference between concrete, cement, and mortar?

  1. Concrete is a mixture of Portland cement, sand, and gravel.
  2. Cement is a powder – when it’s mixed with water it forms a paste that hardens. It is one of the main ingredients used to make both concrete and mortar.
  3. Mortar is a mixture of Portland cement, hydrated lime, and sand. (no gravel or stone) 


Made of cement, sand & gravel

Structural building material

Used for building foundations, floors, slabs, bridges and roads

Common strengths are from 2500 psi – 5000 psi


Made from limestone, silica sand, iron ore, clay, slate, shale

Creates a paste when mixed with water that binds with sand/rock to harden

Used to make concrete and mortar


Made of cement, hydrated lime, fine sand

Used for building brick, block, stone walls

Not as strong as concrete

3 basic types- M, S, N, each is rated a different strength

Can I make concrete with just sand and cement?

No, you can’t make concrete with only sand and cement. Concrete isn’t considered concrete without aggregates like gravel and stone. It’s the aggregates that contribute to concrete having high strength.

If you just mix sand and cement (with water), you’ll get something closer to mortar or masonry cement, but it’ll be very low in strength and not be good to use for any type of structural application.

There’s many different types of mortar mixes out there. These two are used a lot for making block walls, brick walls, stone veneers, tuck pointing, planters, and more.

Both are a “just add water” mix and very easy to use.

You can buy Quikrete Mortar Mix on Amazon or you can get it at Home Depot.

Rapid Set makes a High Strength Structural Repair Mortar. 

It’s about as close as you’ll get to making concrete without gravel.

It’s high strength and low shrinkage make it very good for wall and floor repair, mortar beds, and masonry.

It can be applied up to 6″ thick.

It has a very fast drying time.

Rapid Set Mortar Mix is available to purchase on Amazon also, or you can get it at Home Depot.

Make sure you have the right masonry tools if you’re going to be working with a mortar mix.

concrete vs cement

A lot of times the term “cement” is used when someone is really talking about concrete. They might say “cement truck”, “cement slab”, or “pouring cement”.  When they really mean concrete truck, concrete slab or placing concrete.

Cement is a dry powder and is one of the ingredients in concrete. It helps bind the sand and aggregates together to form concrete. Concrete is made from mixing cement, sand, gravel, and water.

A simple mixing ratio to make concrete is 1 part cement to 2 parts sand to 3 parts gravel. Mix with enough water to make a workable mixture.

When you understand the difference between concrete vs cement you’ll be able to choose the right material to build your project.

what size gravel is best for concrete?

Most concrete mixes use gravel or stone that’s 3/8 inch to 3/4 inch in size. Some gravel will also have some finer aggregates mixed in as well.

When you combine gravel of this size with sand and Portland cement (don’t forget the water) , you get a very durable, strong, and easy to use mixture of concrete.

Larger size gravel and stone, 1 inch, 1.5 inch, or 2 inch makes a very strong concrete mix when proportioned properly, but is harder to place, level, and smoothen out.

is quikrete as strong as concrete?

Yes, Quikrete concrete mixes are designed to be as strong as regular ready-mix concrete.

Quikrete’s original concrete mix has a compressive strength of 4000 psi. Quikrete 5000 reaches a compressive strength of 5000 psi in 28 days.

A lot of commonly used ready-mix concrete is designed to reach 2500 – 4000 psi in 28 days. These concrete mixes are used for foundations, footings, floors, slabs, driveways, and patios.

In the guide above, Quikrete designs their concrete mixes to all reach at least 4000 psi in 28 days. Just make sure to follow their mixing instructions to achieve these strengths.

learn how to mix and work with concrete

If you need help learning how to mix, pour, finish and just basically learning how to work with concrete, then you can learn from me in The Concrete Underground.

I’ll teach you how to pour and finish concrete for things like floors, slabs, patios, walkways, and stairs.

I have all my training courses in there plus a lot more. There’s many others in there just like you and you get to ask me questions in the private forum.

If you liked this, please share.  Thanks!



How is Sand Used in the Construction Industry?

Contrary to popular belief, there are several different forms of sand on this earth.  Some are engineered for specific construction purposes, and others are completely natural.  Sand has been used for many different purposes since the beginning of time, and is especially useful to the construction industry for many reasons.  Sand uses in the construction
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<br /> How is Sand Used in the Construction Industry? | Port Aggregates

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3 Reasons to Use Concrete for Your Commercial Construction Project

Did you know that concrete is the most frequently used man-made material in the world? This material is extremely popular in commercial and industrial construction projects as well as residential renovations. If you’re starting a new commercial project or looking to revamp the appearance of your business, you’ll want to consider using concrete for the
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The post 3 Reasons to Use Concrete for Your Commercial Construction Project appeared first on Port Aggregates.

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<br /> 3 Reasons to Use Concrete for Your Commercial Construction Project | Port Aggregates

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Feb 16, Concrete Yardage Calculators – How Much Do I Need For Any Type of Job

Find the perfect concrete calculator to figure cubic yardage (and cubic meters) for any type of concrete project. Floors, slabs, walls and much more.

Republished by Plato



Calculate concrete cubic yardage for slabs, walls, footings, columns, stairs, blocks, curbs, and gutters using the many different concrete calculators on this page.

Estimate the volume and weight of concrete you’ll need for any given area.

Figure out how many cubic yards of concrete you need in both US units of measure (feet and inches) and International system of units or metric units (meters and centimeters) of measurement.

Concrete calculator


The best way (and fastest way) to calculate concrete yardage is using a concrete calculator.

These concrete calculators are very accurate and will help you determine the volume of concrete you need for the type of project you’re doing.

Always add a little extra to the quantity estimated just to be on the safe side. 

Rarely is any concrete project perfect and you don’t want to be left short on the amount you need.

You’ll be able to calculate concrete cubic yardage, weight, and how many bags you need for:

  • Concrete slabs
  • Concrete Walls
  • Concrete Footings
  • Circular slabs or Tubes
  • Columns or Sono-tubes
  • Concrete Curbs and Gutters
  • Concrete stairs

Concrete calculator formula for a slab or floor

If you want to use a formula to calculate concrete volume, I have a whole page like the picture above that shows you a written formula for:

  1. Square or Rectangular Slabs
  2. Round Slabs
  3. Concrete Walls
  4. Concrete Footers
  5. Square Columns
  6. Round Columns
  7. Concrete Stairs and Steps
  8. Concrete Curbs and Gutters

Concrete calculators for specific applications

Use the concrete calculators below to help you determine concrete yardage for your specific project.

Use the calculators above for estimating purposes only.

Always double check your calculations when you figure concrete for a project. Not having enough concrete to finish can be both frustrating and problematic.

Concrete is made from aggregate (stone), sand, cement, and water.

You can make your own concrete using the raw materials and my concrete mixing ratio formula or you can buy pre-mixed concrete in bags that you just add water to.

For large projects, ordering concrete from a ready mix concrete company is usually easier and faster. 

Learn how to do your own concrete slab by taking my concrete slab course.

The concrete calculator APP for the Iphone and Android smartphone is terrific! I use it daily. The free desktop download is courtesy of Meet-Mr-Concrete.

Learn how I check the sub-grade to find the average thickness of a concrete floor on either the floors or slabs calculator page.

When I order concrete from a ready mix company, I always add 1/2 to 1 yard more than what it says on the calculator.

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