What is the Most Important Property of Concrete?

Posted by Gail Howard

When you mix cement, water, and sand aggregates, you will get concrete. When you use concrete, you can build a strong and durable foundation for your home or any construction project.

Concrete comes with different properties. These properties differ from each stage of mixing concrete. Concrete mixing has two stages: the plastic stage and the hardened stage. Each stage comes with different properties.

Plastic Stage

During mixing, when the mixture of cement, water, and sand aggregates is still fresh, it is called the plastic stage. At this stage, you can mold your concrete into anything you need. At this stage, your concrete should have the following properties.


Workability is the property of the concrete that will allow you to mold it in any shape. This property also allows your concrete to be compact and smooth, with no cracks and no bleeding. The mixture should stay as one and doesn’t separate from each other. To achieve this property, you must be able to have a proper ratio for your mixture (ratio of water to sand aggregates to cement). It shouldn’t be too hard to mix and mold but not too soft.


Segregation is the method of separating coarse and rough segregates that were added to the mixture. A skilled concrete contractor knew how much to segregate to prevent reducing the density of your concrete.


Just like segregation, bleeding is a method where you need to separate excessive water from the mixture. A skilled concrete contractor knew how much water to bleed to prevent the concrete mixture from turning weak once it reached the hardened stage.

Hardened Stage

The hardened stage is achieved at least after 28 days. The properties of hardened stage concrete as follows.

 Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is measured by a certain formula. Ask your concrete contractor how to do it or let them do it for you after 28 days. Tensile strength property determines how strong your concrete is.


This property determines how strong your concrete is against cracks. shrinkage of concrete is affected by certain aspects such as the mixture ratio during the plastic stage and weather conditions.  

The Most Important Property of Concrete

To sum it up, the most important property of concrete depends on what you are building. If you are building a high-rise building, you will need concrete with more tensile strength but if you are building a path walk or floor, you will need more shrinkage property. Your floor must be watertight to keep it from cracking, especially if you are expecting high traffic on that surface.

This is the reason why it is important to hire a professional concrete contractor for any of your building projects. Even if it is a small construction job, chances are, you need to know what type of mixture to concoct to create the correct concrete mixture for your project. it is not always 1 sack of cement to 1 gallon of water mixture. A professional concrete contractor can ensure that you will have the right concrete mixture for your patio or view deck.

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