Laying a concrete pathway may seem like a simple DIY task but if you’ve never worked with concrete before it can be a tricky undertaking. That’s not to say you shouldn’t attempt it yourself as lots of people successfully lay their own paths around their home, however you may want to plan everything out ahead of time before you go ahead and make a start.
We have put together a simple guide for people looking to lay their own concrete pathway with some helpful tips and advice for people who haven’t had much previous experience.
Measuring the site and estimating the amount of concrete you’ll need …
Before you go ahead and order any concrete supplies, you will need to accurately measure out the area of your pathway that you’re looking to pave, (this is generally done in cubic metres).
You will then need to decide if you’re going to mix the concrete yourself or order in a ready mixed solution. There are pro’s and cons with both options but if you’ve never mixed concrete yourself before then we’d advise getting someone in to help or ordering ready-mixed concrete.
Here at we’ve created a special concrete solution designed especially for smaller domestic projects. Maxipave is a high strength concrete product and ideal for projects such as driveways, patios and garden paths. If you’re not sure how much concrete you will need to order you can also use Maxi’s handy concrete calculator to estimate how much you will need.
Preparing the foundations ahead of laying your concrete pathway …
Once you’ve measured out the area and know how much concrete you’ll need, you will then need to prepare the site for concrete placement.
This means removing any top soil, weeds, grass or dirt etc and digging down about 10 – 20cm depending on the quality of the ground. Once you’ve done this you will need to prepare a sub-base to give the concrete a solid foundation.
A sub-base is usually made up of crushed stones and sand but you can use general builders rubble if that’s all there is available. The depth of the sub-base will depend on the amount of usage the pathway will get once finished.
Laying the concrete …
If you plan on using ready-mix concrete then laying the concrete is a fairly simple process, as providing the trucks can get access to your pathway then the concrete can be poured straight from the lorry.
If your pathway is in an awkward place then you may need to use wheelbarrows to get the concrete to site, however bare in mind that one cubic metre of concrete will fill about 25 wheelbarrows.
If you’re mixing the concrete yourself then you will need to hire a cement mixer and someone to help out. Remember that freshly prepared concrete needs to be laid as quickly as possible as it is only workable for an hour and a half before it start to harden.
Finishing your concrete pathway …
Before the concrete completely dries you will need to use a straight edge to remove any excess concrete and to ensure the concrete is completely level.
This must be completed before any excess bleed-water appears on the surface. After you’ve done finished this, you can then use a bull-float to smooth over any rough edges before going it all with a boom. Broom finishes add traction to the concrete’s surface to stop skidding and are a really important part of the finishing process.
The final step is to cure the concrete if you wish to do so, (this isn’t always essential), and leave your new pathway to dry. Typically concrete can dry enough for you to walk over in a day but we recommend you leave it at least two days before attempting to drive you car on it.