Q: Should I reinforce my concrete slab with fiber mesh or wire mesh?
A: I advise welded wire fabric (6x6x10x10 mesh – 6″x6″ pattern with #10 gauge wire both directions), low slump concrete which means poured pretty dry (not a lot of water mixed in), 3,000 psi concrete, air entrained (little air bubbles in the cured concrete allowing water freeze expansion to fill the air bubbles instead of expanding inside the concrete causing stress), and soft cuttings (meaning weakening the concrete with tools in a straight line inviting the concrete to crack in a predetermined, usually straight, line when it cracks.
Better yet is to use both the steel rebar with the fiber mesh. The rebar is placed where loads are heavy like at the drive curb near the street where heavy trucks might turn into your drive. also put the rebar in the other heavy load areas like down the driveway for extra support. The fiber mesh strengthens the concrete and the steel rebar reinforces the extra load areas.
All concrete cracks. All concrete shrinks. Soft cuts allow the installer to plan the event rather than have some random, angled crack which looks like a mistake. You can add the fiber mesh too for added insurance and it will strengthen the slab. I would rather you use the wire mesh, low slump concrete, and soft cuts. Your 12×12 is pretty small for more than this.
Fiber mesh can adversely affect the finish depending on whether you want a swirl finish, boom finish or exposed aggregate stone finish. The fiber mesh is good stuff but can stick up above the concrete surface and look fuzzy. This causes the finisher to try to finish a fuzzy blanket and makes the finish more difficult to achieve.
I suggest you invest in a 4″ crushed stone, compacted base under the slab. This is the true strength of any pavement. If the sub-grade or rock under the slab is done correctly … then the concrete behaves solidly. Many homeowners worry about the concrete, which is the skin, and miss the opportunity to make the crushed stone base (structure) the solid structure beneath the slab (skin).
It sounds like you have some pretty good advise coming from your concrete installer. Ask about these things and I believe you will come to a good result. Remember … all concrete cracks …. soft cuts define where they crack. For a 12×12 exterior slab …I advise 4″ of compacted stone sub-grade, wire mesh, no fiber, low slump concrete, air entrained, 3,000 psi mix, and soft cuts creating a four-square pattern. The slab will definitely crack on the four-square lines but you will have done all you could. The rest is up to mother nature. Good luck. I wish you many wonderful times enjoying your new concrete space.
Why Work with Mosby Building Arts?
If efficiency, knowledge and quality craftsmanship are of the utmost importance, then Mosby is the partner for you. We are a design build firm that handles every aspect of your remodeling project from beginning to end. All team members needed to complete your project (designers, architects and production crews) are under one roof to provide time and monetary efficiencies, quality control, and seamless communication throughout.
Outdoor Living Space Remodeling
Metro St. Louis weather lets you live outdoors for more than half the year. Mosby designs and builds the places for you to enjoy being outside. Make the most of your yards with outdoor living remodeling projects like decks, patio, pools, water features, outdoor kitchens, pergolas, gazebos, pavilions, porches, sunrooms, screen porches and more. All outdoor projects are designed with water management in mind to assure durability, covered by a 10-year workmanship warranty.
Learn more about outdoor living space remodeling here.
Garage and Driveway Remodeling
Design and function are equally important to consider when updating or repairing your garage or driveway. To protect your investment, it’s best to use high-performing products and solid building methods. To get lasting value in your garage or driveway, turn to the team at Mosby.
Learn more about garage and driveway remodeling here.
Whether you are considering a new roof, replacement windows, or increasing curb appeal with a front door, understanding the return on investment is important. Homeowners often ask us if an exterior remodeling project makes financial sense, or if it will increase resale value of their home.
Learn more about exterior remodeling here.
Home Remodeling Peace of Mind
There’s no need to deal with multiple companies, or the frustration of the left hand unaware of what the right hand is doing. Mosby takes the guesswork out of home remodeling by planning the work and working the plan. You will know the scope of work and price before the first hammer swings. And the work will be done with a commitment to excellence and your happiness. All of Mosby’s remodeling work is backed by our 10-year workmanship warranty.
You can trust you’re in good hands with Mosby:
- 10-Year Workmanship Warranty
- 70+ Years Experience