Concrete paths: all options
Pavement concreting is an old, proven way to achieve a reliable hard surface. This is especially important in places where high loads are planned, for example, the entrance to the yard.
Continuous concreting is performed in three versions:
- as base coat
- as a base for laying tiles (stone or decorative),
- as an intermediate process for obtaining stamped concrete.
Concreting with a plastic mold and concrete tiles are more suitable for garden paths.
And the point is not at all in the quality of forms, but in non-compliance with technology.
Only then can you start laying tiles or pouring into a mold.
The top is leveled, the concrete is allowed to “grab”, the form is removed, laid side by side and again according to the same pattern.
The composition of the concrete mortar is the same as for pouring tiles (later in the article).
It will be possible to walk along such a path in two weeks, if the weather is sunny and warm. The gaps between the elements are filled with lean cement (a dry mixture of sand and cement).
The elements of the tile in the form are quite small, therefore I do not recommend sowing grass in crevices: the growing root system of plants will expand the gaps and displace the paving elements.
FORM FOR TILE
The best option to lay out the track is to use ready-made plastic molds. Thankfully there is a choice. Here, the relation
size : thickness.
IMPORTANT: tiles with a thickness of 4 cm or more can be laid directly on a compacted sand and gravel cushion.
Tiles with a thickness of 2.5-3 cm are laid only on a concrete base.
How many molds to buy?
The tile will dry for at least 18 hours, but it is better if it is 24 hours. The calculation of the number of molds depends on the required output and the tile size. Minimum — an amount equal to 1 linear meter of your track.
What mold material to choose?
With a small amount of paving area, you can buy cheaper PVC forms.
The form of ABS plastic will last longer, so I recommend taking it with a large paving area or when you need to save money and take a smaller amount.
Homemade form can be made from a piece of plywood and boards, or even from only one frame. The inner walls are treated with used machine oil so that the tiles can be easily removed. But in this case, you can only make rectangular options.
To get a different configuration, you can cheat and look for a suitable one in departments that sell plastic household goods. This may well be a pallet for a large flower pot with a depth of 4 cm.
Also, from an old plastic basin (bucket), you can cut off the bottom so that from the rim to the cut, keep the size of 6 cm. You get a round frame.
Let’s start with the choice of cement.
PC 500 (D0) comes without slag additions, therefore it has a large margin of safety in freeze-thaw cycles (more than 50). Volume ratio C : P : W = 1 : 2.6 : 4.5
PC 400 should be selected based on the amount of slag (not more than 35%) marked II. It has frost resistance (the number of freeze-thaw cycles) is half the five hundredth. Volume ratio C : P : W = 1 : 2.1 : 3.9
The brand of concrete in these ratios corresponds to M 250.
The amount of solution depends on the size of the form and is calculated empirically. All dry ingredients are mixed and water is gradually added until a homogeneous mass of the consistency of very thick sour cream is obtained.
A liquid solution is more likely to crack, a thick pasty one contains a lot of air bubbles, which does not add strength to the product.
Pigment can be added to the solution, but this is best done with baboutlarge volumes, since it is difficult to measure the exact amount for a small batch, and the intensity of the color depends on this.
It has already been mentioned about the pre-treatment of the mold with used machine oil, if the factory mold is lubricated, then the application layer should be extremely thin, without dripping drops.
After the solution has been poured into the mold, reinforcement can be added to it (relevant for tiles ranging in size from 50 cm.
Next, the mold is shaken several times (slightly lifted by the edges and released) so that the solution becomes denser and the reinforcing material sinks into the concrete. This is a kind of replacement for the vibrating table used in production. You can put the form on a wooden shield and tap it with a hammer — the same effect.
Next, the filled form is sent for drying, preferably in the shade, so that the drying is uniform and without cracks. At high air temperatures, the form is covered with a film and periodically the surface of the concrete is sprayed with water.
The ideal temperature for high-quality setting is 15-25 degrees Celsius.
After 18 hours, you can carefully turn over and send to dry. A uniform effect is easier to achieve when placed on a metal mesh or pallet.
In two weeks the tile will be ready for laying.
If there is no form, make a frame of timber or metal. For the base take a piece of plywood treated with oil. A frame with a wall height of 4-6 cm is placed on it, filled with mortar, the top is leveled, plywood is tapped along the edges with a hammer to compact the mortar.
The surface of the tile can be decorated with pebbles, a mosaic of fragments of ceramic tiles, squeeze out a relief.
The stones are buried in a concrete-filled form by at least 2/3.
It is better to lay the mosaic on the already dried tile (the part that was at the bottom when pouring) using tile adhesive for outdoor use.
I do not recommend laying on top of a mortar that has not yet set for one reason: this side of the tile always turns out to be less durable and the mosaic will hold on worse.
You can take any embossed texture and apply it to a still damp surface. A rubber mat (pre-lubricate) or just a large leaf of a plant with convex veins will do.
They pressed it to get an impression and squeeze out excess water (cement milk), waited a few minutes (otherwise the solution will reach for the texture), removed it, and sent it to dry.
In the photo on the right, the form (tray for a flower pot) initially had a bottom, so a chestnut leaf was first laid out on it (with veins up, and then filled with a solution.
From a solution of the same composition, you can make street vases. Then your landscape composition will get a complete look.
The basis of any concrete path is a sand and gravel pillow. It will serve as a drainage and a guarantee of durability.
To begin with, they indicate the contours of the future track — they drive in pegs and pull the cord along them.
The next step is the preparation of the trench: the soil is excavated along the contours, the depth of the trench is equal to the sum of the layers of sand and gravel cushion (minimum 5 cm of sand + 10 cm of fine gravel) plus a concrete layer of at least 6 cm (optimally 10).