How To Stain Your Concrete Patio
Prior to staining a patio, the surface needs to be prepped. Because concrete stains are translucent, they wont hide color variations or unwanted stains from dirt, oil, grease, organic matter, or weather exposure.
Here are tips for removing some common types of stains:
Staining your own concrete doesnt always end in a beautiful finish. Find a concrete staining contractor near you that will deliver professional results.
Stained Concrete Originals in Los Angeles, CA.
Types Of Concrete Used In Residential Projects
There are thousands of types of concrete available to consumers for residential use. In addition to choosing a type of concrete, youll also be faced with decisions about concrete finishes such as stains and sealers. You may also be making decisions regarding which contractor to hire and then making decisions with them as they work with you on the project.
With all the choices, remember that the greatest value concrete has to offer you is its durability and longevity. So picking a mix with an appropriate strength, the correct frame or mold into which it is poured, and the proper thickness of the pour is the most important.
The first decision is deciding what type of concrete works best for your project. Choose whether you need ready-mix concrete delivered or plan to mix your own from a dry mix.
Port Aggregates offers the delivery of ready-mix concrete for large-scale residential projects such as concrete foundations or slabs, driveways, sidewalks, patios, or floors.
Our trucks arrive directly at your site with wet concrete ready to be poured onto your base. For residential projects requiring smaller quantities of concrete, such as stairs, outdoor tables, benches, or countertops, opt for dry concrete mixed on site.
Can A Patio Sealer Be Colored
Most clear water- and solvent-based sealers can be tinted, allowing you to add another layer of color to a decorative concrete finish. Some manufacturers offer pre-tinted sealers, while others provide tint concentrates that you can add to the sealer at the jobsite. A tinted sealer can also be used as a stand-alone, low-cost decorative finish if just a hint of color is desired. Get more advice on tinting sealers.
A pressure washer is a great way to clean your decorative concrete patio before sealing. Chutima Chaochaiya / Shutterstock.com.
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Kilz 13511101 L341011 Interior/exterior Self
Acrylic latex paints are known for their good concealing properties, and this KILZ water base paint is just perfect for covering up uneven surfaces and damages. It is a self-priming paint and it is water-repellent, it comes with great adhesion that makes it stick well to interior and exterior surfaces. One gallon can cover up to 400 square feet, depending on how you apply it.
It doesnt matter if your patio has stucco or brick surfaces, this easy-to-apply KILZ paint will bring out the beauty and at the same time prevent mold and mildew growth. Also, the paint can be rolled, brushed, or sprayed.
How Thick Should Concrete Patio Slab Be
So, youre planning to pour a new concrete patio to expand your backyard landscape and get a little more room to grill. Before you start, you need to know the right thickness for the patio. If you get it wrong, youll either spend far too much time and money on a thick patio or waste your money on a crumbling patio that doesnt meet code! So, how thick should a concrete patio be?
Most concrete patios, and other concrete slabs, are 4 inches thick. Building codes across the country usually require a thickness of 3.5 inches and compressive strength of 3,000 PSI. However, many things determine whether a concrete patio should be thicker, or incorporate rebar/reinforcement mesh.
In this article, youll learn how thick a concrete patio should be, the factors and building codes that determine the right slab thickness, and the basic steps of pouring your own concrete patio.
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Cleaning Your Concrete Patio
How To Lay Out & Excavate A Patio Site
1. Lay out a rough project outline with a rope or hose. Use a carpenterâs square to set perpendicular lines. To create the actual layout, begin by driving wood stakes near each corner of the rough layout. The goal is to arrange the stakes so they are outside the actual project area, but in alignment with the borders of the project. Where possible, use two stakes set back 1 ft. from each corner, so strings intersect to mark each corner . Note: In projects built next to permanent structures, the structure will define one project side.
2. Connect the stakes with masonâs strings. The strings should follow the actual project outlines. To make sure the strings are square, use the 3-4-5 triangle method: measure and mark points 3 ft. out from one corner along one string, and 4 ft. out along the intersecting string at the corner. Measure between the points, and adjust the positions of the strings until the distance between the points is exactly 5 ft. A helper will make this easier.
3. Reset the stakes, if necessary, to conform to the positions of the squared strings. Check all corners with the 3-4-5 method, and adjust until the entire project area is exactly square. This can be a lengthy process with plenty of trial and error, but it is very important to the success of the project, especially if you plan to build on the concrete surface.
8. Lay a subbase for the project . Pour a 5″-thick layer of gravel, and tamp until the gravel is even and compressed to 4″ in depth.
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What Type Of Gravel To Put Under Concrete
The ideal type of gravel is ¾ to 1 washed and screened gravel. It is known by many different names throughout North America, from driveway gravel to 57, so well stick with the specific size instead of a nickname for accuracy.
Gravel that is larger than 1 can be difficult to compact and could be too porous for some types of concrete. Therefore, it can also be tough to level larger gravel, making it tough to estimate the amount of concrete needed. If you are putting rigid foam on top of the gravel, large rocks may impede the installation or break the foam.
The crushed rock used for concrete slab foundations, between ¾ and 1, is still quite rough. Many find the pieces very jagged and wonder if that is still acceptable. It is because the jags and sharp edges, when compacted, act to hold one another together. Thus, the rough shape of these rocks acts as a sort of glue when leveled and compacted.
It is important to get washed and screened gravel. As mentioned above, we dont want any wicking of water in our gravel. Wicking is when water travels up through the gravel into the slab. If you purchase unwashed gravel, you risk the gravel including excessive amounts of dust, which water can wick upwards.
Screening removes smaller rocks mixed in with the ¾ gravel. This also helps prevent moisture wicking up through the fines in the rock. The fines are smaller rocks and rock particles that allow tiny water passages to travel.
How To Build & Install Patio Forms
1. A form is a frame, usually made from 2 Ã 4 lumber, laid around a project site to contain poured concrete and establish its thickness. Cut 2 Ã 4s to create a frame with inside dimensions equal to the total size of the project.
2. Use the masonâs strings that outline the project as a reference for setting form boards in place. Starting with the longest form board, position the boards so the inside edges are directly below the strings.
3. Cut several pieces of 2 Ã 4 at least 12″ long to use as stakes. Trim one end of each stake to a sharp point. Drive the stakes at 3-ft. intervals at the outside edges of the form boards, positioned to support any joints in the form boards.
4. Drive 3″ Deck Screws through the stakes and into the form board on one side. Set a level so it spans the staked side of the form and the opposite form board, and use the level as a guide as you stake the second form board so it is level with the first. For large projects, use the masonâs strings as the primary guide for setting the height of all form boards.
5. Once the forms are staked and leveled, drive 3â deck screws at the corners. Coat the insides of the forms with vegetable oil or a commercial release agent so concrete wonât bond to them.
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Let The Concrete Cure
Lay plastic sheeting over the finished surface. The moisture trapped inside eliminates the need for watering during the curing stage.
Let the concrete cure at least 48 hours, then remove the form boards.
If you already have a concrete patio, and you are not sure if you can put new concrete over old concrete, we have the answer for you in that article!
At All Pro Decks, we are committed to being the best patio and . Building your concrete patio the right way is our first priority! You dont have to worry about following steps, adhering to local regulations, or the correct materials needed to build a concrete patio. You can simply tell us what youre envisioning, and well be happy to help you create your wonderful outdoor space. Check out this article on concrete patio contractors for more!
How Long Do Patio Sets Last
Good patio furniture can last 15+ years. Some will last longer, some less, but theres no firm timeline. Unlike mattresses, which have a commonly-held deadline for replacement after 10 years, your patio furniture will last until the elements break it downthis depends on maintenance, materials, and climate.
Will A Sealer Make Concrete Patios Slippery
Film-forming, high-gloss sealers can really intensify the color of a concrete patio, but they may also make the surface more slippery, especially when wet. Thats usually not a concern with exposed aggregate or textured concrete patio surfaces, but smooth, untextured concrete may require the use of anti-skid additives to improve the traction. Most of these additives are simply mixed into the sealer at the time of application and are transparent, so they wont alter the color or appearance . Another option is to switch to a penetrating sealer that wont form a surface film.
The Best Commercial Concrete Mixes For Patios
If you came here looking for recommendations as to which patio mixes to spend your money on, you are in the right place.
Many companies make mixes that are for residential projects like patios and walkways, so you are in luck.
These mixes are made up of Portland cement, fine aggregates, and sand.
Below, we have three suggestions of commercial mixes that will provide you with the ideal texture, look, and finish for your patio.
- Sakrete 5000 Plus High Strength Concrete Mix 80 lb bag This mix by Sakrete is a High Strength, low aggregate mix. The high PSI will allow you to use your patio frequently, place furniture on it, and live life as usual without worrying about causing cracks in the concrete.
- Quikrete;80-lb High Strength Concrete Mix This Quikrete mix is very similar to the one above, with the main difference being the guarantee that it will be walkable in 10-12 hours. This quick walkability is perfect if you are looking for a fast, easy project.
- Quikrete 110180 Concrete Mix 80 lbs This second Quikrete mix is a bit more casual, drying to 4,000 PSI rather than 5,000 PSI, but sees no other large differences. It is a classic fine aggregate, sand, and Portland cement mix, so you will be pleased with the results it provides.
If none of these suggestions are satisfactory, we recommend you go to your local hardware store and ask for patio mix suggestions or make your own mix.
The Best Quikrete Concrete Mix For A Patio
If your building your own concrete patio and make to make things as easy as possible then Quikrete can help. Another great company that makes premixed concrete bags is called Sakrete. You can typically find them at Home Depot, Lowes, and many hardware stores like Ace. I recommend using theyre basic 3500 psi concrete mix. Its strong enough for a patio and easy to work with. But if you need more strength, they offer concrete as high as 5000 psi.
Quikrete and Sakrete concrete mixes are made up of Portland cement, fine aggregates, and sand. Theres nothing special about it, whats inside the bag is just a premixed dry concrete thats ready to use.
Premixed bags come in a variety of weight ranging from around 50 lbs to the standard 80 lb bag. Its the same exact mix, just in different amounts.
Below are the premixed concrete we recommend.
- Quikrete 50-80-lb 3500 psi and above Concrete Mixes. This Quikrete mix is a traditional concrete without any additives or special features. It sets in about 24 hours which is a pretty fast turn around for concrete. The cure time is 28 days.
- Sakrete 50-80-lb 3500 psi and above Concrete Mixes. This is the same basic mix as Quikrete. I like to use traditional concrete for my patios. Both manufacturers use a smooth aggregate which makes a nice finish.
How To Prepare The Patio Slab Site
Before you start, contact your local building department to see whether a permit is required and how close to lot lines you can build. In most cases, youll measure from the lot line to position the slab parallel to it. Make sure there are no pipes or services below the ground you are proposing to put your patio slab. The national call-before-you-dig number is 811. If there are any buried utilities, these can be marked with paint or flags so that you dont accidentally dig into an underground utility line.
Types Of Concrete Patios
The first thing you need to know about stamped concrete is that you have far more design options than you can imagine. Compared to natural stone or other patio material options, stamped concrete can come in a remarkable range of colors and patterns.
It all starts with a base color of concrete. Choose an integral color or have a color hardener added to emphasize the base color of your concrete. Next, the concrete is poured by our expert team for a smooth, long-lasting, and efficient patio.
Once its poured, our custom stamps are pressed into the surface to create a stamped pattern. These patterns create a stone, tile, brick, or other texture to add visual interest and personal flair to your patio. Dont settle for a flat, generic patio, but create a seating area that matches your existing walkway or blends in perfectly with your landscaping.
After the stamping, drying, washing, and cutting processes are complete, its time to consider sealants. Sealing stamped concrete prevents stains and moisture issues. Sealers can alter the color of your stamped concrete to add visual interest and depth of color.
Discuss any necessary maintenance steps with our team. Stamped concrete patios are incredibly durable and hold up well to daily use, but youll need to seal them after years of use. Ask our team about the best time to revisit your sealant for your specific patio.
Failing To Take Weather Into Account
Warm days without rain are perfect for concrete pouring. Forecasts of extremely hot weather, freezing temperatures or rain are the worst times for a concrete pour. Heres why:
Weather that is too hot will cause the cement to dry too quickly, ruining the curing process. If its too cold, this weakens the overall strength of the concrete. Rainy days are not advisable because the extra water interferes with the proper water-to-concrete ratio of any good concrete mix.
Bottom line: If the weather isnt right, dont try to squeeze the project in. Reschedule.
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