Concrete is composed of cement, aggregate (including crushed rock and sand) and water. In homes, it's frequently seen in the foundation, driveway, sidewalk, patio, and stone walls. Note that bricks use mortar in the joints, not concrete.

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How do I determine the correct rise of a step for a concrete footing on a slope?

Going to be building a retaining wall in the front yard on a slope. I'm going to be using King size residential bricks to make a 2 wythe wall. Because of the slope I'll need to have 3-4 steps in the ...
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What are these holes in my concrete wall and how can I mount things to them?

I have several 2.3" holes in my concrete walls. I think they were likely used as part of the construction or assembly process. They're maybe an inch to an inch and a half deep, and they look like ...
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What should I do about a crack in the concrete slab in my living room?

We purchased the house about 2 years ago. The house is about 50 years old. Today we removed the carpet and the hardwood floors under the carpet. We found out the slab has an approximately 10ft long ...
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550 views

What can I do about this painted concrete?

The previous owners of my home decided to paint the sidewalk and porch surfaces. Not only are they painted but they are this horrible color. Do you have any suggestions on what to repaint them with ...
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What should I consider when cutting/making window in concrete foundation?

I am thinking about putting in another window for my basement apartment. I would like to know what do I need to consider before trying to find a contractor to do this. I have uploaded a picture of ...
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328 views

Will having a joint between concrete beams weaken a structure?

My house is currently being constructed. It is a 20x60 foot plot. The boundary walls on the left and right sides are 4 inches thick. The beam on the right side 4-inch wall has been constructed. Now ...
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419 views

How should I flatten (not level) a concrete subfloor?

In the final stages of finishing a room in our walk-out basement. This particular room has a long history, as it was originally a garage. Thus, it has a slight pitch from the back of the room ...
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3k views

How can I repair a slow leak in my concrete fountain?

I have a painted concrete fountain whose bottom well slowly leaks over about 2 days. My area gets to ~-20c (-9ish F) in the winter, so I worry that trapped water is slowly destroying it. I suspect ...
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665 views

How can I strip and repaint a concrete porch?

My porch is concrete and has been painted over several times, the last time by the previous owner using paint that is obviously not appropriate (it's very slick when it rains/snows). It needs to be ...
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4answers
555 views

Should a concrete slab slope toward my house?

I am adding a room to my home, the contractor poured a concrete slab for the addition and it slopes toward the existing house and it is now raining and water is coming under my floors. Is the slope of ...
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174 views

Can too little sand equal weaker concrete?

Often on a bag of cement the instructions will relate the quantities in terms of bags of cement with wheelbarrows of sand and stone. They claim that 2bags cement = 1 wheelbarrow. I found that my ...
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How to remove construction adhesive from concrete?

We removed a wooden dance floor that was glued to concrete with liquid nails. How do I remove the liquid nails that is all over the concrete floor? Has anyone had success with heat, mineral spirits ...
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What is the difference between building sand and plaster sand

Recently I mixed a batch of mortar for building and was unsure if the hardware provided me with building sand or plaster sand.. What are the properties that differentiate the two? and are there any ...
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Why do builders say that wet concrete/mortar is not as strong?

I have been watching a few videos demonstrating the mixing of mortar and cement and a constant theme is that you must not have the mix too runny. I cannot fathom the reason... Does anyone care to ...
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2k views

How powerful of a hammer drill do I need to make holes in a concrete ceiling?

I want to mount a cornice for curtains on a concrete ceiling. So I believe I need some kind of hammer drill. I would like to know, how powerful should it be for this kind of work?
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Will I trap moisture in the concrete of basement walls and floors if I seal them with epoxy?

I'm thinking about painting my basement's walls with some concrete sealer (before finishing the basement) and floor with epoxy paint. Many people are doing that, but I'm concerned about moisture in ...
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Are there any advantages to using higher priced sealers?

I want to use a water based sealer on my pavers to bring out the color and also for some resistance against dirt and fading. I went to the store and saw sealers varying in price from about $11 per ...
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355 views

Will I cause problem/cracks with jumping exercise in upper floor?

Every day I am doing my martial art practice in upper floor. It contains jumping and power movements which cause sounds downstairs. Is there any problem for concrete by this continuous jerking ...
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79 views

How do I install a range anti-tip kit into hardwood floor on concrete?

I'm preparing to install an anti-tip kit for an electric range. It's a piece of shaped metal designed to be bolted to the floor with two screws or bolts. The floor is hardwood (probably engineered) ...
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4answers
12k views

How do I replace a wooden fence post that was set in concrete?

I need to replace a wooden fence post that was set into concrete. The post has snapped through rot at the base and the rot has set in so far that the post snapped about 2 inches beneath the surface. ...
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Can I change the color of the mortar in my brick wall?

We recently built our home and the mortar color between the bricks is dark gray, we did not pay attention to it and because of that the brick face is looking duller due to the standard gray mortar. ...
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320 views

How do I repair cracks in the concrete pillars supporting my patio roof?

I have two round concrete pillars that support my patio roof. I have noticed that they have cracks even though they are new. I suspect the filling of mortar and bricks inside those pillars was not ...
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637 views

How do I create concrete or fiberglass outdoor seating that will last?

My husband and I have a design for outdoor seating we would like to create that is organic (curvy) in shape and surfaced in mosaic designs. Think of a dragon undulating in and out of the water, the ...
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What water:cement:sand ratio gives the strongest mortar?

A typical mortar mix ratio is 1 cement : 3 sand. But what is the water ratio? Is it 0.5:1:3? Would a 0.5:1:2 ratio be a stronger mortar? Our next door neighbor has a dog that digs like a pro. The ...
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4answers
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Can I float a tongue-and-grooved 1x12 pine floor over a concrete slab on grade?

I have bare concrete floor that was, until recently, covered with carpet. After recently seeing a friend of mine purchase raw pine, shape the tongue-and-groove himself, and seal it to achieve a ...
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Can I install hardwood floors (not floating) on a concrete floor?

We have recently bought an old house, and the ground floor has a hard floor and is currently covered in tongue and groove laminate - which we hate. We'd like to put reclaimed floorboards down - is ...
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What can I do about this gap between my driveway and the street?

I have a low car and the ditch between my driveway and the street is pretty big. I usually enter my car in reverse at a very steep angle as to not have it scrape the lower front. My neighbors park ...
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599 views

What are “concretors' nippers” for?

I came across this tool called "concretors' nippers" I guess they are for some operations with concrete reinforcement, but can't find any details. What operations is this tool for specifically? ...
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475 views

Does RedGard count as a rubber sealer in a shower?

In standard poured shower pan construction there is normally a rubber layer between the bottom flat layer, and the upper sloped layer. Today I came across the following "updated" method: (credit: ...
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How do I build a form and pour a concrete pad?

I have a new safe that I want to put out in the garage. I'd like for it to be in a specific corner, but that corner has a few quirks. First, the slab is pretensioned. No cutting, drilling, coring, ...
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152 views

Concrete basement: Do I need a sealer or wax only?

I'm going to acid stain my concrete basement floor. Do I NEED a sealer, or can I simply apply wax directly to the concrete (which intuitively would act as the sealer itself)?
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874 views

How long does radiant heat in a concrete floor last?

I am looking to purchase a home built in 1950 that has radiant heat with copper pipes inside the concrete slab foundation. The home has been vacant for a little while now too, not sure if that ...
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How can I prepare this concrete floor for tile?

I'm looking to replace an old carpet in my finished basement with tile. I've removed the carpet and found a surface with some peeling paint, which I've read needs to be removed since the thinset for ...
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How can I prepare uneven concrete basement floor for vinyl planks?

I have roughly 600 sq ft of basement that needs new flooring after some unfortunate flooding this past summer. We had carpet over concrete and are now looking to lay vinyl planks down. There is about ...
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690 views

What is this burnt cement floor treatment called?

In Brazil we have a floor finish named Burnt Cement (that doesn't involve burning). Here is a description of the process In summary, you use a mix of cement and pigment (sometimes marble powder too) ...
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Can a cheap angle grinder be used to cut concrete and ceramic tiles?

I am interested in the Black & Decker KG100 600W Angle Grinder because it is cheap enough. I will only use it occasionally for small scale do-it-yourself home improvement works. But, I really ...
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2answers
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Is it wise to cut a long trench in concrete slab foundation?

I've got a two-car garage (4-inch concrete slab on grade) that I'm turning into living space. I want to put a bathroom out there but I need to get plumbing through the floor. I didn't think it was ...
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3answers
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How do I prepare this exterior concrete wall for paint?

I have a an exterior concrete wall that had some loose paint and started scraping away. The paint in some sections was so loose that I went all the way to the bare concrete, peeling away over 6 layers ...
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Why are my concrete water tanks not retaining water?

I have concrete water tanks, where I grow ornamental fish. Recently on draining the tanks to clean, I observed that they do not retain the water. The tanks drain over time, ...
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What type of wall construction is shown in these pictures?

These photos were taken through a small hole in the wall of a house. They are of the inside of the cavity. The hole they were taken through is at a height of about 60cm from the internal ground floor ...
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What are some good concrete and foundation books?

I've done all sorts of home repairs and projects, but never concrete work. I've been looking for a good book to help me learn how to build concrete foundations for a home, and how to pour and finish ...
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Is it possible to paint concrete pavers

I have a large paved area that I would like to replace with lawn. My plan is to use some of the pavers as a border. They're plain concrete pavers (450x450mm) that look like this except about 20 years ...
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Can I use blind rivets in concrete?

Somebody told me about using blind rivets (5mm) to attach drywall steel tracks on concrete floor and ceiling. Do that really works? How good is this compared with bushing and screw?
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Can I hang a heavy weight from a concrete ceiling if I reinforce it with fiberglass?

I'm investigating the possibility of hanging a pull-up bar/ rock-climbing training board from the concrete ceiling in my apartment. The slab is 180mm (7inches) thick and the (static) weight which I ...
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2answers
1k views

How can I replace laminate with polished concrete flooring?

I'd like to investigate whether I can replace my first-level flooring - currently faux-wood laminate - with polished concrete. What do I need to know? Is it even practical to put down polished ...
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4answers
447 views

How could I flatten these warped sleepers layed on uneven concrete to an acceptable level?

The concrete in my basement is, as most concrete is, very uneven. I was building up my subfloor to match an existing floor, so I got about 200 board feet of PT 4x4 and ripped 1/2" off using a table ...
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2answers
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How do I add veneer stone to an exterior painted wall?

I have an exterior painted wall and am interested in installing a stone veneer. I realize that I may have to install wire mesh to the areas but I'm wondering if there is a material that can be used to ...
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1answer
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How do I create a curved surface drain out of concrete?

I have a barn and a pump house (10x16) structure that are within 3 feet of each other, built in 1910. The barn's foundation is field-stone, mostly exposed on the side of the pump-house. There is a ...
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3k views

Is it safe to drill small holes in load-bearing concrete beams for expansion bolts?

It seems to be very common to drill small holes in any kind of structural concrete for mounting fixtures without worrying too much about any kind of reduction in strength of the structure, but I ...
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370 views

How do I safely install a pole/mast on our roof?

We are installing a pole/mast for wireless communication equipment on the roof of our commercial building. The pole will need to rise 2m above the roofline. Obviously we want the pole to be as ...