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What are the five most commonly used materials in construction?

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Construction is nothing without materials, the construction industry utilizes a variety of building materials.  Everything in construction is designed based on the material. There are various kinds of materials and the most common materials are cement, steel, aggregates, paints, brick, and blocks. Each material has its function, strength, and durability suitable for its perfect building uses.  The structural integrity depends on standards and testing methods to manage each material's content. 

Most of the time the choice of building materials enhances every part of the building. The construction industry has transformed a lot and made highly innovative construction changes with the use of technology.  

Following are some of the most common construction materials:

Building materials are an integral part and mostly categorized into two sources that are: natural and manmade. 


Cement is a very important and most widely material used and the core of all kinds of construction. Cement has binder properties with strong strength 

It is a fine powder material mixed with water to set and harden it. It is great to get the bind with the other materials. When cement is mixed with water it acts as a chemical combination it has the setting and hardening result that is based on hydration. 

The uses of Cement are numerous and not at all limited. 

The first and foremost well-known use of cement is Concrete and mortar. It is produced by mixing cement with fine aggregate to make mortar, and cement, sand, and gravel create concrete. Whereas concrete 

Also, concrete is used widely in reinforcement as steel, reinforced material has the ability to resist compression, bending, and high tension Concrete and steel is considered as strongest combination as reinforced concrete as they have similar coefficients of thermal expansion. 

Following is the combination of Cement bind used for various construction:

  • For plastering work, or work that needs filling, brickwork: Cement + sand = Mortar
  • For reinforcement, building components : Cement + sand + aggregates = Concrete 
  • For tile works and also for cracks or simple fillings: Cement slurry/ Cement paste

Following are the other application of cement:-

  • Concrete is used for the columns, footing, beams, slab, lintels, and many other building components
  • Mortar is used for brickwork and also plastering.
  • Concrete is used in combination with reinforcement.
  • Cement is used for drains, pipes joints, and piles
  • Making the structures watertight 
  • Also used for bridges, dams, tunnels, and roads.

Why Cement is used in almost all constructions?

The answer is simple, cement is used since ancient times due to its various advantages like:

  • Cement provides mass to resist applied loads, abrasion
  • Ability to resist high compressive load
  • It works as filler for voids
  • Cement has plastic mass to get molded in any shape
  • Concrete has a high compressive strength 
  • It hit less impacted by corrosive and weathering effects 
  • It has high durability and fire-resistant 

The cement goes through various testing to find if its manufacturing is done in a proper way. Cement pureness and ability are determined by its properties. Such as fineness, soundness, strength, Initial and final setting time, the heat of hydration, and many more. 

Cement is a very vital material in the construction industry. There are various cement types available in the market. Every cement type has its own properties and own benefits. 

Following are the common types of cement:

  • Portland cement
  • Portland pozzolana cement
  • White cement 
  • Rapid hardening cement
  • Low heat cement
  • Sulfate resisting cement
  • High alumina cement
  • Colored cement

Bricks or Blocks:

Masonry is constructed by using bricks or blocks. Clay bricks are used for a long time; these were formed in a mold and kiln-fired. To build walls bricks/blocks are bound together with the mortar. Blocks have come into play in the modern age as they are strong and can be reinforced with steel made with concrete or fly ash. 

Brick is made of clay or shale and formed in molding and wire-cutting them to the proper size then dried to make it hard. Bricks are more flame retardant and fairly cheap. Brick has a high compression resistance, but they can break easily but become durable enough once formed in masonry. Bricks are used to construct load-bearing walls and have the ability to support multi-story buildings. 

Bricks are used for:

  • Constructing masonry or walls
  • Even used for masonry foundations
  • Used for decorating finishes.

There are different types of Bricks. Depending on the quality, sizes, shapes, and functioning.

The following are types of bricks that are divided into different types depending on their shape:

  1. Hollow bricks: These bricks are light in weight and are also named as e cellular or cavity bricks. Bricks have the ability to reduce the transmission of heat, sound, and dampness. 
  2. Bullnose bricks: This brick has a rounded angle and is used for a rounded quoin. 
  3. Channel bricks: Channel brick has the shape of a gutter or a channel oftenly glazed and used to function as drains.
  4. Cownose bricks: These are double bullnose on end.
  5. Coping bricks: Coping bricks are made to suit the thickness of walls where coping can be provided and can be in various forms as chamfered, half-round, or saddle-back.
  6. Curved sector bricks: These are in the curved sector and are used in the construction of circular brick masonry pillars.


Steel is used in various forms in the construction industry. Reinforcement is used as a skeleton in the building. It has various advantages like great strength and durability. Adding steel to a building helps to make the structure strong and resistant to winds or are prone to earthquakes, and shaking.

Steel is a composite material produced from iron and carbon alloys. 

It is also easy to work with and does not easily deform due to its structural stability. Steel is used in combination with concrete. 

Steel is issued for the following purposes and a few are mentioned below:

  • Steel is used as reinforcing bars. To create a framework of the slab, column, and foundation, and to increase the tensile strength.
  • The steel used a roofing structure as sheer purlins.
  • Steel is used as interior fittings, rails, and stairs


Aggregates another important and most commonly used construction material. Aggregate is a strong and composite material for concrete. Aggregate is an all-around size like coarse, medium-grained used in construction. The sand, gravel, crushed stone, and geosynthetic aggregates. The most mined material is Aggregates. 

More than the soil the aggregates contain high hydraulic conductivity value making its wide application in drainage such as foundation, drain fields, retaining wall drains, and roadside drainage. The aggregates have great properties and have uniform properties. It helps bind with cement or asphalt in concrete form. Aggregates are produced from natural sources that are mined and extracted from pits and quarries. 

Aggregates must possess some properties like strong, workable cement of a particular size. Aggregates must be dry, clean and strength checked. 

Below we are going to see the classifications of aggregates:

Coarse aggregates:- >4.75 mm

Fine aggregates:- <4.75 mm

Aggregates have many uses:

  1. It is used as a layer for roads, especially as a base, subbase, the surface of roads that can be in different sizes or shapes
  2. Aggregates are able to take load and distribute the load offering an assist to groundwater 
  3. Aggregates are widely used in concrete acting as a binder to the cement, water while reducing the cost, and are also used in Asphalt concrete
  4. Used in various fills, backfills, drainage, and filtration layers

Aggregates properties are desirable depending on their function or application:

  1. Strength
  2. Shape of aggregate
  3. Size
  4. Hardness
  5. Resistance to abrasion
  6. Durability
  7. Toughness


Paint is the most aesthetically popular. Almost every home is painted. The colors brighten up everyone's mood and day. While choosing the paint is also pretty confusing. There are almost 10,000,000 that we can see including shade, so it is definitely confusing!! But the paint is the most beautiful form as the colors are most pleasing to the eyes. 

Paint is not a single substance but a mixture of four basic ingredients such as pigments, resins, solvents, and additives. 

Here, pigment is the color, the resin is the glue, and the solvent is the carrier making paint liquid and evaporated to make the paint dry whenever applied. 

Paint quality varies with brands and yes you will get a different price for the same color shade. 

Arkihive is available with different types of paints:

  • Distemper
  • Emulsion
  • Enamel
  • Oil Based

Distemper: Distemper paint also known as cement paint is made of water, chalk/lime, and pigment. The binding agent in this paint is mostly animal glue or the adhesive, resin made up of solidified milk.

Distemper paint can be applied on cement walls directly as it does not need any other coating or primer. Distemper is becoming commonly used for both interior and exterior, as they are affordable and last for 3 to 4 years. 

Emulsion: This paint has acrylic resin, that acts as a binder or adhesive. Emulsion paint adheres to the surface while holding other ingredients. The emulsion is a combination of Pigments, Solvents, and Additives. 

It is easy to work with emulsion Paint, maintenance is also easy and this paint is water-based too. 


This paint signifies any solvent-based paint that will get dry to a hard one after being applied on a surface, glass-like shell. Enamel is also called oil-based paint. Enamel paints give a uniform finish with smooth application. Also, suitable for interior and exterior walls because it adheres to a broad range of surfaces. 

Oil-Based: Oil-based paints are preferred mostly on pieces like cabinets and furniture. Also, it is a great protective coating that will not stain, and that can be preferred at top of the kitchen platform instead of tiles as there will be no oil or any other stains. Oil-based paint also gives the little shiny find and water-based paint.

Find the best materials!!

The combination of quality materials makes the construction process easier and choosing the best products helps to enhance. A lack of materials should not delay your dream project anymore. 

As you have known the most commonly used construction material is most valued in construction. While understanding material is important so choosing the best one is vital, buy the best material you need, explore different brands, have a talk with designers, and know more about the materials.


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