4 Difference Between Concrete and Masonry Explained

Walls are important parts of any structure and choosing between masonry and concrete can be difficult. If you have this challenge, then this is the right blog post for you.

In this blog, I will talk about the major differences between masonry and concrete.

As a result, you’ll be able to make a decision on which material is best for your structure.

The Main Differences between Masonry and Concrete

These two materials have been around for many years. They’re both high quality materials that you can use to build structures.

But, you have to consider a few things before settling for any of the materials. Such considerations would be based on differences like:

  1. The Composition

First, I have to talk about the difference in the composition of these two materials. Each material is made of elements that will affect the structure’s look.

Concrete is made of a combination of cement, water and aggregate which can be sand, rock or gravel. Other types of concrete also contain chemicals.

The amount of aggregate added depends on how strong you want your concrete.

On the other hand, masonry is a mixture of blocks, bricks, stone and mortar. The composition of masonry includes cement, sand, and water.

Note that the proportions of these by-products depend on the type of mortar mix you desire.

  1. The Preparation Process

The preparation process of concrete and masonry is slightly different. The major difference is that masonry is prepared on site while concrete is manufactured in factories.

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It’s much harder to prepare concrete by yourself and that’s why it can only be sourced from a factory. The process involves mixing together aggregates, cement, water and chemicals.

After the process is complete, the factory then transports the concrete to you.

On the other hand, masonry is easier to prepare. First, you have to ensure you have the blocks and bricks that you’ll use.

Then, start off by preparing the mortar mix by hand or using a mechanical mixer.

  1. Durability

The two materials are very durable and shouldn’t get damaged any time soon. With enough care and maintenance masonry and concrete can last years without showing any signs of wear.

However, if you live in a cold region, masonry wouldn’t be the best choice. That’s because masonry absorbs moisture over time and this can be bad for the structure. However, concrete can withstand harsh weather conditions, so it’s safe to use anywhere.

  1. The Application Process

One of the biggest differences between concrete and cement is the application. Most of your decision relies on this area as you pick the best option for your project.

For starters, when the concrete arrives at the worksite, it has to be placed into moulds. This is mandatory whether you’re building a wall, floor or a post.

To ensure the concrete blocks remain in place, you have to use steel reinforcement. Once the concrete is poured in the moulds, you give it time to cure.

Masonry application is totally different. The process starts by placing the stones or bricks where you want to build the structure.

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Then you start applying a layer of mortar on top of the already placed stones or bricks. This process goes on until you reach the desired height, then you let it dry.

Pros and Cons of Concrete and Masonry

Now that I have given you all the differences between masonry and concrete, let’s have a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each of them.

Pros of Masonry
• Strong in compression
• Doesn’t need painting
• Resistant to temperature fluctuation
• Fire resistant
• Environmental-friendly
• Offers excellent sound proofing
• Very economic

Cons of Masonry
• Easily absorbs moisture
• Masonry walls decolourise with time
• Have low tensile strength
• Requires heavy foundation
• Has large opening

Pros of Concrete
• It’s durable and sturdy
• Economical and cost-effective
• Can withstand extreme weather conditions and high temperature
• Fire-resistant and inert
• It can be moulded into any shape
• Needs little maintenance
• The strength and sustainability get better over time
• It’s flexible

Cons of Concrete
• If cheap cement is used, it can get desegregated when it comes in contact with alkalis
• To avoid the risk of cracks it needs constant reinforcement
• Can easily split under extreme cold weather
• Has a low tensile strength

In summary, although masonry and concrete are used for building, there are major differences between the two products and these are:

Composition: masonry uses brick that’s a combination of cement, sand and water while concrete is made using cement, water and an aggregate like sand

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Preparation: concrete is mostly manufactured in large scale in a factory while masonry bricks can be made using a mortar anywhere

• Durability: both masonry and concrete walls are durable structures, but the difference in depending on the architecture and terrain

Application: masonry walls are made brick by brick or stone by stone through layering, while concrete is poured into moulds

Concrete vs Masonry

From my review, the differences between masonry and concrete are clearly explained and it’s up to you to pick the best option.

The main differences in Concrete vs Masonry are in:

  • Composition
  • Preperation
  • Durability
  • Application

Which one you choose depends on the task at hand.