Patios are a beautiful and functional way to add some variation to your yard. Though they can be made from many materials, most patios are made of concrete. If you are not a patio expert, you may be wondering what concrete mix you should use to have the best patio you can.
Patios should be made using the simplest concrete mixes available, so you should stick to strong mixes that have small aggregates like crushed gravel and sand. These mixes create a smooth, appealing look and are easily stamped and stained- both of which are common additives for patios.
If you want more specific suggestions as to which mixes to buy and what aggregates to avoid, read on!
You might be wondering, are patio mixes actually a thing? The answer is yes. These mixes are thick, strong, and smooth, creating a beautifully smooth and reliable patio.
If you would prefer to mix your own concrete rather than buy it at a store or get it ordered in, we have just the recipe for you!
To create the ideal patio mix, combine one part Portland cement with two parts sand and three parts of a fine aggregate in your concrete mixer.
Add enough water for your mix to be malleable, but not so much as to make it watery; just make sure it can be worked.
That’s it! The recipe -like the project- is simple, but sure.
Though the recipe is an easy one, you’ll need a lot of it. The average patio is 50 square feet and requires 25 bags of concrete, so be sure to plan your sand and aggregates accordingly.
If you get your patio done commercially, ask them to use fine aggregates in the concrete mix for a smooth finish.
The Best Commercial Mixes
If you came here looking for recommendations as to which patio mixes to spend your money on, you are in the right place.
Many companies make mixes that are for residential projects like patios and walkways, so you are in luck.
These mixes are made up of Portland cement, fine aggregates, and sand.
Below, we have three suggestions of commercial mixes that will provide you with the ideal texture, look, and finish for your patio.
- Sakrete 5000 Plus High Strength Concrete Mix 80 lb bag– This mix by Sakrete is a High Strength, low aggregate mix. The high PSI will allow you to use your patio frequently, place furniture on it, and live life as usual without worrying about causing cracks in the concrete.
- Quikrete 80-lb High Strength Concrete Mix– This Quikrete mix is very similar to the one above, with the main difference being the guarantee that it will be walkable in 10-12 hours. This quick walkability is perfect if you are looking for a fast, easy project.
- Quikrete 110180 Concrete Mix 80 lbs– This second Quikrete mix is a bit more casual, drying to 4,000 PSI rather than 5,000 PSI, but sees no other large differences. It is a classic fine aggregate, sand, and Portland cement mix, so you will be pleased with the results it provides.
If none of these suggestions are satisfactory, we recommend you go to your local hardware store and ask for patio mix suggestions or make your own mix.
Things To Avoid
When making or buying mixes, there are always things to look for and things to avoid.
Earlier, we talked about keeping an eye out for fine aggregates as they will give you the best look, but we didn’t talk about what to avoid.
Patios are simple projects, but anything can be messed up if you do it incorrectly.
To ensure you create the best patio possible, we’ve made a list of things to avoid when buying for, mixing, and creating a patio.
- Aggregate Sizes: When creating your own patio mix at home, make sure to pay attention to what aggregates you buy. To have any sort of strength in your concrete, you have to add aggregates, but some are unsightly. Make sure to get an aggregate mix that is a fine, one color, mix. This will make it less obvious that there are small rocks or gravel pieces in your concrete
- Strength: Many people are tempted to buy mortar mixes when pouring patios, but this is not a good idea. Mortar mixes are mixes that have almost no aggregates, often replacing anything large for more sand, and they are extremely weak. If you expect long-term use from your patio, do not buy a mortar mix, as the PSI is too low for constant use.
- Water: Water is one of the trickiest ratios in any concrete project, but even more so when creating a patio. You should not waterlog your patio mix, as it will take too long to dry, will not be supportive enough, and may look rougher than you want. Be sure to add just enough water to make it workable, but no more, as a thick, pasty texture is what you are going for.
- Installation: Installing your patio is simple, but the success of it curing is up to the weather conditions. Make sure the weather on the day you pour is not rainy, snowy, or extremely hot or cold. These drastic weather conditions will damage the way your concrete cures, making it look unsightly, creating weak spots, or cracking as it cures.