Do you need concrete for a new home improvement project? You have many options, but the right one will work to enhance the strength and beauty of the final product.
In order to be successful with any home improvement project, you need to have the right tools and most importantly, the right materials. For projects involving concrete, using an inferior or incorrect concrete product will not give you the right results. You need to know what kind of concrete to use for a home project. Ready mix concrete comes in a variety of strengths and compositions that are geared toward different types of uses, both inside and outside your home.
All Concrete is Not Equal
The concrete used in the average home project is normally available in strengths ranging from 2,500 pounds per square inch (PSI) to 5,000 PSI, but is also available in engineered design mixes up to 10,000 PSI. Its strength is determined through compression testing. Lower strengths are also available for projects where strength is not as important, such as grout or block-fill.
For projects like walkways or driveways, 3,000 PSI concrete is often used, which is less expensive option for projects that do not require troweled finishing. However, before choosing this type of concrete, you will want to verify that this strength is acceptable under local building codes.
Concrete that is rated for 3,000 PSI is usually sufficient for many construction purposes. In some cases, 3,500 PSI may be necessary for stairways, driveways or floor slabs that are subject to heavy loads. For heavy traffic or loads, 4,000 PSI is usually recommended for the best results.
What Kind of Concrete to Use for a Home Project
Depending upon your project, you may want a stronger mix or a mix that allows for different finishing touches, such as staining, stamping, or other concrete surfacing techniques. Concrete can be colored or textured to give it the appearance of wood grain or carved stone, among other patterns.
For projects such as fireplaces or fire pits, you will want to choose a mix that is able to withstand higher temperatures. Using a lower quality concrete may initially save you money, but you run the risk of heat damage or possible injury to you or your family in the event the fireplace or fire pit explodes.
Special Mixes for Different Qualities
Adding different types of aggregates to the concrete could also make it more suitable for your individual project. For example, in large concrete-paved areas like driveways or patios, you may be able to reduce the amount of steel reinforcement needed by using a mix with ingredients like Fibermesh that make the concrete more durable and crack resistant. A mix that has added air will allow for expansion without cracking the concrete, thus making it great for surfaces that are exposed to fluctuations in temperatures.
For grout or other decorative purposes, river rock, gravel or crushed limestone can enhance the look of your project. If you are building concrete furniture, a mix that includes fiberglass will make your furniture lighter and easier to move around.
Contact Razorback Concrete if you need helping determining what kind of concrete to use for a home project. You can also call us at 870-455-0700 to get an estimate for our ready-mixed concrete from one of our professional sales representatives to get your project started today.Read More
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