How Thick Should A Concrete Patio Be?

The most common types of material for a patio floor are concrete, pavers, and stone. Concrete is much easier to maintain since it provides a durable patio floor.

The amount of material and costs for your project are determined by concrete patio depth. The concrete patio thickness of your patio floor has to cover any potential gap in the ground, weak topsoil surface, or if any protruding rocks may cause crack under pressure.

The thickness of a concrete patio floor will determine how to pour a concrete patio. In our guide, you can learn all you need to know about how much concrete you will need and need reinforcement to support the weight. (Learn How to Polish Concrete by Hand)

tables and chair patio

Can I Pour a 2-inch Concrete Slab?

If you are on a budget, you may think you could get away with thinner concrete. However, even when done correctly, professionals could lay a new concrete slab right onto an existing slab.

To be sure there is no chance of concrete slabs cracking, the contractor would need to pour at least 2-inches thick. Besides this, they need to use smaller-sized aggregate and use reinforcement like welded wire mesh or even fiber mixed into the concrete.

Poured concrete of this thickness wouldn’t survive and wouldn’t be anywhere near crack-resistant if it was on bare soil.

How much does a 20×20 concrete patio cost?

A 20 x 20 or 400 square feet patio can cost from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on where you live. However, if you take this job on board yourself, you can cut the costs in half.

Do You Need Rebar in a Concrete Patio?

You need rebar or welded wire mesh in your concrete sitting about 2-inches from the bottom to add reinforcement. Concrete can crack regardless of the thickness.

How thick of a Concrete Slab Do I Need?

Concrete doesn’t need a standardized concrete patio thickness, although there are guides to concrete slabs. These will be 4-inch thick in many instances, which is now the average for most concrete patios. (Learn How to Get Spray Paint Off Concrete)

It is advisable, however, to stick to 4-6 inches of gravel as your foundation. If you stick to the minimum of 4 inches thick, you’ll need an 8-inch pit as the minimum.

On occasions, you will find some patios require more concrete patio slab thickness and are often in high-traffic areas or will have heavy objects on them. A thickness of 8 inches may be more common than you think.

How to Determine Concrete Patio Thickness

Find the Ideal Ratio: Concrete won’t be any good on its own. You would need at least 1-inch of base as a minimum and can be sand, gravel, limestone, or others.

To calculate the ratio, consider how stiff you want your concrete to be. The more concrete, the stiffer it is, and also more expensive. Adding layers of aggregates isn’t a bad idea, though it will depend on what you want.

Ideal Height

You’ll most likely want a patio to be close to your lawn, garden, or topsoil. If yes, then you’ll need a concrete patio at the same level or higher. It’s recommended to measure the height you want on your concrete patio.

Overall Size

You need to consider how large your patio will be. The larger the patio, the thicker it should be. it is, the thicker you should build it to prevent cracking

cementing

How to Build a DIY Concrete Patio

Here’s a quick guide on how to build a concrete patio.

Tools

  • Shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Hand saw
  • Level or a laser level
  • Hammer
  • Drill driver
  • Trowels
  • Brooms

Materials

  • Lumber for forms: 2×6 or 2×8
  • Wooden Stakes: 1-1/2-in. x 1-1/2-in. x 18-in. Use 1 for every 36-in. of the length of your forms and each corner
  • Deck Screws: #10 x 3-1/2-in for form assembly
  • Concrete: Bagged mix of Portland cement and sand to hand-mix. For a large patio, you can order ready-mixed concrete by truck
  • Crushed stone
  • Reinforcement: Rebar or wire mesh
  • Twine and stakes

Equipment

  • Cement mixer unless ordering by the truck
  • Masonry cut-off saw

Step-by-Step Patio Process

You’ll find many steps to pour a concrete patio in your backyard, comprise marking, excavating, building and leveling forms before you even mix and pouring concrete, and then set about finishing the concrete. (Learn How Much is a Yard of Concrete)

  1. Mark the area: Use spray paint or twine and stakes to mark the patio. Make the area 18-inches longer and wider than the patio’s ending size as you need room for your forms and work around them.
  2. Excavate your area: Use a shovel or mini-excavator and dig up the sod and topsoil. Aim for six to eight inches below the soil level.
  3. Assemble forms: Connect 2×6 or 2×8 lumber to form the outer perimeter of your patio. Use the three-deck screws to join the corners.
  4. Square and straighten your form: Once corners are square, Drive a stake in each corner and every 36-inches on the outer face of your form.
  5. Level your form: Work out the highest corner point and raise your form to that level. Drive a deck screw through the stake and lock your form in position. Use a level to raise the entire form to the right height.
  6. Cut the stakes: When you level your concrete, you’ll screen the concrete, so the stakes need to be flush.
  7. Add crushed stone: Shovel in a gravel base and level and the same distance from the top of your forms.
  8. Add reinforcement: Concrete needs to be reinforced to minimize patio cracking. You can use reinforcing steel mesh or rebar. Place the mesh or rebar in the bottom of the form, and raise it as you pour the concrete, so your reinforcement is two inches from the bottom.
  9. Fill the form with concrete: Fill and then use a straight piece of wood and draw this across the top of the form to smooth and use a float to level the concrete. Leave the concrete until the surface water dries and the concrete is still soft. Continue to smooth the surface with a trowel. For a rough surface, you can use a broom to add texture.
  10. Remove the forms: Let your concrete cure for three days where you can remove the deck screws. Remove the stakes and remove the wood. Backfill with soil to fill in space.
  11. Crack control joints: Even using reinforcing rods, concrete slabs will get cracks. Crack control cuts direct such cracking along one line. Let your concrete cure for two weeks and rent a masonry cut-off saw. Make cuts 1-1/2-in. to two inches down in a grid formation of around 10 feet x 10 feet.

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