Mixing Concrete

Mixing without first giving it some thought will likely make the job harder and can, in some cases, ruin the finished product. I want to differentiate between concrete and cement based products. For our purposes I define concrete as anything that has rocks it in. When mixing concrete you will need a few tools.

Mixers, Mortar Pans or Wheelbarrows?
First you need a container to mix in. A wheelbarrow works well. If you don’t have one, buy an inexpensive plastic mortar pan. If the job is large enough you should seriously consider renting a mixer. If you have a pickup with a hitch you can rent a large one. If not rent a small electric one. You can put it in the back of truck, minivan or car trunk if you don’t mind leaving the lid open. The mixer can really make life easier. If you mix in a wheelbarrow of mortar pan the best tool is a hoe; one with holes. This gives better mixing and less resistance. A shovel will work in a pinch.

Use a Drill and Mixing Paddle
If the product doesn’t have rocks in it then I highly recommend you use a ½ inch drill with a paddle (about 18-24 inches long). The paddles are inexpensive and can be found in any hardware store that sells paint. Using a 5 gallon bucket add about ¾ of the required water to the bucket. Then add the material slowly while the paddle is turning. Add the remainder of the water as needed. This works better if you have two people. Also hold onto the bucket tightly or the handle with whip around and smack your shins (I speak from experience). It is likely that you will sling some material so always wear pants, shoes, gloves and goggles.

Add the Right Amount of Water
No discussion on mixing is complete without strongly urging you to read the directions. Especially the amount of water to use. An invaluable tool for measuring water is a gallon milk jug. This allows you to really control what is going in. Many people use a garden hose and add water until it looks right. This will lead to big problems. The strength of the product and the finish depend entirely on how much water you add.



  • Lee-Technical Service

    Katheryn, if those are 80 lb bags of concrete, then you are looking at around 1 gallon of water per bag.
  • katheryn

    New home neighbors used my house water faucet for the water for their fence posts which are 8 feet above ground. This is someone I have never seen or met. This happened while I was at work and saw the hose attached to my house when I got home. I counted 18 bags of your product lying next to the hose. I am curious to know about how much water I donated to their project. What would be a normal amount of water to add to the dry mix?
  • Lee-Technical Service

    Dan, the pour needs to be continuous. It can be broken up into sections. The Sakrete Expansion joints are 1/2" thick and can be used between your pours. IF you break the slab into sections and use the expansion joints material you will not need to groove the surface.
  • Dan

    I intend to pour a 12 x 16 slab floor for a heated building and have a few questions: 1) can I pour it in sections, say 4 sections 8 x 6? 2) What kind of joint would I need to make between the edges of the 4 sections? 3) Is it better just to pour it all at once? 4) Would I need to strike dividing grooves in the slab? 5) If so, what would the dimensions of the grooved sections need to be?
  • Lee-Technical Service

    Dave, you will need to mix the concrete first and then pour it into the pot around the pvc pipe.
  • Dave

    Hello - I have a 60-pound bag of Sakrete - I am building an outdoor umbrella base inside a ceramic pot shaped like a bowl - do not know how much mix I need - can minimal mixing inside the pot work, using a piece of bamboo to stir ? As long as it sets up I'm good - am placing a PVC pipe in the center for my umbrella base -
  • Chris Technical Services

    Steve & Philip, I would recommend using our Sand Mix and Bonder and Fortifier for areas that are 2” down to ½” in thickness. After this is applied within a 24 hr window use the Top n’ Bond to feather the edge and smooth out the surface. The 24 hr window is what is called a green period and the concrete needs to cure together. If you exceed the 24 hr period you will have to wait the full 28 day cure period. To give a uniform new look to the entire patio you can use the Flo-Coat product.
  • Philip

    Could someone answer Steve Kerstetter's question? I have a similar issue with my patio.
  • Dean

    Kevin, when mixing pigment into the Flo-Coat the best method is actually to mix the pigment into the water first. Have your water already premeasured into the 5 gallon pail and add the pigment to the clean water. Using your drill mixer go ahead and mix the pigment into the water, this will disperse the pigment the best into the material. Once the colored water is mixed then you can add the Flo-Coat.

    What method would you use to thoroughly mix the colored powder into dry mix of flo-coat?
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