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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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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2answers
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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2answers
3k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
271 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
387 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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1answer
89 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) ...
2
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5answers
15k 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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2answers
1k views

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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0answers
359 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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1answer
675 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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2answers
19k views

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
3k views

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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4answers
15k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
7
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1answer
705 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? ...
3
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1answer
539 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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1answer
1k views

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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1answer
154 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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1answer
1k 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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2answers
3k views

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 ...
7
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3answers
10k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
836 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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3answers
11k views

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
1k views

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
8k views

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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1answer
181 views

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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2answers
425 views

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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2answers
823 views

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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2answers
9k views

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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2answers
359 views

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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8answers
3k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
2k 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
504 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
2k views

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
3k views

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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2answers
4k 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 ...
2
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1answer
418 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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Should I use solid concrete or cement block for an egress window well?

I am having some contractors build a window well for an egress window at my house. I have the option of doing solid concrete walls for the window well, or cement blocks (which he said he will fill ...
4
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1answer
2k views

How should I build an exterior door landing pad?

I've got a building with several exterior doors (all opening inward). The slab and walk-up is about 18+" from the ground. Code requires that I have a 36"x36" landing pad outside each exterior door. ...
2
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2answers
5k views

What cement product should I use to fix a hole in my slab?

I was removing old thinset and self-leveling cement in an area in preparation to tile it when the 6" chisel and demo hammer I was using sunk in to a specific spot. I found that this specific spot had ...
3
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1answer
165 views

How can I remove ridges from a concrete shower pan?

I recently laid a new concrete shower pan, and went around the drain radially, which created some circular ridges. I'd like to make the pan as smooth as possible, but these ridges are currently 1/8" ...
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1answer
686 views

What is the difference between fire cement and fire concrete?

I am trying to build a foundry. The Youtube video refers to 4:1 Perlite:Fire Cement. But the shop also offers Fire Concrete. I don't know what's the difference. Could someone please explain the ...
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2answers
4k views

Is it normal to find cracks in new concrete?

I'm having a house built and they just completed pouring the slab for the foundation a few days ago. When I inspected it today I noticed several narrow (but sometimes long; one or two do them appear ...
9
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5answers
25k views

Do I have to remove the old thinset before installing new tile?

I will be installing some new 12x12 tiles in two bathrooms approx 25 sq/ft each. When I pulled up the old tiles, there was no thin set that had made contact with them so the removal was very easy. ...
3
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1answer
786 views

How do I fix an uneven cement floor prior to hard wood flooring install?

I have recently ripped up carpet and padding on a cement floor for a sixth floor condo unit. I plan on installing 3/4" Bella, 3' wide flooring on it. The problem is that there is a ridge, about 1/8", ...
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2answers
210 views

Should I use concrete, or some other method to fix this entry area?

I have an entry walkway that's 9ft x 4ft by my front door that I need to fix so it is solid ground. I was thinking of putting concrete down and then laying tile on top of the concrete. I have some ...
3
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3answers
720 views

How can I get windshield wiper fluid stains out of my garage floor?

My car's windshield wiper fluid reservoir had a leak and quite a bit of it soaked into my garage floor (which is a light concrete). It happened over night, so it soaked quite a bit. Now the floor is ...
6
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2answers
456 views

How can I stop mortar plugs from popping out of slab holes?

Our termite people plugged their dozens of chemical insertion holes using a regular grout. Needless to say the plugs are popping out left and right. (They tell me that is normal, the plugs pop out in ...
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3answers
1k views

Can I use landscaping lava rock as a concrete slab base?

The side of our house if continually overrun with weeds. I'm thinking of fencing it in and laying some concrete to prevent the weeds and provide some storage area. Currently there is red lava rock ...
3
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4answers
4k views

How can I remove water-based emulsion paint from paving slabs?

On painting the bedrooms in our new house, we've gotten some (mainly) water-based paint on some of the paving slabs on the patio. A little of it may be oil-based gloss we used for skirting boards, but ...