How To Pour A Concrete Slab

Concrete is the most economical, versatile, and durable building material available. Concrete slabs are multi-purpose surfaces for all the areas. Concrete slabs used for building walkways, patios, and floors are affordable to install and durable enough. On creating your concrete slab, you give yourself a self-designed slab that can adapt to all your needs and demands.

Point to remember- 

You should always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves when working with cement-based products.

Pour A Concrete Slab

Steps to pouring a concrete slab

Step 1-

Before placing concrete forms, you should do the following-

  • Build the form out of 2*4 or 2*6 timber and fix it in place using wood stakes and deck screws.
  • Excavate to a depth of around 7 inches in the slab area, making 3 inches for the gravel base and 4 inches for concrete.

Step 2-

The next step is to check the level of the forms. A standard level of ¼ inch for every 12 feet is sufficient to allow runoff of rainwater. The forms for patios and sidewalks should slope away from structures in a uniform manner.

Step 3-

After you have checked the form level, the next step you need to follow is to spread Quikcrete, all-purpose gravel, evenly and level off the gravel.

Step 4-

Use a tamper to compact or close pack the gravel.

Tip- Erosion and slab settling can be prevented by using a solid sub-base.

Step 5-

After compacting, the next step is to dampen or make the gravel base moist so that it can help you prevent shrinkage cracking, especially in hot weather.

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Step 6- 

Pour the concrete mixture in leads that must be placed evenly. The top of the mounds should be 2 to 3 inches above the forms before leveling.

Step 7-

Take a hoe and uniformly distribute and compact the concrete mix. The surface of the concrete should be such that it should be relatively flat.

Step 8-

Screed the concrete using a straight 2×4 by sawing back and forth across the surface to remove extra concrete and level the surface.

Step 9-

Consider low areas and screed levels and add concrete to them.

Step 10- 

When the concrete loses its shine and lustre, you should use a wood float to smooth the concrete surface in an arching motion.

Note- To create a non-slip broom finish, use a stiff-bristle broom. Ensure that all the strokes of the broom are made in one direction.

Step 11-

Use a groover and straightedge to cut in control joints. A 4-inch thick slab will need joints a minimum of every 10 feet in each direction.

Note- control joints should be cut for a minimum depth of a slab.

Step 12-

To consolidate and shape the edges of the slab, use an edging tool. To get a smooth finish, several passes should be made in each direction.

Step 13-

A fine water mist should be used to water cure newly laid concrete for at least 3 to 5 days.

Tip- Applying QUIKRETE Acrylic Concrete Cure & Seal or Quikrete slab soon after completing the concrete eliminates water curing. A roller, a garden sprayer, or a brush can apply Acrylic Cure & Seal.

Materials needed-

  • 80lb Quickrete Concrete Mix
  • 2*4 or 2*6 form boards
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Margin trowel
  • Wood float
  • Edging float
  • Finishing broom
  • Mason’s line
  • Mixing hoe
  • Plastic mixing tub
  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • 5-gallon pail
  • Measuring pail
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
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How much does it cost to pour a 12*12 concrete slab?

A standard concrete slab will cost approximately $4 to $8 per square foot. Most people spend around $5.35 to $6.17 per square foot that includes both materials and installation. The final cost will depend on the slab size, thickness, or any special reinforcement.

To build driveways, patios, sidewalks, floors, you can use four to eight-inch thick concrete slabs. A 6″ thick concrete slab is far more structurally robust than a 4″ slab, yet it may only cost $100 extra in concrete depending on slab size. A 12*12 concrete slab will cost $888, which is around 144 per square foot.

Can I pour a concrete slab yourself?

The best material that is used to build a concrete slab is ready to mix crack-resistant concrete mix. The wet, dampened mixture is poured into the wood form and then left for a while to set. Some people will mix the mixture of concrete bags in the wheelbarrow, whereas the others will spread out the bags of concrete in the level.

Can you pour concrete directly on dirt?

The answer to this question is yes. You can pour concrete directly on the dirt.

Anyone who has been into concrete pad projects always has the experience of challenging the preparation method of the concrete. Pouring concrete mix is a simple method once the area where it is poured is appropriately set.

When we consider a successful concrete project, all that is important is a good base or a foundation. The final output quality will be impacted negatively if the base into which the concrete is being poured is flawed in any manner. This is why dirt is not recommended as it affects the quality of the base, thereby leading to the final products’ quality.

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How do you prepare the ground for a concrete slab?

  • Consider proper depth before digging the ground. Check the height of the concrete slab to determine the proper depth using a concrete bag calculator. If the soil is damp or has a higher concentration of clay, add 2 inches to the depth of gravel.
  • To create a level surface, use the flat side of a rake to smooth out the ground. Any low locations should be filled up with soil.
  • To compact the soil, use either a manual tamper or a mechanical tamper.
  • For further drainage, pour 2 inches of tiny, rounded pebbles. Using a hammer, pound the rock until it is smooth and flat.


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