White Cement: How Is It Made, Setting Times, Plus FAQs

What is White Cement?

White cement is a type of fine portland cement that has had certain minerals removed to achieve a white finish. When producing white cement, manufacturers minimise iron oxide, copper, and nickel content, which creates a white powder, unlike traditional grey cement.

It is often called Snowcrete, which is a brand of white cement made by Blue Circle.

How is White Cement Made?

White cement is made by combining crushed high-grade limestone, clay, chalk, and gypsum, which are kiln dried to create pebbles called clinkers. These are then ground into a fine powder that becomes white cement.

Some manufacturers will add a white pigment called Titanium Dioxide to the mix to create a particularly bright cement.

What is White Cement Used For?

White cement can be used for general purpose concrete, renders, mortars, and screeds. It is typically used for decorative purposes to achieve a clean, light finish, which brightens up a room and helps it appear more spacious. It serves the same purpose as regular cement but offers a different aesthetic.

More specialist applications include the creation of sculptures, cast stone, bollards, and architectural precast concrete products, such as cladding and structural panels.

How Much is a Bag of 25kg White Cement?

White cement costs £15.82 per 25kg bag, which works out at £0.63 per kg. These costs are based on retail prices from builders merchants and include VAT. Customers can get a more competitive price if they sign up for a trade account or buy in bulk.

The production process is more time consuming compared to grey cement, which is why it costs up to £10 more per 25kg bag.

How Long Does White Cement Take to Set?

Like regular grey portland cement, it takes white cement up to 48 hours to set. After two days, the concrete will have hardened enough for you to walk and drive over the surface without causing damage. White cement will continue to gain strength over the next month.

Is White Cement as Strong as Grey Cement?

White cement is stronger than regular grey portland cement. It has a strength grade of 52.5R compared to grey cement which has a 32.5R rating. The ‘R’ refers to a measurement of initial strength gained early on in the curing process. White cement is also more durable and cohesive.

It is stronger as it has had weaker minerals such as iron kept to a minimum in order to maintain its white colour, which means it has a higher proportion of limestone.

White Cement Mix Ratio

To create general-purpose concrete using white portland cement you should use a 1:2:4 mix ratio of cement, sharp sand, and aggregate. If you are using ballast then the ratio would be 1 part white cement to 6 parts ballast. For plastering use 6 parts sand to 1 part cement and for plastering and rendering use a 1:4 ratio.

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