Comparing 9 Concrete Options for a Commercial Building

Concrete is the most common material used in commercial building construction. There are many different varieties of concrete that might best suit your commercial project depending on the type of building being constructed and what its purposes are. So, if you’re in the process of designing a commercial building, let’s go over which concrete options could be best for you.

 1. Lightweight Concrete

Lightweight concrete is less dense than other types of concrete. This makes it more suitable for projects where there’s not an expectation of extreme durability or tensile strength. Though its name implies a lack of strength, lightweight concrete is actually perfect for use in bridges because it’s not as heavy as plain concrete or high-density concrete.

This also makes lightweight concrete perfect for use in steel buildings where some amount of insulation is required from the concrete itself because lightweight concrete is not as thermally conductive as other concrete types.

 2. Plain Concrete

This type of concrete has a medium level of density and is perfect for building septic tanks and pavement, as well as use in general building construction. Plain concrete is known for having an even mix of tensile strength and density, giving it a long-term durability that lightweight concrete does not possess.

This concrete is one of the most common types you’ll find in building construction types of all shapes and sizes, due to its jack-of-all-trades nature. You can use it for pavement, sidewalks, and buildings that aren’t in need of high tensile-strength concrete, like most commercial facilities.

 3. High-Density Concrete

This is the heaviest and most dense type of concrete out there. It’s used in commercial applications where the absolute heaviest-duty strength is required. Think nuclear power plants, any commercial buildings where the radiation needs to be blocked from escaping, and off-shore platforms like those found on oil wells.

 4. Asphalt Concrete

Asphalt concrete is used exclusively in the construction of roads. You might use it to create driving lanes around your commercial building, or even in the construction of a parking lot.

 5. Glass Concrete

This concrete is made with glass mixed into it as a way to achieve a unique aesthetic finish. It can also be great for additional insulation on commercial floors.

 6. Limecrete

Limecrete is made by using lime instead of cement in the concrete mixture. This is done to achieve maximum eco-friendliness. Limecrete is mostly used for commercial floors and vaults.

 7. Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is a favorite for commercial uses because it’s designed to allow for maximum stylistic versatility. Any type of pattern can be stamped into this concrete as it’s being installed, including natural stone patterns, granite patterns, and tiles patterns as well.

 8. Ready-Mix Concrete

Need to install some concrete on a tight deadline? Ready-mix concrete is perfect for that because it’s mixed before it reaches the job site, meaning builders can begin installing it as soon as it arrives.

 9. Reinforced Concrete

This concrete is tougher than your average concrete because it’s reinforced with bars, fibers, meshes, and steel rods to provide higher tensile strength without increasing density. It’s great for constructing office buildings as well as commercial buildings located near fault lines.

 Commercial Concrete Comes in Many Forms

If you’re designing a commercial building with concrete in mind, it’s important to know what the needs of the building will be and what it requires. For eco-friendliness, limecrete is best. For aesthetic appeal, glass concrete and stamped concrete are great.

The types of concrete you use in your general building construction will depend on the building’s usage and location, so by adhering to this list you can pick the best concrete types for your commercial building.


Brian Jeffries is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

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