How to Lay a Concrete Slab

What You'll Need
Material for the form work - pegs and brace
Carpenters square
Measuring tape
Concrete finishing trowel

Understanding of how to lay concrete slabs is an easier process than you may image. A concrete slab is made from a blend of water, sand, cement, and gravels. The mixture of these materials ultimately turns into a stone-like substance. Laying a concrete slab is not an easy task. It is not just putting the concrete into a structure and letting it dry. You need to be very attentive and careful while laying the concrete slab. Follow the steps described below to properly lay a concrete slab.

Step 1 – Preparing the Ground Level

The first step is to prepare the ground for laying the concrete slab. The ground below the slab should support its weight. The ground level needs to be planed, smoothed, and freed of any debris or dirt. The ground below the slab should then be marked, wet, and compressed to make it firm. The ground should be dampened but not soggy, no muddy spots or puddle should be found out on the ground level.

Step 2 - Laying Down the Gravel

Now place a layer of gravel evenly over the entire area to create a path for water to pass easily below the slab after it is laid down. A waterproof crust, like polyethylene, is positioned above the gravel as a vapor barrier to guard the slab from any wetness leaking out from the ground.

Step 3 – Making the Formwork

Then cut out the formwork or frame, which creates a border to prevent the concrete from spreading out. The lumber needs to be straight. Cut two pieces of frame lumber accurately 6 feet long, and two other pieces exactly 8 feet long. Join all the pieces together so that they frame up a quadrangle with measurements 6x6 feet.

Step 4 - Placing the Frame on the Prepared Ground

The next step is to lay the frame in position. Frame should be leveled to the ground, and hammering should connect it by the pegs at 3 feet intervals against the outside of the frame. Then nail the pegs to the frame. Now excavate a channel around the border of the ground area. Then cut off the ends of the pegs so that they are smooth with the top of the frame. Now dampen the area with water prior to putting the concrete. Try to work quickly when putting the concrete on the frame.

Step 5 - Pouring and Finishing

Now, pour the concrete. As the frame fills, the straightedge will slide along the screed rails to level off the slab. The leveling procedure on how to lay a concrete slab is accomplished after all the extra concrete is removed. Then, the straightedge and rails are dismantled. Fill up the ground area with concrete about the height of the top of the frame. You can then level the concrete with a float or trowel. Hold the blade smooth against the surface and brush it back and forth in semicircles. Trowel again when all the surplus water has evaporated and let it dry for sometimes. Repeat this process if required.