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Flat Concrete

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Flat concrete isn't the most exciting part of your projects, but it is one of the most important!

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Concrete flatwork (or flat concrete) is for any surface with concrete poured along a horizontal plane. Flatwork surfaces include patios, sidewalks, basements, driveways and every other flat surface. Concrete is the material of choice for flatwork because of how it can shape a flat and even surface perfectly.

Flatwork consists of a frame and a subsoil consisting of either rebar (if needed) or aggregate material. The substructure should strengthen the concrete and prevent cracks from forming under pressure and age.

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Our Flat Concrete Process Overview

Pouring a flat concrete patio involves several key steps to ensure a successful and durable outcome. Here’s a general outline of the process:

  1. Planning and Preparation:

    • Determine the location, size, and shape of the patio.
    • Call utility companies to mark any underground utilities in the area.
    • Clear the area of vegetation, debris, and any obstacles.
    • Set up the layout using stakes, strings, and/or spray paint to mark the perimeter.
  2. Excavation:

    • Dig out the area to a depth that accounts for the thickness of the concrete, a gravel base, and any necessary drainage.
    • Ensure the excavation is level and compact the soil.
  3. Base Preparation:

    • Install a compacted gravel or crushed stone base to provide a stable and well-draining foundation.
    • Use a compactor machine to achieve proper compaction.
  4. Formwork:

    • Build forms using wood, metal, or other materials to define the shape and dimensions of the patio.
    • Make sure the forms are level, square, and properly aligned.
    • Secure the forms firmly in place using stakes and bracing.
  5. Reinforcement (Optional):

    • Depending on the size and load-bearing requirements of the patio, you may choose to add reinforcement such as rebar or wire mesh to strengthen the concrete.
  6. Pouring Concrete:

    • Mix concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions or hire a concrete supplier to deliver ready-mix concrete.
    • Start pouring concrete from one end of the form and work your way to the other end.
    • Use a shovel, rake, or concrete vibrator to evenly distribute the concrete and eliminate air pockets.
    • Aim for a consistent thickness across the entire patio surface.
  7. Finishing:

    • Once the concrete is poured, use a straightedge (screed) to level the surface by moving it back and forth along the top of the forms.
    • Float the surface using a bull float to smooth out imperfections and create a uniform texture.
    • Use a hand edger to create rounded edges along the perimeter of the patio.
  8. Curing and Protection:

    • Cover the freshly poured concrete with plastic sheeting, burlap, or apply a curing compound to prevent rapid moisture evaporation and ensure proper curing.
    • Allow the concrete to cure for at least a week (or longer, depending on weather conditions) before subjecting it to heavy use.
  9. Sealing (Optional):

    • Applying a concrete sealer can help protect the patio from moisture, stains, and other forms of damage.
  10. Final Steps:

  • Remove the forms after the concrete has cured.
  • Clean the patio surface from any debris.
  • Landscaping or furnishing can be done once the concrete is fully cured and ready for use.
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