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Concrete Glossary

August 23, 2016

Concrete is one of those products that has its own set of terminology. If you’re new to the industry, understanding the basic terms can help you find success while on the job or working with the building material. The following is a concrete glossary for you to use as a reference.


A chemical substance added to a concrete mix that increases the rate of hydration and increases the set time.


Sand, rock, crushed stone, or any material that enhances concrete’s structural performance.

Bleed water (bleeding)

Water that rises to the surface of freshly placed concrete.

Bull float

A tool comprised a large flat rectangular blade that is used in the finishing process of concrete.


Concrete is a building material made from a combination of cement, aggregate and water.

Control (or contraction) joint

A man-made groove in a concrete slab used to help control the location of cracking.


Very small, random cracks found in the surface of concrete due to shrinkage (non-structural).

Cubic Yard

Unit of measure for ready mix concrete.


The process that protects concrete from moisture loss by maintaining a saturated surface.

Curing compound

A liquid that is applied to the surface of newly placed concrete to retard the evaporation of water.

Decorative concrete

Concrete that includes color, texture, pattern, or a combination of treatments.

Fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC)

Concrete containing fibrous material which increases its structural integrity. It contains short discrete fibers that are uniformly distributed and randomly oriented.


Working the surface of newly placed concrete in order to achieve the desired appearance.

Fly ash

A supplementary cementitious material used to make concrete.


A project’s ground level or elevation.

Integral color

A coloring agent mixed into fresh concrete before placement.

Penetrating sealer

A sealer that penetrates the concrete’s surface in order to repel moisture.

Pervious concrete

Pervious concrete is a special type of concrete that allows water to pass through it.


The physical movement of concrete from the mixer into the final location where it is to harden and cure.

Polished concrete

A high-gloss finish attained by using special floor polishers.

Portland cement

Cement is a combination of finely ground materials that is used to make concrete. It is the main ingredient that causes concrete to harden.

Ready-mixed concrete

Concrete that is batched or mixed at a plant before delivery to the job site for placement.


A steel reinforcing rod in concrete.


The flaking of a hardened concrete surface, typically due to freezing and thawing.


A liquid-based material used to protect the surface of concrete.


A measure of consistency of freshly mixed concrete, as determined by the distance the concrete displaces after a molded specimen is removed from a funnel-shaped cone.

Stamped concrete

Concrete that is patterned to resemble materials such as brick, slate, stone, tile, and wood planking.

Ozinga is a trusted name when it comes to concrete and concrete products. Whether you’re looking to order ready mix or are in need of a concrete add on, our concrete specialists can help. Contact us today.

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