Too Much Sand In Concrete? Here’s What Can Happen

Structural resistance is lost when adding too much sand to concrete. The workability of the mix is also reduced as sands add weight which makes the mortar more difficult to work with.

Have you ever thought about the perfect mortar mix ratios? Most cement manufacturers recommend a certain amount of sand in the mix. But what happens when you put too much sand in concrete?

Concrete tends to have different qualities and as a result, there are different types of concrete. If you’re just building a garage or your first home this might come as a shock. But not all types of concrete are usable for all types of jobs.

The Effects of Too Much Sand in Concrete

Depending on the type of construction your plan there are various mix ratios you need to adhere to. First off is sand. Here’s what happens when you put too much sand alongside cement, aggregate, and water.

Lesser strength

You might think sand adds quality to your cement, but it reduces its strength. Sand doesn’t stick as cement and it has reduced ability to be part of a cement construction that lasts. It’s estimated modern cement lasts around 50 years on average. Adding too much sand to the mix can reduce this lifespan.

Reduced filling workability

Too much sand makes cement settle too quickly. This means you won’t be able to spread out cement properly to form the concrete slab you’re working on when adding sand past the recommended limit.

Reduced stability

As a direct effect of all of these actions, your concrete slab will cure but it will have reduced stability. You can expect to see early cement cracks even without building over the correct concrete in the areas where there’s too much cement.

The Effects of Too Much Cement in Concrete

Adding too much cement to concrete is at least as harmful as adding too much sand to concrete. The malleability of cement suffers as does its structural support.

Increased strength with a limit

To a certain point, added cement can increase the bonding power of the mix. However, adding too much cement can make concrete crumble too soon and reduce its lifespan

Increased costs

Too much cement in the concrete mix leads to a higher final price. Cement is expensive and you will pay more for a concrete slab when you’re using more cement than required.

The Effects of Too Much Water in Concrete

Water is essential in the creation of concrete. Too much water will lead to a higher evaporation percentage which will leave the concrete without sufficient water. Cracks will soon begin to be visible on the cured concrete.

Low concrete strength

Too much water limits the chemical bonds of concrete. The cement and the sand will actually become too runny. While the mix can harden it will have poor performance under heavy loads leading to fine or serious cracks.

How Much Sand Must be Used For a Bag of Cement?

Ideal mortar mix ratios are typically different depending on what you’re trying to build.

What’s the difference between cement, concrete, and mortar? Cement is a binding mix, concrete is used for foundations, and mortar is used for bricks.

Ideal mix ratios for concrete – 1 part cement – 2 parts sand – 3 parts aggregate

Ideal mix ratios for mortar – 1 part cement – ¼ parts lime – 3 parts sand

Of course, these are general recommendations that can suffer alterations. One of the exceptions is when laying thin concrete or when repairing concrete. In this case, you increase the sand to 3-4 parts to 1 part of cement.


Can cement be used without sand?

Yes, cement can be used without sand as a special mix to fix cracks. When you’re trying to fix concrete cracks you can make a mix of cement and water to fill in those cracks.

Is cement stronger without sand?

No, cement without sand is not stronger. Cement without sand is a special mix mostly used to fix concrete cracks for its quick-filling abilities due to its watery mix texture.