When undertaking a construction or landscaping project, choosing the right materials is crucial to achieving a successful outcome. Among the myriad of options available, concrete products stand out for their durability and versatility. However, with specific formulations such as Postcrete becoming increasingly popular for particular applications, an important question arises: Can you use postcrete (sometimes called postmix) as normal concrete? In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the characteristics of Postcrete, compare it to traditional concrete, and discuss its potential uses beyond its intended purpose.

Understanding Postcrete

Postcrete is a pre-mixed blend of fine concrete material, designed for rapid setting. It's primarily formulated to secure fence posts, decking posts, and similar fixtures into the ground quickly and with minimal fuss. The appeal of Postcrete lies in its convenience and efficiency, as it requires no mixing and sets within minutes when water is added.

Composition and Properties

The key ingredients in Postcrete include Portland cement, graded sand, and other additives that accelerate the setting time. This rapid setting is beneficial for projects that require quick fixation of posts, allowing for the continuation of construction activities without long delays. Unlike regular concrete, which may take up to 24-48 hours to set, Postcrete hardens significantly within 10 to 20 minutes of water addition.

Traditional Concrete

To understand whether Postcrete can substitute for normal concrete, it's necessary to grasp what traditional concrete entails. Regular concrete is a mixture of Portland cement, water, and aggregates such as gravel and sand. It's known for its strong bonding capabilities and longevity, making it a staple in construction projects ranging from small repairs to large infrastructure works.

Applications of Traditional Concrete

Traditional concrete's versatility means it can be used for a wide array of structural applications, including foundations, driveways, pathways, and even complex architectural shapes when used with formwork. Its curing process, while slower than Postcrete, results in a dense material matrix that provides excellent strength and durability over time.

Can Postcrete Be Used as Normal Concrete?

Technically, Postcrete can be used in situations where quick setting is advantageous, and the structural demands align with its strength capabilities. However, there are several considerations to keep in mind:

1. Strength and Durability

While Postcrete offers immediate setting benefits, it may not achieve the same long-term strength and durability as traditional concrete. For structural elements subject to significant stress or load-bearing requirements, relying on Postcrete alone could be problematic.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Given its specialised formulation, Postcrete can be more expensive than regular concrete, especially for larger projects. The cost difference may be justifiable for small applications where its rapid setting is a boon, but for extensive works, traditional concrete may be more economical.

3. Versatility in Application

Postcrete's quick setting trait means it lacks the workability of traditional concrete. It hardens too fast for projects that require meticulous shaping or finishing, limiting its use to applications where the shape is not critical, or aesthetics are not a primary concern.

Best Practices for Using Postcrete

If you decide to use Postcrete for applications beyond setting posts, consider the following tips to ensure success:

  • Assess the Load: Ensure the structural load on the Postcrete is within safe limits to prevent future failures.
  • Prepare the Site: Properly prepare the hole or area where Postcrete will be applied, ensuring it's free from organic material and debris.
  • Water Ratio: Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the water ratio closely to avoid weakening the mixture.
  • Working Time: Plan your work bearing in mind the rapid setting time of Postcrete; you'll have to work quickly once water is added.


While Postcrete offers a quick and convenient solution for setting posts, its use as a substitute for normal concrete is limited. Its fast-setting nature and potential cost implications make it less suitable for large scale or load-bearing projects requiring traditional concrete's strength and durability. However, for smaller, non-structural applications where speed is of the essence, Postcrete can be considered with careful planning and adherence to best practices.

Ultimately, the choice between Postcrete and traditional concrete will depend on the specific requirements of your project. Understanding the strengths and limitations of each material is key to making an informed decision that ensures the longevity and success of your construction endeavours.