Concrete is one of the most economical, versatile and durable building materials available. With our help, you can pour and finish a concrete slab, build a sidewalk, patio, or floor with QUIKRETE concrete mixes no matter your skill level. Find out just about everything you need to know by watching the video below. We’ve even included a material list for everything you’ll need to get the job done right.
When working with cement-based products, always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves.
- Prior to placing concrete forms: Construct the form with 2×4 or 2×6 lumber and secure in place by wood stakes and deck screws. Excavate the slab area to a depth of about 7 inches, allowing 3 inches for a gravel base and 4 inches for concrete.
- Check the forms for level (¼ inch for every 12 feet is sufficient to allow for rain run-off). Patio and sidewalk forms should slope evenly away from structures.
- Evenly spread 3 to 4 inches of QUIKRETE All Purpose Gravel and then level the gravel.
- Compact the gravel base using a tamper. TIP: a solid sub-base will help prevent erosion and slab settling
- Dampen the gravel base using a garden hose to prevent shrinkage cracking especially in hot temperatures.
- Pour the concrete mix in evenly placed leads; the top of the concrete mounds should be about 2 to 3 inches above the forms before leveling.
- Consolidate and distribute the concrete evenly using a hoe. The surface of the concrete should be relatively flat and slightly above the form.
- Screed the concrete using a straight 2×4 by moving the board back and forth across the surface of the concrete in a sawing motion to remove the excess concrete and smooth the surface.
- Add concrete to any low areas and screed level.
- Once the concrete has lost its sheen, smooth the concrete surface using a wood float in an arching motion. NOTE: use a stiff-bristle broom to create a non-slip broom finish (all broom strokes should be made in the same direction).
- Cut in control joints using a groover and straight-edge (a 4-inch thick slab will require control joints a minimum of every 10 feet in each direction). NOTE: control joints should be cut a minimum of ¼ the depth of the slab.
- Use an edging tool to consolidate and shape the edges of the slab. Several passes should be made in each direction for a smooth finish.
- Freshly placed concrete should be water cured for a minimum of 3 to 5 days with a fine water mist. TIP: water curing can be eliminated by applying QUIKRETE Acrylic Concrete Cure & Seal immediately after finishing the concrete. Acrylic Cure & Seal can be applied with a roller, garden sprayer or a brush.
- 80 lb QUIKRETE Crack Resistant Concrete Mix / QUIKRETE Concrete Mix / QUIKRETE 5000 Concrete Mix
- 50 lb QUIKRETE All-purpose Gravel
- Gal QUIKRETE Acrylic Concrete Cure & seal
- 2×4 or 2×6 form boards
- Wood stakes
- Margin trowel
- Wood float
- Edging tool
- Finishing broom
- Mason’s line
- Mixing hoe
- Plastic mixing tub or wheel barrow
- Measuring tape
- 5-gallon pail (optional)
- 10 oz QUIKRETE Liquid Cement Color (optional)
- Measuring pail
- Safety glasses