What is the Difference Between Cement and Grout

Cement and grout are two popular construction materials. Understanding the difference between cement and grout is important because they have different properties and uses. Knowing this difference will ensure that you choose the right material for the right purpose, giving you better performance and durability in construction projects.

What is the main difference between cement and grout? Cement is used as a building material, while grout is used to fill the gaps between tiles.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Cement  
      – Definition, Features, Uses
2. What is Grout
      – Definition, Features, Uses
3. Similarities Between Cement and Grout
      – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Cement and Grout
      – Comparison of Key Differences
5. FAQ: Cement and Grout
      – Frequently Asked Questions

Key Terms

Cement, Grout

Difference Between Cement and Grout - Comparison Summary

What is Cement

Cement is produced by heating limestone and clay at high temperatures and grinding the resulting clinker into fine powder. When it is mixed with water, hydration occurs. This results in forming a hard, gel-like substance that binds sand and gravel together. Cement is sometimes mixed with sand to create mortar, which is a material ideal for plastering and bricklaying.

A combination of cement, sand, and gravel forms concrete, which is a strong and hard material used in different constructions such as cities, bridges, dams, and houses.


Cement is inexpensive, hard, strong, durable, and weather-resistant. Cement gains strength over time. It also hardens underwater; therefore, it is used for underwater constructions. Though there are numerous benefits of cement, it also has its own set of downsides. Cement production is highly energy intensive, and the production process causes the emission of greenhouse gasses.

What is Grout

Grout is usually made up of cement, sand, and water mixture. Grout fills the gaps between the tiles. It hardens after the application. This creates a smooth, finished look and, more importantly, a water-resistant seal. Unlike mortar, grout has a thinner consistency, which allows it to flow easily into those narrow gaps.


Grout is mostly used in bathrooms. It’s also used to embed rebar in masonry walls and connect precast concrete sections. Large gaps, like those found in concrete block cores, might see grout mixed with fine gravel for added reinforcement.

When it comes to household applications, grout is most commonly used for tiling jobs. Here, it not only fills the gaps but also prevents moisture from seeping in, protecting the subfloor and preventing mold growth. Grout comes in a variety of colors, which helps you to complement or contrast your tiles.

Similarities Between Cement and Grout

  1. Cement and grout rely on cement as their key binding agent.
  2. Both cement and grout harden through a chemical process called hydration.

Difference Between Cement and Grout


  • Cement is a material produced by heating limestone and clay at high temperatures and grinding the resulting clinker into fine powder, while grout is a mixture made up of cement, sand, and water.


  • Cement is a single component, while grout is a mix of components, including cement.


  • Due to the presence of sand or gravel, cement cures to be a much stronger and more rigid material compared to grout.


  • Cement itself is more porous than well-mixed grout.

Basic Use

  • Cement is used as a building material, while grout is used to fill gaps between tiles.


In conclusion, while both cement and grout share similarities in their use of cement as a binding agent and their reliance on hydration for hardening, they have distinct purposes in construction. Cement is a strong material that forms the foundation of structures like buildings and bridges, whereas grout, with its thinner consistency, fills the gaps between tiles, providing both aesthetic appeal and moisture resistance. This is the basic difference between cement and grout.

FAQ: Cement and Grout

1. What is cementitious grouting?

  • Cementitious grouting is a process where a mixture of cement and water (usually with additives like sand or other aggregates) is injected into cracks, voids, or gaps in structures such as concrete, rock, soil, or masonry.

2. What are the disadvantages of cement grout?

  • Cement grout has several disadvantages, including vulnerability to high-traffic environments and high impact, deterioration when exposed to alkali or acid compounds, and the potential for inconsistent color due to uneven drying. Its porous nature allows water to seep in, potentially causing the growth of bacteria, mold, or mildew beneath the surface.

3. Is grout a concrete or cement?

  • Grout is a construction material similar to both concrete and cement, but it is different from them. Grout is typically made from a mixture of cement, water, and sand (sometimes with additives for specific properties). But unlike concrete, it usually doesn’t contain coarse aggregates such as gravel.

4. How long does cement grout last?

  • Grout does not last forever. It generally lasts between eight to sixteen years. Hence, regrouting is required in construction.

5. Is grout waterproof?

  • Standard grout is not completely waterproof on its own, as it is porous and can absorb water. However, some types of grout, such as epoxy grout, are more water-resistant and offer better protection against moisture.

1. “Cement – Building Material.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 
2. “Grout.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Cement 02 (cropped)” By Szlomo Lejb – File:Cement_02.JPG (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Applying grout” By own – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.

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