BInformed— The BRural Blog

Our Quick Guide to Cement

Posted on August 4 2017

Sometimes reading big cement bags for instructions can be a real pain. We’ve put together a quick look guide for the different cement products we stock. Quick simple instructions, from Cement Australia (the manufacturer of the cement we sell). Find the cement you’ve got and follow the steps for that type of cement. Alternatively, if you are looking for what type of cement to purchase, look under each type of cement because we have listed the applications for each.

Rapid Set Concrete

  1. Pre-soak the hole you’ve dug with clean water to limit the absorption of the measured water.
  2. Sandy and/or fast draining soils may require a plastic lining to prevent seepage of the water into the ground.
  3. Place the post or pole in the hole and provide support so that it does not fall over.
  4. Accurately measure out 2.5 litres of water and pour into the hole.
  5. Pour in half the bag of Rapid Set Concrete making sure it is evenly distributed around the post or pole without delay.
  6. Tamp the product using a rod or stick then add the remaining half bag of product and tamp again.
  7. For larger holes, you would then immediately repeat the process with 2.5 litres more water and another bag of product.
  8. Supports are normally ready to be removed after 1 hour, depending on the temperature. However, make sure you test the post before removing the supports.


  • Fixing fence
  • Non-load bearing pergola posts
  • Clothes lines
  • Letterboxes
  • Small garden and home jobs

NOT to be used:

  • For any structural application
  • With aluminium posts or poles


General Purpose Cement

Note: This cement requires curing.

  • Minimum curing period is 7 days.
  • Concrete should be maintained in a continually moist condition wherever practicable.
    • Water sprays, wet sand or moisture retaining techniques, such as clear polyethylene sheets or curing compounds are recommended.
  • Curing needs to commence as soon as the concrete is finished.
  • Curing concrete increases its compressive strength significantly. For this type of concrete (and most types in general) water application or moisture retaining curing is the most effective.
  • Curing will also beneficially affect other concrete properties including:
    • Reduction in the potential for plastic cracking
    • Improvements in surface quality, durability and impermeability
    • Improvement in abrasion resistance
    • Reduction in the carbonation rate

This cement can be used as a cementitious binder in a broad range of applications:

  • Brick mortars
  • Wall renders
  • Concretes (paths, driveways, foundations, footings)
  • Grouts

Here is a Cement Australia table giving a guide to the portions (by volume) to be used:

Cement chart

General Purpose Cement must NOT be:

  • Mixed with high alumina cement as this may result in uncontrollable expansion and short setting times.

For any other information regarding this cement, look to Cement Australia’s comprehensive fact sheet.

Mortar CementMortar-Mix

  1. Place the required amount of Mortar Mix into a wheelbarrow or plastic bucket making a ‘well’ in the centre of the powder for the water.
  2. Add the clean, pre–measured water gradually making sure that it does not wash any of the cement away and mix thoroughly to obtain an even and consistent mix.
  3. Allow the Mortar Mix to stiffen to touch dry before attempting to rake or finishing the mortar joints.
  4. All tools and equipment should be cleaned with water after use


  • General-purpose mortar
  • Laying of bricks, blocks and stone
  • Paving edges


  • Use excessive water, use only enough to make the mix workable (excess water weakens the mortar). – This applies to all cement products.
  • Mix more mortar than can be use within 1 hour.
  • Do not allow the mixed mortar to stand for an extended period, as re-tempering the mix with additional water will weaken the mortar. Any mortar that has stiffened should be discarded.
  • Use any mortar that has stiffened due to standing for too long. It should just be discarded.

Sand & Cement 


  1. Ensure that the surface the Sand & Cement is being applied to is clean; free of oils, grease, dust and other loose materials
  2. Empty the required amount of Sand & Cement from the bag into the selected mixing device.
    1. Either a wheelbarrow, concrete mixer or other non-porous vessel.
  3. Add clean drinking water gradually and blend thoroughly to achieve a workable mix.
  4. Apply Sand & Cement as required to complete the task.
  5. Allow the Sand & Cement to set to touch dry before finishing with either: a clean damp sponge, steel trowel or wooden float.


  • Setting shower bases and toilet pans
  • Joint filling and/or bedding of pavers
  • General bricklaying


  • Walk on the path, slab or edges for at least 24 hours after placing.

Concrete Mixconcrete-mix

  1. Prepare the area to be concreted by digging out to the required depth for the slab or garden edge. The base of the area to be concreted should be levelled with gravel or bedding sand.
  2. Construct formwork as required.
  3. Using a wheel barrow or concrete mixer, add up to 75% of the total clean water required to the mixing vessel and slowly add the contents of the Concrete Mix bag.
  4. Add additional water to achieve a workable mix.
  5. Prior to placement, lightly soak the base of the area to be concreted to minimise moisture loss.
  6. Place the concrete inside the formwork and ensure all corners and edges are filled.
  7. Use a straight edge to screed off the concrete to the required level.
  8. The top surface can be finished off with a wooden hand float.
  9. To cure the concrete, keep it moist for several days by covering with damp hessian, plastic sheeting, an old tarp or similar material. Take care if using hessian or old tarps not to mark the freshly poured concrete surface.
  10. 24 hours after finishing the concrete it is possible to remove the formwork.


This is a multi-purpose product with numerous uses, so here are the most common.

  • Making pathways
  • Securing posts in the ground
  • Small concrete slabs for gardening sheds
  • Footings on small projects
  • Garden edging
  • Installing uprights for pergolas & decks.


  • Walk on the path, slab or edges for at least 3 days after placing.

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