Homeowners investing in new houses or renovating the existing ones prioritize durability over everything else. One thing that really matters in this context is the choice of high-quality construction material that ensures strength and sustainability for the building. The choice of concrete is of great importance when it comes to home construction projects. As there are several concrete blends available for residential use, you need to know about all of the options so that you can choose the one that gives true value in terms of longevity and durability.
Additionally, you cannot expect to use the same type of concrete in all areas of your home. Obviously, a material that would work for the interiors may not be suitable for the driveway or porch. So you need to understand all about concrete mixes to choose one that has the appropriate strength and proper thickness. Another concern is whether you would want to use a ready mix or have a mix made at the site. Let us explain the best options that would be right for the various parts of your home.
Interior and garage floors
The best option for both interior and garage floors is a 4-inch pour of standard slab. The minimum strength recommendation for these floors is 2500 psi (pounds per square inch), though 4500 psi is considered to be the ideal standard. The latter is applicable to garage floors in particular, because they have to bear the brunt of wear and tear caused by heavy vehicles and machinery. A 5-inch slump concrete along with a water-cement ratio below 0.5 is recommended for achieving 4500 psi. It is to be noted that the framing of such concrete project is relatively simple because the room’s frame already exists. All that you need to do is to remove the trim pieces, followed by pouring and sealing the concrete and then replacing the trim again.
Foundations, sidewalks, driveways and patios
When it comes to the foundations and outdoor areas of your home, you definitely need a sturdy option and ready mix concrete makes an apt choice. Typically, a pour of 4 inch thickness is recommended in addition to a base of 2-3 inches made with sand, limestone, gravel or another aggregate. Also, a minimum strength of 4000 psi is considered mandatory for these areas while 4500 psi is something that is to be regarded as the benchmark. Since the foundation of your home needs to be extra strong, you need to be very careful about the specifications for the concrete to be used for it. A thick pour of 8-10 inches along with a psi of 3500-4000 psi is something that you must ensure for the concrete to be used in your home’s foundation.
Indoor and outdoor stairs
Another area of your home that requires a careful choice of concrete material is the stairs, both indoor and outdoor. Factors such as the width, rise and run of the stairs play a key role while deciding the type of concrete to be used. Generally, stairs have a width of 9 inches while the rise between steps is 6-10 inches and the run is around 8 inches on average. A dry mix is generally used for indoor stairs while ready mix is considered the best option for the outdoors as durability is a more important factor for them.
Indoor and outdoor countertops
A thickness of 1.5-2 inches is regarded as ideal for indoor and outdoor countertops in residential buildings. When it comes to choosing the right kind of concrete for them, there are some guidelines that you must bear in mind because you would want the countertop to be the best in both form and function. Look for a mix which offers a high early strength to facilitate faster processing and provide crack resistance for greater durability. Also, it ensures a low shrinkage potential for minimizing curling over a period of time. The construction of concrete countertops is complex as it involved casting in a mold and use of additives such as steel, mesh and fiberglass to prolong life and promote strength.
Building or renovating your home involves a lot of thinking and research, particularly when it comes to the choice of construction material. Concrete is one material that you should be extra careful about because it is directly associated with the structural strength of the building. Make sure that you understand your requirements and discuss them with an expert to select the right kind of concrete that should be used for building various parts of your living space.