Properties of Concrete in Construction

At Concrete Flooring Solutions, we take pride in the years of experience we have in supplying and installing high quality, hard-wearing concrete floors. This time has allowed us to perfect the skills and services we provide for our customers all over the UK, including expertly answering any questions they may have about our products or the properties of concrete, in construction and in general. As professionals with extensive knowledge of what we sell, we are more than happy to answer this, and have detailed the structural properties of concrete below.

If you have been looking for a durable floor, which is easy to clean, maintain and is made of building materials that you know will last, get in touch with us today. We know that our friendly staff can help you order the floor that you need for your work project, from discussing your site’s specific requirements right down to planning the floor finish for the end result that you have imagined.

What are the Properties of Concrete?

In order to use concrete successfully in a construction project, you should be aware of its properties. As experts in the concrete construction industry, we already know about the structural properties of concrete, and we are happy to be able to discuss these with customers when they come to us. 

The properties of concrete in construction are listed as follows:

Properties of Concrete: Strength

Perhaps most widely known property of concrete in its hardened state is its strength, which is split into four types:

  • Compressive
  • Tensile
  • Flexural
  • Shear


The compressive strength of concrete is considered one of the most important structural properties it has. As an industrial standard, concrete is classified by different grades. These grades are based on the compressive strength of the material when a specimen of it is made into a cube or a cylinder. According to the British Standard, the strength of the cylinder specimen should be equal to three quarters of the strength of the cube.


Tensile strength in ordinary concrete is weak, ranging from between seven and ten percent of the compressive strength. It is measured by the units of Force per Cross-Sectional area.


The flexural strength in ordinary concrete almost entirely depends on the tensile strength. It is the measure of an unreinforced concrete beam or slab’s resistance to failure in bending.


This is the real factor which determines the compressive strength of short columns. The average strength of concrete mixtures in shear varies from about half the compressive strength if the mixture is strong, to 0.8 of the compressive strength if the mixture is considered lean.

Age and the Strength of Concrete

As part of the strength property of concrete, it is known in the industry that concrete only becomes stronger as it ages. Over the course of the first 28 days after it has been laid, it will gain 70-75% of its final strength. This increases to between 90% and 95% over the course of one year. 

It is highly recommended that the suitability of the concrete is tested before the results of the first 28 day test are available. However, if you choose to hire us in order to complete your concrete floor, you will not have to worry about this yourself. As we are professional concrete flooring contractors, the concrete we supply and install will always be suitable for the property our teams are sent to work on.

Properties of Concrete: Durability

The durability of concrete is the property which determines whether or not it can withstand the condition it was designed to endure, without breaking down, over a number of years. Concrete can lack durability owing to factors caused by external agents, such as the environment, or internal agents, such as faults within the concrete. These causes can be physical, chemical or mechanical.

Properties of Concrete: Workability

How strong a concrete mix is can be determined quite highly by its degree of compaction. As such, it is extremely important that the consistency of the mix used means that the concrete can be supplied, installed and finished quickly and easily, without segregation. Concrete mixes which can do this are called “workable” mixes, and the factors which affect this status are:

  • Mix proportions
  • Size and shape of aggregates
  • Grading and surface texture of aggregates
  • Water content
  • Use of admixtures
  • Use of supplementary materials
  • Temperature
  • Time

To determine the workability as a property of concrete, a slump test will often be carried out. This measures the ease at which a mixture flows and can indicate when a batch has been improperly mixed.

Properties of Concrete: Elastic Properties

The elastic properties of concrete will vary with the richness of the mix used, the age of the concrete and the intensity of the stress.

Properties of Concrete: Impermeability

Ensuring that a concrete mix is impermeable is vital, as permeable concrete can be left open to penetration from materials that will affect its durability. This becomes especially important for the property in reinforced concrete, as water, frost and air can all result in the corrosion of the steel reinforcing fibres mixed into the material. As the steel expands with the corrosion, this can result in the concrete becoming cracked and damaged.

A concrete floor which has become cracked and damaged from within will eventually become structurally unsound, potentially causing safety issues and definitely leading the floor to require being replaced. In order to save yourself time and money that would have been wasted on an imperfect concrete mix, it is highly recommended that you contact a professional concrete company to carry out work for you.

Get in touch with us today if you would are determined to ensure your concrete floor is of the highest standards and is impermeable. We know and understand the properties of reinforced concrete and we can make sure your floors are installed exactly as they should be.

Properties of Concrete: Segregation

The separation of coarse aggregate from the rest of the concrete mass is referred to as segregation. This happens and increases when the concrete mix is both too lean and too wet, or when aggregate which is large and has a rough texture is used. You can avoid this problem when mixing concrete by:

  • Adding little air entraining agents into the mix
  • Restricting how much water is poured into the mix
  • Ensuring handling, placing and consolidation is conducted carefully – the concrete especially must not be allowed to fall from a large height

Properties of Concrete: Bleeding 

After concrete has been laid, it is common for water to rise to the surface in a process known as bleeding. When it does ths, it will often carry particles of sand and cement with it, forming a scum layer called laitance. This problem can be reduced or avoided by:

  • Adding more cement to your mix
  • Using a more finely ground type of cement
  • Using the minimum quantity of water needed in a properly designed mix
  • Using more fine aggregate
  • Using little air entraining agent

Properties of Concrete: Fatigue

When subjected to flexure, ordinary concrete will exhibit fatigue. The ability of concrete to resist flexure is indicated by an already-established endurance limit. The value of this limit is dependent upon the number of repetitions and strength.

We are Professional Concrete Contractors

At Concrete Flooring Solutions, we have over three decades’ worth of experience in supplying and installing the finest concrete floors on the UK market. As such, we have had the time to improve and develop our knowledge of concrete, including the properties of concrete in construction and any changes when the properties are for reinforced concrete. We know how these properties establish themselves, and we know how we can apply them to any new concrete floor you wish to have installed.

Get in Touch

If you have been looking for a new floor for your work or domestic project that you know will last, get in touch with us today. Our staff can discuss the floor you would like before we get started on supplying your order, before we come to your site to carry out a swift, professional installation. 

We want our customers to have the best product available, so we do everything we can to ensure we only ever provide concrete which meets industry standards. To learn more about this, or about any of the properties of concrete in a hardened state, call us today. We are ready and waiting to answer any questions you may have.