Jun 23, 2011

Cement Slab: Round 1

The first cement slab finished (out of two).

At the base of our deck stairs, we wanted to do a cement slab.  Actually two cement slabs next to each other creating a 4’x4’ square.  While we liked the look of the slates, they were a temporary solution and we will put them elsewhere in the yard.  The cement slab is going to eventually fit in with our future paver patio, and we wanted something very sturdy and long lasting at the bottom of the stairs.

My grandfather came all the way from PA and taught us the art of cement pouring and finishing.  It was pretty cool stuff to learn.  We used a cement form that he built himself, a 4’x2’ box that will create the 4’x4’ square after pouring two slabs.

The finished slab with the form still around it. The dark spots are water droplets - it had rained earlier in the day.

Last week we poured the first slab and we will pour the second one this weekend.  First Mike dug out the area for the form at the base of the stairs and then everything leveled out with dirt and rocks.  From there the cement base layer was poured, then the smooth finishing layer.  When the cement had cured enough, it was shaped and finished with tools for a professional look.  The finishing part was actually very difficult and would take a lot of practice to do well.  Getting the right level of surface tension to make professional marks was hard!  The top of ours only looks so great because of my Grandfather.

The finished first slab & the form marking where #2 will go (for illustrative purposes only).

Finally everything was wrapped in plastic to help it cure evenly, and covered with a plastic wrapped board for protection.  The cement took 5 days to fully harden before we could remove the plastic and form.   I think it looks really great - we're so happy with it and we can’t wait to have the second slab done as well!

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