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Quikrete molds and concrete products versus urbanite

I am planning to lay some form of stone path as well as a patio space and am considering my different options. I have seen the Quikrete mold (e.g., country stone) and like the idea but I'm concerned about durability and moreover, prefab appearance. Does anyone have experience with this product and insights?

Also, I have a friend who has used "urbanite", or reclaimed, broken pieces of concrete to form pathways. It looks decent, but a little rough in places. Anyone else have experience using this?

Thanks for any input.

A. Spruce
Re: Quikrete molds and concrete products versus urbanite

I've used both.

As for the form, you can used the "stones" individually to freeform walkways. In my case I had several wheelbarrows of left over concrete from a project. Rather than making blobs that would be tossed into the trash, I used the form on a piece of plywood. The concrete was stiff enough to hold its shape with the form removed, so the process of forming the "stones" went quickly. Once cured, I installed them into a path between my driveway and lawn. Using the form as the pattern because it is designed to interlock with itself, I laid the path. You can increase the spacing a little to create curves or flairs, or leave stones out to have a more natural / irregular look. You can also use the form directly to create the path in place. As long as the cement is stiff enough to hold its shape, you can remove the form and set it in the next place to continue. I've also used this method and once cured moved the stones as earlier described to suit the needs of the path and custom formed a few stones as necessary as fillers.

Reusing concrete waste (patio/walkway demolition ) is a bit trickier. I wouldn't try to use it as a walkway, but I have used it many times with great success in small retaining walls. You have to use care in how you stack it so that you maintain a plumb and level wall. They also need to interlock for strength. I wouldn't build a retaining wall any higher than about 2 to 3 feet tall, and I certainly wouldn't use it as a structural retaining wall, only decorative. Pay attention to the "face" of the rubble so that each block has about the same look as all the others in the wall. Periodically use extra long pieces that stick out behind the wall that will key into the dirt and keep the wall stable and vertical.

If I had pictures of the walkway or retaining wall I'd share them with you.

Re: Quikrete molds and concrete products versus urbanite

Thanks for your input, Spruce. I hadn't thought about using portions of the mold to avoid the pre-made look. Did you have any issues using a different type of concrete mix from Quikrete?


A. Spruce
Re: Quikrete molds and concrete products versus urbanite

Qwikrete is a brand name, nothing more. Use whatever premixed concrete mix you have available to you. Fencepost mix is NOT what you want to use because it has less sand and cement in it than concrete mix.

Mix the cement to a thick, but smooth consistency. It needs to be able to hold its shape without the form. You can work with the form in two ways, directly on the ground or as I did on a sheet of plywood if you want to handle individual stones. You can use a combination of the two methods to create a free flowing walkway.

Set the form, fill each hole up with concrete, jiggle the concrete in the holes to settle out holes and air pockets, then screed excess off the top. Pull the form then lightly brush the top and sides a little to blend tool and form marks. In about 1/2 an hour the stones will be dry enough to handle carefully.

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