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The Ultimate Guide to Concrete Strength

an image of concrete being stamped

Concrete isn’t a one size fits all material; there are different mixes for different jobs. Sometimes choosing between mixes can be difficult and confusing, so make sure you know the difference between the mixes before you get setting.

Concrete strength is separated into grades to make the process of selecting the right mix slightly easier. Thankfully, Bates Concrete have provided a handy jargon buster so you can understand the benefits of each type of concrete and which one is right for you.


This wet, lean concrete mix is the weakest of the mixes, and is commonly used for jobs such as kerb beddings and cavity fittings. Although relatively feeble in strength compared to the other mixes which will feature on this list, GEN 0 is quick and easy to mix and relatively cheap in comparison.


The next grade up from GEN 0 is, you guessed it, GEN 1. Although not completely dissimilar to the grade below, this mix is slightly more versatile and can be used for domestic housing applications. Take the time to assess the ground in which you will apply the concrete to, as this grade is typically unresponsive to hostile ground conditions.


As the concrete strength increases between grades, the sturdier they become, allowing them to take on tougher jobs. GEN 2 can be used for house floors, including liquid screeding, but only if there is no embedded metal in the surface. This particular grade can act as a lovely finish for a floor if there is to be no additional flooring such as carpet or laminate, as it is smooth and sleek and perfect for a workshop or factory.


The last of the GEN grades, GEN 3 is most commonly used for foundations and internal floor slabs. As is the norm for most of the GEN grades, this mix is not suitable for floors with any embedded metal, so make sure the flooring is smooth before you start laying.

ST 2

This is when the big guns come out to play. This grade is used for mass concrete fill such as foundations for conservatories and extensions, as well as being used for reinforced bases.

ST 3

As we move outdoors, ST 3 becomes better suited for paving slabs and pathways in gardens. In terms of concrete strength, ST 3 is one of the strongest, making it perfect for outdoors in the UK it is completely weather resistant, so it will keep its appearance come rain, wind or shine.


When it comes to constructing large apartment buildings that tower into the sky, the concrete needs to be strong enough to support the entire structure. Suitable for commercial and industrial use, this particular grade of concrete is resistant to freeze-thaw cycles, so for those larger scale projects, this mix is ideal for any climate.


The strongest of all concretes. Used for HGV and agricultural yards, this grade is slightly more expensive than the other grades which have featured on this list, but you get what you pay for. This concrete is mixed to withstand the elements and heavy machinery, so if this is your remit, then this is the grade of concrete for you.

Posted on: June 19th, 2017 by active