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Old 03-02-2006, 08:56 AM   #1
86swb
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Default Concrete, how thick ect. should it be?

I am planning on building (haveing built) a 30'X64' Pole barn garage and would like to get some suggestions on the concrete flooring. How thick should it be? I know I will have the concrete people put plastic under the concrete but not sure what I need as far as the concrete goes. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Trying to stay away from cracks also.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:00 AM   #2
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I was told to do more than 4" if you are planning a lift. I will probably go with a 5" pour on mine so I can put a lift wherever i like. I'm sure others will have better info than my though.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:43 AM   #3
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I got at about 5" all around, almost 8" toward the walls.

Get the stuff with the fiber in it, helps with pulling. No matter what you do, it will crack eventually, just a matter of time

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Old 03-02-2006, 10:13 AM   #4
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5 inches minimum. You can use the concrete with the fiberglass in it, but I woud also ask that they install the wire mesh as well. Be sure the concrete guy cuts control joints with a concrete saw. This is a cut in the concrete so when it's going to crack it will hopefully crack at those joints
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shopking68
I got at about 5" all around, almost 8" toward the walls.

Get the stuff with the fiber in it, helps with pulling. No matter what you do, it will crack eventually, just a matter of time

HI, 86swb, its me shopking from the truck forum, small world

Hey shopking,
I knew some to the truck board guys were also on here. This is a very nice board when talking about garages. Like the truck board, it is full of information. Thanks for the advice to everbody. I was thinking about going with the 5". I had the fiberglass put in before and it was alful hard to get the little fiberglass that sticks up to go away. Makes it hard (for me anyway) to coat the top of the concrete. Is there an easy way to get the fiberglass off of the top of the concrete? Again, thanks or the tips.
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:25 AM   #6
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Some suggestions to consider for your new building:

1. If you are considering in-floor radiant heat (the best but the most $$$$), your floor needs to be built differently than just a slab. With radiant heat, you will probably end up with 6"+ concrete thickness plus considerable insulation and vapor barrier. Consult an experienced heating contractor for recommendations. Without radiant heat, insulation and a vapor barrier are still recommended if you live in an area where frost is likely.

2. Not less than 5" overall thickness should be OK if you don't have any heavy concentrated loads. A jib crane or something similar should have extra footing under the base.

3. Wire mesh or crossed re-rod is strongly recommended.

4. The perimeter of my shop is 12" deep x 14" wide with 10" under a load bearing wall inside.

5. If you are going to coat your floor with epoxy (U-Coat-It, etc.), don't put a curing compound on the floor. The floor prep for the epoxy will be much easier and the coating will adhere better. Also, don't allow your contractor to run rubber tired equipment (lifts, vehicles, etc.) on the floor. Tires have silicone in them that will scuff off onto the floor and the epoxy will not adhere to those areas very well.

6. If you can, let the floor sit exposed for several weeks before building on it. This will allow the concrete to cure more completely which will greatly reduce the chances of cracking. Mine sat for 9 weeks with no curing compound on it before we built. That was in the summer of 2003 (more than 2 1/2 years ago) and so far I have one crack about 4' long.
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:43 AM   #7
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I thought about the radiant heat, but as you said "$$$$$". More concrete ect. I am also planning using the U-Coat-It over the concrete. I am leaning towards the wire mesh in the concrete. Also as suggested by sjsfire, have cut joints in the floor. Thanks. Everthing has been very helpful so far.
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Old 03-02-2006, 02:34 PM   #8
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The most important part for pouring concrete, is the base prep. Make sure the base material has been compacted several times in layers with suitable material, prefer "3/4 road crush". This has some sand in the crushed gravel, and when put down in about a 4" layer, hose it lightly to make it damp, then use a gas powered compactor. Do several layers like this, and itself will be hard as concrete. You want a minimum of 4" concrete, for general light traffic (car etc). Wire mesh is more of a binder, where it holds concrete together, should it heave and crack up, or for joining to seperate pours, such as the garage floor to the front apron.Wire is left sticking out about 4-6 feet from the first pour, and will hold the two together.Rebar is bette, 1/2", placed in 2-3 foot squares, and is cheap to buy from most concrete suppliers. Building supply stores seem to charge a LOT more for rebar/mesh. As far as expansion joints, you don't need dusty saws and cutting. You use what is called and "expansion strip", which is a long strip of plastic material, approx 1 1/2' deep(looks like a "T"), and cheap to buy. When the cement is setting up, you press the long part into the concrete, wait an hour, and the top of the "T" snaps off, leaving a clean plastic piece about 1 1/2" embedded in the concrete, just below flush of the surface. Joints need to be max 10' apart in either direction, since that's where concrete will crack at on a normal basis. Use minimum 35mpa concrete, as it's stronger and well worth it.
Sorry for going off topic a little, but just want to share a bit of knowledge passed on by some good pros, from my past projects.
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Old 03-02-2006, 02:48 PM   #9
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Man, I can not believe how much help I am getting here. This is great. Thanks guys.
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:35 PM   #10
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Weiner is right. 5" of concrete won't hold up if the base isn't prepped right or is poor material. I've built over 100 garages and unless they are for commerical use or request a thicker floor I pour a 4" slab. I use both the fibermesh and wire in the floor. Last year my floor guy began using the plastic expansion strips. they look a lot better than the grooves cut in the floors. In my shop/garage I went 4" but where I am planning for a two post lift I poured 8". When building the garage I had my bucket loader/backhoe on the concrete floor to help lift up the walls. No problems with the concrete cracking from the wieght.
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Old 03-02-2006, 08:58 PM   #11
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This is one of the best basic threads I have seen on this type forum about slab pours. Something else is to keep it wet as soon as it sets, turn on the garden sprinkler for a couple 3 weeks especially if its cooking hot out. Its nice not to pour in the blazing summer sun. Good concrete needs to be kept warm when its cold out, cool when its hot out and wet while curing for the best results, the difference is signifcant. Just as soon as its finished you can cover with straw and irrigate, want to be super pro irrigate constant for 28 days. I am a lazy finisher, my own work isnt anything to write home about but with some basic care you can make double the hardness. Ideally it would be nice to stay off it for cure time, shotblast then epoxy system. Never works out ideally it seems. This is a place it may pay to get some help, a couple good finishers are worth their weight, When I do critical flatwork pours I use someone in the biz I know.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86swb
Hey shopking,
I knew some to the truck board guys were also on here. This is a very nice board when talking about garages. Like the truck board, it is full of information. Thanks for the advice to everbody. I was thinking about going with the 5". I had the fiberglass put in before and it was alful hard to get the little fiberglass that sticks up to go away. Makes it hard (for me anyway) to coat the top of the concrete. Is there an easy way to get the fiberglass off of the top of the concrete? Again, thanks or the tips.
You can try 2 things to remove fibers:

(1) Burn them off. With enough heat you can burn them off. They will melt into little balls that can be broomed off. I've used my MAPP gas torch and a propane torch (much more heat over a larger area) on my floor. I was able to remove most of them in this manner

(2) If you are going to epoxy the floor, you can remove them after you lay down the first layer of epoxy. The epoxy will cause the fibers to protrude through the epoxy making them easy to sand away. I used a palm orbital sander to remove these fibers, then laid down the second layer of epoxy. No more fibers.

I did both above. No matter how well you think you burned off the fibers, some will remain. #2 takes care of the remaining fibers.
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:15 PM   #13
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I would suggest that you use 5000# concrete mix. Finishes real nice and quite a bit stronger than standard mix
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:38 PM   #14
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Don't forget to slope the floor to the main door/doors. I would compact the soil, after grade, then 4" of sand covered with 6mil plastic (no seams) and 3/8" rebar 16" oc. Use at least 3000psi concrete with expansion strips (or deep scores every 100 sq ft
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I would suggest that you use 5000# concrete mix. Finishes real nice and quite a bit stronger than standard mix
5000 mix is great, as long as you can get a mason to use it. 5000 sets up quick.
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:25 AM   #16
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My floor is 4" with a 3500# PSI rating...fibermesh...with a Weaver 9000# lift...no problems after 10 years on the job. I personally think wire mesh and rebar are real overkill in a home shop/garage. I've got a 1500# vertical mill, an old tronworker that's gotta be 3000 lbs, a jib crane and LOTS of other shop equipment. And I run a forklift in and out on occasion.

Plus, at any one time, I may have one or two cars inside plus several complete engines on the floor...

Rent a floor sander and you'll have those fibers removed from the floor finish in less that an hour....
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