Ready mix concrete is a convenient material for people who need a sidewalk or walkway poured as soon as possible; however, there are a few other flooring and path projects that could also be done with the mix. By adding other materials such as dyes, plastics or glass, you can create interesting projects that can harden into professional-looking masterpieces. Before visiting the home improvement stores to buy cute novelty tiles, consider a few ways to make your own and many more projects out of ready mix concrete.
Mixing Glass, Plastics And Other Shards
There is no shortage of novelty tiles, colorful plates or cute stepping stones full of color and texture. While it takes an artist to create a controlled, consistent work of beauty, you may have a talent for spontaneous creation. All it takes is some ready mix concrete and colorful materials.
The concept is simple; what you throw in the mix is what you get. Preferably with solids you can drop in a few pieces to make an excellent design and a set of patterns that are never the same twice.
Of course, the dissolving colors and swirls can be quite interesting if you can capture the pattern at the right time and form. Such liquid designs aren't easily captured in ready mix concrete, but similar surfaces can be produced with timing and patience.
Assembling A Masterpiece
Many different materials can be used. If you have old, broken vases or soda bottles, you can break them into larger shards. Make sure to observe proper safety precautions before breaking any glass, as the points and edges can be dangerous before, during and after the project.
- Obtain thick safety gloves, preferably for handling glass or barbed wire.
- Get a pair of goggles. Shards and dust can fly, which can irritate or severely damage your eyes.
- Find a solid box with no openings on the sides or the bottom. The box needs to be large enough to hold the broken shards from whatever you want to break.
- Obtain any bottles, vases or glass objects that you'd like to see in the creation. You can also use wood, acrylic or any other solid objects that won't dissolve in water. For dissolving materials and liquids, make sure to consult the ready mix concrete manufacturer for curing times with extra liquid added.
- Get a wooden mallet. Other hammers can be used, but the relative softness of wood compared to metal can help control the breaking process.
- Find a mold for the objects that you want to make. You could use a wooden mold found in an antique shop or one made on your own.
- Put on safety equipment before handling sharp or pointed objects.
- Place the objects to be broken inside the mixing box either one at a time for controlled colors or as you wish for different mixes.
- Break the objects with a wooden mallet to your liking.
- Follow the directions on the ready mix concrete to prepare the mix for pouring.
- Pour the mix in the mold, adding broken objects as desired.
- Allow the concrete to cure according to mix instructions, then carefully remove the completed project.
Contact a ready mix concrete professional for brand suggestions, project device and other information.