Finding the Right Concrete for Your Project
Any DIY building project comes with a series of important decisions. But is there anything more important than choosing the right concrete mix for your build? Choosing an unsuitable mix can undo all your hard work, leaving you with a concrete construction which is too weak to last. But how do you know which concrete mix is best for the project you’re planning? That’s where we come in.
In this guide, we’ve listed some common DIY concrete builds alongside our suggested concrete mixes — all of which we can supply you with.
Which concrete should I use for driveways?
Driveways are one of the most popular DIY projects in the UK. One of the main considerations here is choosing a mix which can stand up to external conditions — while still meeting the necessary strength requirements. For driveways, we suggest:
- C30 concrete — also referred to as PAV1 and ST3 concrete, this mix contains an additive which helps to protect against the freeze-thaw cycle. It is a common mix used for domestic driveway construction, making it a reliable choice.
- RC25/30 — This is the reinforced version of C30 concrete, and would only be chosen if you require extra strength for multiple large vehicles. Not sure if this is necessary? The Total Concrete Team will be happy to advise.
Which concrete should I use for shed bases?
For a shed base, the main consideration is finding a concrete mix which is easy to work with and meets your strength requirements. You don’t need to go overboard for a shed base, all you need is something that produces a sturdy slab without any fuss. We’d recommend:
- C15/GEN 2 — A lightweight mix ideal for simple domestic constructions — like a shed base.
Which concrete should I use for single storey foundations?
For single-storey foundations — such as for a conservatory or another type of extension — you can achieve great results with a lightweight mix. For this type of construction, we recommend:
- C10/GEN 1 — A highly versatile mix which is commonly used in domestic constructions. You can use this mix to construct sturdy foundations for a single-storey extension.
Which concrete should I use for two-storey foundations?
If you’re building something with two storeys, you’re increasing the maximum load you’ll need to support. For most domestic applications, the concrete mix you’ll need for double-storey foundations will differ from foundation concrete for commercial applications; you can typically use concrete with lower strength ratings, for instance. For double-storey foundations, we recommend:
- C25/ST 2 — This versatile mix is one of the most popular mixes for domestic foundation concrete. It is not exclusively used for foundations, as it can also be applied to other projects, such as patios, but its strength makes it ideal for most double-storey builds.
- RC 20/25 — If the project demands a mix of higher strength, you can choose this reinforced mix, which will mean your foundations will be prepared to take on larger loads than the non-reinforced C25 mix.
Which concrete should I use for patios?
As with many domestic builds, a lightweight, versatile mix will be fine for something like a patio build. We’d recommend:
C10 — a lightweight mix typically used for patio slabs.
C20 — Stronger than the C10 mix, this can also produce sturdy patio paving.
C30 — As mentioned previously, the additives used in this mix protect against the freeze-thaw cycle. This can be particularly advantageous for patio construction.
Which concrete should I use for footings?
Strip footings are an important part of foundation construction; they help to support the foundation to protect against settling. When choosing concrete for footings, you need to pay close attention to the soil type — this is something the team at Total Concrete can help you with. We recommend the following mixes:
- C10 or GEN 1 — A lightweight mix which is easy to work with, this mix can provide the requisite support for foundations.
Which concrete should I use for screed?
Screed is different to concrete, so if you need screed, you need a different type of mix. Screed is highly workable, not particularly strong, and used as a top-layer finish for internal flooring, upon which carpet or other furnishing materials can be installed. For screed, there are two mixes we recommend, depending on certain requirements of the project:
- 4-1 SC — This is suitable for projects with underfloor heating
- 5-1 SC — This is suitable for projects without underfloor heating
Whatever DIY build you’re planning, make sure you talk to the experts. At Total Concrete, we can supply any type of concrete for any DIY job, and our specialist team will be on hand to provide specific project advice to ensure nothing is left to chance. If you need more help finding the right mix for you, or you want to go ahead and enquire about an order with us, get in touch today.