Concrete Mixes 101: Which Mix Should You Use for Your Project?

Concrete is one of the longest-lasting, most economical building materials. It is known to have many beneficial performance features, including high strength, durability and low maintenance.

As such, concrete is a versatile material that can be used for long-lasting, durable walkways, colorful patios, unique countertop designs and even decorative concrete accents, among many other applications.

No matter the application, Sakrete offers a wide selection of quality, consistent concrete mixes to suit your DIY project needs.

Project: Concrete Driveways, Slabs, Patios, Walkways, Stairs, Foundation Walls or Footings
Best Product(s) to Use: SAKRETE® 5000 Plus, SAKRETE MAXIMIZER® or SAKRETE Crack Resistant Concrete Mix

Sakrete 5000 Plus and Sakrete MAXIMIZER are durable, highly versatile concrete products that both provide professional strength of at least 5000 psi, making them ideal for creating strong, stable concrete slabs, driveways, walkways and much more.

Use Sakrete 5000 Plus High Strength Concrete Mix for repair and building projects where concrete thickness is 2 inches or more and demands excellent strength. It is a professional-grade blend of portland cement, sand and gravel that is formulated for superior durability.

Sakrete MAXIMIZER Concrete Mix is a specially formulated high-yield mixture of structural lightweight aggregate and cement. It provides excellent workability and greater coverage than standard concrete, while also delivering high strength for a variety of concrete applications.

To reduce the risk of shrinkage cracks, use Sakrete Crack Resistant Concrete Mix for projects with concrete thickness of 2 inches or greater. It is a professional-strength blend of cementitious materials, sand, stone and fibers that helps eliminate the need for wire mesh in many non-critical applications.

Project Tip: Add a touch of color to your concrete designs with SAKRETE Cement Colors, which can be combined with any concrete mix.

Project: Setting Fence Posts, Mailboxes or Basketball Poles
Best Product to Use: SAKRETE Fast-Setting Concrete Mix

Sakrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix is a preblended mixture of special cementitious materials, sand and coarse aggregate that quickly sets within 30 minutes. It is ideal for projects that necessitate a rapid set for same-day use. Fast-Setting Concrete Mix also allows you to set posts and poles with no mixing or bracing required.

Sakrete also offers its SAKRETE Fence Post Concrete Mix, which is a mixture of sand, coarse aggregate and cementitious materials specifically designed for setting fence posts.

Project Tip: Sakrete offers helpful concrete calculators to determine how much material you’ll need for your project.

Project: Concrete Countertops
Best Product to Use: Sakrete Countertop Mix, Sakrete 5000 Plus Concrete Mix

High-strength concrete mixes offer exceptional durability and long-lasting performance. Be sure to choose a high-strength concrete mix like Sakrete 5000 Plus High Strength Concrete Mix, or Sakrete Concrete Countertop mix for your concrete countertop project to ensure it will remain strong and durable over time.

Project Tip: Check out our Concrete Countertop Project Planning Guide for inspiration and tips to create your own distinct concrete countertop design.

Working on a different concrete project? SAKRETE can help with project advice, product information, and how-to videos.



  • Lee-Technical Service

    Duck, our regular High Strength Concrete Mix is 4000 psi, the 5000 Plus is 5000 psi, and the Maximizer Concrete Mix is 5500 psi. You can using any of these mixes for your application. They can be poured as thick as you need the footers to be. Check with your local building code requirements and see what they have to recommend as far as thickness of the footings. When dealing with that kind of point load it is always better to be safe than sorry. As far as the anchor bolts, you can drill after 7 days or it may be easier just to make a template of the base of your lift and use anchor bolts that you sink into the concrete after pouring. Then no drilling necessary.
  • Duck

    I want to pour footings for a two-post car lift. The manufacturer says that I need at least 3000 psi concrete and at least four inches thick. However I want to go stronger and deeper, probably at least six/eight inches. The footings will be 24" square. Please suggest what Sakrete I will need and how much water I'll need to mix it. I will also need to drill holes in it to install anchors, I have an old wheel barrow that I can mix it in. Thank you
  • Lee-Technical Service

    Rose, it really depends on what you are trying to do. If you are using a walker maker which has the stone shapes in it and you need a material to pour in to make a stone walkway, then the high strength concrete mix will be sufficient for that application. If you have a mold that you are pouring individual stones with, then you have to be careful that the mold does not have intricate details in it. The concrete mixes have stones and you will not be able to pull the fine details from a mold. But the 5000 Plus may work better in a molding application, however keep in mind that it is not manufactured for this type of use. So trial and error will be your biggest issue. I would purchase 1 bag and see how the material works for what you are trying to do.
  • Rose

    Best concrete for making Patio blocks
  • Lee-Technical Service

    Kevin, our biggest concern would be the smooth surface. If you apply your bonding agent and scratch coat to a smooth surface you will run the risk of delamination. You need a surface profile of no less than a 3 to 4 CSP. You also need to make sure that you have 100% of the paint off of the surface. Paint is a definite bond breaker. The Sakrete Stone Veneer Mortar is the material that we use to apply veneer stones with and they cannot exceed 9 lbs in weight or your will need mechanical fasteners to hole the stones in place. The High Strength Concrete Mix can be used to pour the window seal if the thickness is 2" or greater.
  • Kevin in NY

    I used a cup grinder to clear the painted surface and get back to the concrete block on an exterior wall of a split level ranch. This is the exterior wall to a heated space in upstate New York. I plan on installing Eldorado brand composite stone veneer on that wall. I think I'm ok to apply a scratch coat directly to the concrete block. Because the cup grinder changed the surface profile by making it smoother I'm planning on using a bonding agent to help with adhesion of the scratch coat. I also have an inset basement window that I plan on making a mold and pouring a concrete sill to fit the ledge under the window. Which of your products do you think would best suit my projects? Do you advise a different approach?
  • Lee-Technical Service

    Harry M, first, do not add anything other than water to the Surface Bonding Cement. We do not know what the outcome would be and we would not be able to support you on a custom mix. Second, use the Surface Bonding Cement in layers. You can build up those areas a little at a time. allow the first layer to harden before applying the next layer. leave each layer rough until the last layer that you apply. The last layer you can make pretty. Do not try to apply too much material at one time, only the amount that will hang without sagging.
  • Lee-Technical Service

    Mike S, any of the concrete mixes would be fine for this application unless the manufacture of the antenna pole specify a specific psi. The High Strength Concrete Mix and the Crack Resistant Concrete Mix are both 4000 psi mixes. The 5000 Plus Concrete Mix is a 5000 psi mix and the Maximizer Concrete Mix is a 5500 psi mix. Follow their guidelines with the information that I have provided.
  • Harry M.

    I am doing a stone veneer retaining wall I build several years ago that I want to finish, the retaining wall was all made from broken up concrete driveway, and no wire mess. it is holding well and has a few degrees slanted back as it goes up. About 34 feet long , tallest part less 4 feet high. I was thinking about 1/2" to 1.5 " in areas of Surfaces Bonding Cement and maybe mix in mortar and sand, all equal parts to hold the rock to the wall and beef up the wall. What do you think? Thanks, HM
  • Mike S

    I'm pouring a slab about 4 inches thick, and 3 foot square. It's to hold and anchor a triangular antenna mast about 10 feet high. What is the best mix for this job?
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