Cement is a material that binds all the other building materials together to give strength to a building.
Therefore, you might agree with me when I say:
Finding the best cement for house construction is very important and critical for your house construction work.
And in this article, we are going to talk about which cement is better for which part of your building during the house construction.
So, let’s get started:
Table of Contents
Types of Cement Commonly Used for House Construction
We have different types of cement available in different grades with their own specific characteristics. Due to this some of the cement will be more suitable for use in the construction of the specific parts of the house construction.
And with the availability of specific types of cement for each part of your house, it is recommended to understand the type of cement and purchase the right type and grades of cement during each phase of the construction.
For residential house construction in India, generally, 2 different types of cement are used:
The full form of OPC is Ordinary Portland Cement. It is a fine powder, produced by heating limestone and clay minerals in a kiln to form clinker, grinding the clinker, and adding 2 to 3 percent of gypsum. OPC Cement is found in 3 different grades:
OPC 33 Grade
OPC 43 Grade
OPC 53 Grade
The different grades of OPC Cement are designated for different compressive strengths. Higher the grade, more the strength it can provide to the concrete.
The full form of PPC is Portland Pozzolana Cement. PPC is made by adding the pozzolanic materials with the grey cement to impart better chemical resistance properties. PPC cement gains the strength of around 43 N/sq.mm after 30 days.
Now that you have understood the 2 types of cement which are generally used for house construction. Let us now understand the difference between the two.
OPC vs PPC Cement
PPC Cement has higher setting time in comparison to OPC
Lower setting time in comparison to PPC
Grade of Cement
PPC Cement is available in only 1 grade (Comparable to OPC 43 Grade)
OPC Cement is available in 3 different grades: 33 Grade, 43 Grade & 53 Grade
Use of industrial & natural waste during the manufacturing process of PPC Cement makes it more environment friendly
OPC Cement is not environment friendly as it releases large amount of CO2 during the time of manufacturing
Resistance to Chemicals
PPC Cement has better resistance to chemicals
OPC Cement has less resistance to chemicals
Initial Strength (after 7 days)
Initial strength of PPC Cement after 7 days is lower than OPC Cement
Initial strength of OPC Cement after 7 days is higher than PPC Cement
Final Strength (after 28 days)
Final strength of PPC Cement (after 28 days) is comparable to OPC 43 Grade Cement
Final Strength of OPC Cement (43 grade) is same as PPC Cement
PPC Cement more durable in long run
OPC Cement is less durable in long run
Residential Construction, Mass Concreting, Marine Construction
PPC Cement releases less heat during the construction
OPC Cement releases more heat in comparison to PPC Cement
Best Cement for House Construction
We recommend using PPC Cement for residential house construction as it offers better durability & resistance to chemicals. For high, rise buildings, the use of OPC Cement is recommended.
Along with the type of cement, it is also necessary to choose the best cement company, check out my guide on Top 10 Cement Companies in India to know more about the best cement companies.
While PPC cement can be used for whole-house construction. But, every element of the house is different and so are the cement requirements. Let us now understand, which cement is preferred for which part of house construction.
Best Cement for Foundation
The Foundation carries the entire load of the construction and hence the cement used for the foundation should possess the following characteristics:
The cement must be able to provide the necessary strength and durability to your Foundation,
The cement must be able to keep out moisture and protect the foundation against corrosion & from underground chemicals.
Also, the foundation has to resist the movement of the earth around it, which is necessary for the long life of the building.
Therefore, we recommend using Portland pozzolana cement PPC which is the ideal cement that can be used for laying the foundation for your house.
The reason why PPC Cement is recommended due to its property of slow hydration and the ability to give excellent strength after curing.
Best Cement for Masonry Work/Brick Work
Masonry forms the major part of the building and it is the part of the construction done with brick or concrete blocks. Therefore, one should keep these points which choosing the cement for masonry work:
The cement used here must have high initial strength so that it binds the brick or the concrete blocks so that the building gets the required level of strength.
Also, the cement used must reach its final strength level with minimum time and curing.
Therefore, we recommend using Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) 43 or 53 grade.
The reason why we recommend it because it attains higher compression strength of 27 Mega Pascals in just 7 days.
Best Cement for RCC Columns & Beams
The concrete columns and beams in your building are the weight-bearing structures that give the building the required shape and structure. One should keep these points in mind while choosing the cement for the same:
The columns are made of reinforced concrete, and hence the cement used here must have higher binding strength and must be able to bear the weight of the building, and hence a cement with higher compression strength is required.
For RCC columns, we recommend using Ordinary Portland cement 53 grade which gives a higher compressions strength of 27 Mega Pascals in 7 days, or Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) that has a higher fine particle size, more corrosion resistant and gives a thicker concrete and more strength after curing.
Best Cement for Concrete Slabs
Concrete slabs make the roofing and other covering structures in your building and they must be strong and must be able to retain their size and shape for a long time.
Therefore, we recommend using Ordinary Portland Cement of 53 grade or Portland Pozzolana Cement as these cements are good for making strong concrete and are especially good for Reinforced concrete structures.
Best Cement for Plastering
The plastering of the walls and other surfaces gives the building the smooth look it gives as well as safeguards the walls and surfaces from the bad effects of natural elements.
Hence the cement used for plastering must be able to give high initial strength with less setting time and must have high corrosion resistant properties.
Therefore, we recommend using Ordinary Portland Cement of 43 grade as it does not give surface cracks or shrink with time. You can also use 53 grade of OPC if you are building a high rise building.
Best Cement for Tiling Works
Tiling forms an important part of your house and you lay tiles for the floors and for some walls. The cement used for laying tiles must be made into thin layers and must have high initial strength and short setting time.
Therefore, we recommend using Ordinary Portland Cement of 43 grade as it comes with the required level of fineness to make thin layers of tile-laying mortar giving high adhesive strength to the tiling surfaces.
Best Cement for RCC Stairs
We recommend using PPC Cement for RCC Stairs as it has a higher degree of fineness, impermeable, and corrosion-resistant quality that makes the concrete denser resulting in long-lasting structures.
PPC is used in mass concreting work as well as RCC work. Even though the initial setting time of PPC cement is low, it gains more strength with time. PPC cement adheres to IS 1489 standard code as well.