Cement is a Key requirement when doing any construction work, ensuring you get the right cement for your building is the first key step in ensuring that you have a safe structure for its design or expected service life. Below, we are going to look at best cement manufacturers in Kenya, suppliers that you can get quality cement from and detailed information to help you pick the right cement for your construction.
Some important issues to consider when choosing cement is the type, cost, its performance in terms of strength and fast biding properties. This are the basic items that you can consider but in most cases you should ask for professional help, professional will however consider more factors when making a decision on what cement to use. Below we are going to help you understand some basics on each consideration so that you can always be in the same page with the professionals and builders. This will help you also know when some builders deceives you.
You will note that most of the decisions about cement are made by professionals especially if you are doing a big construction project. The area where you have a say about is cost and even with this, the Quantity surveyor will do much of the work for you.
Note: A professional can recommend a cement type but will not recommend a certain brand. For example, they can recommend ordinary Portland cement 42.5R but not from a specific brand unless otherwise. You will fully understand this after going through this article.
Cement for small construction projects
In most small construction projects, professionals are not involved, in this case, your builder(Fundi) will be the one to give you advice on what cement to use. We are going to see what exact cement you should use and why, but first, here are examples of such projects:
- Construction of simple Bungalows and stone houses
- Stone walls construction
- Installation of tiles
- Floor installation
- Cobble installations
- Plastering etc
For such small projects, 32.5 Ordinary Portland cement is used. This is the normal cement that you will find in the next hardware to you, it is the most used and we will see why as we look at types of cement below. Depending on the particular construction work, different ratios are used; for example 1:6 cement to sand is recommended for internal plastering. The ratio used will determine the quantity of the cement you will need for your project, do not however insist on using weak ratios since this will lead to weak constructions which can easily cause catastrophe in the near future, weak cement rations can even cause collapse of a building even before it completes giving you double cost and risking lives.
Cement for big construction projects
- Big construction projects will always involve professionals and hence you will have little to decide on the type of cement to be used, we will see why below. Even so, you still have a chance to decide which particular brand to buy. Such construction projects include:
- Flats etc
And similar projects which mainly require professionals design.
The professionals involved in this projects are; the Architect (team leader), structural Engineer and Quantity surveyor. The Architect mainly designs the appearance of the house, the Quantity surveyor will give a cost of the proposed project and the Structural engineer will determine the materials to be used for a safe structure.
From the above you will note that the structural engineer will be the one to decide which type of cement to use. This is done by making considerations on the type of environment the building is to be. In most cases, 32.5 and 42.5 Ordinary Portland cement is recommended with the ratios at which it will be mixed being changed. For example, if the part of a building will be exposed to harsh weather conditions, a more strong mix will be used. Special cement may be recommended in certain conditions such as presence of sulphates in the foundation soil of the building, this is because they react with ordinary Portland cement making it weak.
Also see: Top steel brands in Kenya
The common grades of cement in Kenya are;
- N denotes cements with ordinary early strength while R denotes those with high early strength.
You should not choose cement grade based on the price, instead the intended strength requirement should be the concern.
Recommended use of 32.5R
This grade of cement is suitable in normal usage where little binding strength is required, this includes; in plastering, tiles installation, walls building, septic tanks etc
Recommended use of 42.5R
This grade of cement should be used for structural members which include; beams, slabs and columns.
Recommended use of 52.5R
This cement grade should be used where very high strength is required, for example bridges, high rise building or flyovers.
Types of cement
There are about 15 or more types of cement, they are classified in regard to their composition and intended use. As we have seen above, the cement type used for almost every construction is the ordinary Portland cement. Below are some common types.
Ordinary Portland Cement
The cement does not crack easily, also shrinkage is hard to occur with this type of cement, however, it is highly prone to chemical attacks making it less suitable in places with chemicals such as soil with sulphates. The above properties make it suitable for most construction projects.
Sulphate Resistance Ordinary Portland cement
This cement is used instead of the OPC in places with high chemical concentrations especially sulphates. Its performance is the same as the OCP but will not weaken on any chemical attack.
Rapid hardening Cement
This cement attains its maximum strength at a very short time, for example if OCP attains the strength in 7 days, the rapid hardening cement will attain it in half the time. This cement is used where project completion is needed after a very short of time e.g in busy highways.
Above are just but some types of cement, there are however more types.
Top Brands of cement in Kenya
After gaining some knowledge on how to choose cement for your project, below are some best brands from different manufacturers that give quality results that you can pick from.
Blue Triangle cement
Offered by East Africa Portland cement, this is one of the most suitable and popular cement in Kenya. The cement is available in 50 KGs bags and the grades are 32.5 and 42.5.
Offered by Bamburi Ltd the cement is one of the most popular in the country, the manufacturer offers different brands of concrete with all grades of 32.5, 42.5 and 52.5. Some of the brands available from this manufacturer include;
This cement is offered by Savannah limited and is available in two grades’; 32.5R and 42.5R the cement comes packed in 50 KGs bags.
Offered by Mombasa cement Ltd, the cement comes in three types, pozzolona, pozzolanic and Ordinary Portland cement with the grades being 32.5R,32.5N and 42.5N. The packaging is in 50 KGs bag labeled Mombasa cement- Nyumba.
Simba cement is still a quality cement offered by Devki group in Kenya, the package of the cement is at 50 KGs bag with the grades being 42.5 and 32.5.
This cement is available in 50 KGs bags too and offered by Devki group.
The cement is offered by Athi River Mining Ltd and is available at 50 KGs package.
Suppliers of cement
We are working on a list of best suppliers in Kenya, we do detailed market research in order to make sure we recommended the best. However here are some recommended factors that a good supplier should have;
Offer free delivery
Request for payment on delivery
Have different top brands of cement
Offer required grades in most construction that is, 32.5 and 42.5