How to Properly Mix Concrete

How to hand mix concrete so it delivers maximum strength and durability.

Mixing isn’t complicated and when done well, the concrete should last a lifetime. However, beginners must learn to recognize when the desired consistency has been achieved. One must also learn about safety precautions and the materials that must be gathered prior to mixing. The tips below will acquaint concrete novices with the process.

Step by Step:

  1. Take your pre-mix concrete and pour it into a wheelbarrow or tub (depending on the amount you will need).
  2. You will now need to add water.  However, add just a small amount of water at a time.  Also, use your shovel to work the mix by thrusting the shovel under the pre-mix and folding on itself.  This will help to evenly distribute the water.
  3. As you work the mix, add small amounts of water.  You will do this until all of the mix looks the same and it has a consistency that isn’t dry or overly saturated.  It should resemble cookie dough.
  4. An easy way to check the consistency is to use the blade of your shovel like a knife and cut a shallow channel through the surface of the pre-mix concrete.  If the mix is too dry, the channel walls will crumble.  If it is too wet the channel will fill with water.  If it is too dry, add more water and if it is too wet, add more pre-mixed concrete. 

Please remember:

Since concrete dust can be caustic, make sure you are wearing protective eyewear, gloves and a face mask when you are mixing concrete.

What You Need

  • Shovel
  • Pre-mix concrete
  • Water
  • Wheelbarrow or tub in which to mix concrete.

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