Contemporary concrete walkways


Modern concrete paths have replaced the archaic solid surface and now look expensive and attractive.

Concrete is not going to be inferior to other materials and is transformed depending on requests.

This plastic and fairly affordable material has learned to breathe and mimic, acquiring a beautiful texture and color.

Someone is attracted by the durability of concrete, someone is attracted by the relative ease of working with it, many like the variety of design possibilities with this material.

I love working with concrete for all three reasons. Whatever you take on, everything will work out, even if you sculpt a sculpture 🙂

I often meet complaints about the quality of concrete paths, they say, they crack, crumble, warp them.


The only reason for the damage to concrete paths (as well as low tides) is non-compliance with technology. Concrete paths will last a long time if:

  • cement of the appropriate brand and always fresh,
  • rubble only granite,
  • all preparatory work was done, namely, a crushed stone-sand cushion was equipped (further in the article),
  • the consistency of the solution is not thinner than thick sour cream,
  • the thickness of the concrete layer is at least 6 cm and reinforcement has been made,
  • concreting was carried out in dry weather,
  • the flooded path was covered with a film from rain and hot sun.

Neglecting any of these points and money wasted.

As for the tracks themselves, there are several options for concreting:

  • in an open form directly on the surface of the future track,
  • in a closed form to get slabs, which then pave the territory,
  • decorative concrete in a continuous coating.
The brand of concrete directly affects its durability, since the thickness of the garden paths is small, experts recommend the proportions of concrete to obtain a grade of at least M300.

Crushed stone of fine fraction is used as a filler (washed granite screenings)


M300 1 hour cement : 2.2 hours sand : 3.7 hours gravel : 0.5 hours water

Exit from 10 liters of cement — 47 liters of concrete

M400 1 hour of cement : 1.4 hours of sand : 2.8 hours of gravel : 0.5 hours of water

Exit from 10 liters of cement — 36 liters of concrete

M450 1 hour of cement : 1.2 hours of sand : 2.5 hours of gravel : 0.5 hours of water

Exit from 10 liters of cement — 32 liters of concrete

Reinforcing fiber is added at the rate of 0.6 kg per 1 m3 solution, plasticizer according to the instructions.


M300 1 hour of cement : 1.7 hours of sand : 3.2 hours of gravel : 0.5 hours of water

Exit from 10 liters of cement — 41 liters of concrete

M400 1 hour of cement : 1.1 hours of sand : 2.4 hours of gravel : 0.5 hours of water

Exit from 10 liters of cement — 31 liters of concrete

M450 1 hour cement : 1 hour sand : 2.2 hours gravel : 0.5 hours water

Exit from 10 liters of cement 29 liters of concrete

Reinforcing fiber is added at the rate of 0.6 kg per 1 m3 solution, plasticizer according to the instructions.

IMPORTANT Any path, paved or concrete, requires the preparation of the base — the implementation of a crushed stone-sand cushion. They make it to quickly drain water and level the base.

Along the perimeter of the path, soil is taken out to a depth of 10 to 20 cm. The depth calculation includes: 5-10 cm of crushed stone, 5 cm of sand and, in fact, a layer of concrete (6-20 cm, 6-10 for pedestrian loads, 15-20 for automotive).

On the sides, vertical boards are fixed from the board (for straight sections or flexible plywood for rounding).

The bottom and sides of the trench are covered with geotextiles. I do not recommend neglecting this stage, because it will not only protect against weed germination, but will protect the “cushion” layer from growing into the soil or erosion. And this will affect the service life.

By the way, the path options considered below can be called eternal, given the brand of concrete from which they are made. If all the ingredients are of high quality, the cement is fresh, and the technology is followed, concrete paths will serve for a very long time.

A layer of sand is laid on top of the geotextile and crushed stone on top.

The base is ready, you can start applying the concrete composition.


For the production of stamped concrete, in addition to the standard set (concrete mixer, shovels, buckets, as a rule), you will need:

  • embossed matrices,
  • disconnector (powder) — a hydrophobic powder that is applied by spraying, without it the matrix will not make a beautiful clear print,
  • color fixer (topping), tinted dry powder for coloring concrete after pouring,
  • sealant for finishing,
  • several auxiliary trowels made of aluminum, steel, plus one corner.
And here the question of profitability of self-fulfillment arises.
matrices for drawing a picture is the most expensive part of production. One or two can be dispensed with only when filling a narrow garden path, and for a wide passage, all six or even more will be required, the exact minimum number depends on the size and shape of the matrices.
Stamps (forms) for embossing a pattern are made of polyurethane. They are durable, flexible, and do the job perfectly.
NUANCE: the process of producing stamped concrete itself will require some experience, which can be acquired by practicing on the far paths of the garden.

It is possible to proceed to the front part of the courtyard and large territories only by acquiring the speed and automaticity of the execution of a sequence of operations.

Work with stamped concrete is carried out quickly, and there is no time to correct mistakes. One person can not cope with this task, intelligent assistants will be required.


For pouring works, the main condition is that the ambient air temperature over the next three days is stable not lower than +50C (Internet to help you :).

Manually, you will not stir the solution with crushed stone quickly and efficiently, so you will need a concrete mixer.

First, sand, cement and reinforcing fiber are poured into it, then mixed, crushed stone is added, mixed again, water is added with a plasticizer introduced into it.

The solution is poured into the formwork in an even layer, leveled with a rule and the level is checked.

NUANCE: during the pouring process, it will be necessary to immerse the reinforcing mesh into the thickness of the concrete. Tracks from 10 cm can not be reinforced.

The damp surface is leveled with a spiked construction roller to precipitate crushed stone particles down.

Slightly seized concrete is quickly “polished” with an aluminum trowel and treated along the perimeter with its angular counterpart.


The surface before applying the tone must be homogeneous without residues of cement laitance.

Without delay, they begin to apply the coloring composition (topping). It is a colored fixative in a powdered state.

70% of the norm (based on 1 m2) is manually scattered over the surface and smoothed with an aluminum trowel (plus a corner around the perimeter).

The remaining 30% is sprayed, compensating for the shortcomings (unevenness) of the previous layer, after which the result is fixed with a steel trowel.


While the surface is still plastic and amenable to indentation, a relief should be created on it. Matrices are used for this purpose.

But in order for them to easily lag behind the surface, fresh concrete is treated with a release agent (hydrophobic powder). It is applied (sprayed) over the concrete surface in a uniform thin layer.

Texture matrices are superimposed close to each other with lines.

For work, you will need such an amount to lay two lines (rows) in width and length. The matrices are pressed into raw concrete, pressed with improvised means (arms, legs and a rammer will do :).

Two rows of matrices are necessary so that with a large width (more than two forms) it is possible to lay the next row, stepping on the previous one. Otherwise, you will have to stomp on freshly printed concrete, which is unacceptable.


A week of solidification (3-4 days in the summer, and if a hardening accelerator is added to the solution, then 48 hours) — and you can record the result of your efforts.

Initially, you need to wash off the excess of the disconnector (use water and a stiff brush).

After complete drying, acrylic impregnation is applied with a roller or brush.


Unlike ordinary concrete pavement, expansion joints on decorative concrete are arranged after it has dried (otherwise the pattern can be spoiled).

The depth of the shrinkage joint should be 1/3 of the thickness of the concrete layer, the slots are made with a grinder.

The step frequency of the grid of cuts is not more than 3 m (in length and width). The thinner the concrete, the more often the seams.


Coatings made of decorative concrete imitating paving stones and stone. The work was carried out in two or three stages: the side and central parts were equipped separately.

And here is a printed concrete walkway that mimics a boardwalk. The color and texture of the surface look very believable.

Terrace and steps made of decorative concrete. By the seams between different textures, it can be determined that the pouring into the formwork was carried out in several stages.

Very effective relief imitating slate. In the upper third of the photo, if you look closely, you can see an expansion joint sawn through by a grinder.

Paired with a relatively smooth «stone» «cobbled pavement» looks much more expressive. Both surfaces are made of decorative concrete.

And how do you like the idea of ​​​​painting the surface of narrow paths with topping and just smoothing it out? If you choose a color close to natural (smoky beige), even non-embossed concrete will look quite presentable.

A successful combination of the texture of the path and the geoplastics (relief) created around it.

Roman paving stones against the background of a smooth green canvas would look pretentious, but trite, and next to perfectly executed velvet irregularities, this is “something”!

The highlight of the already beautiful solution is the uneven width and smooth curves of the path, more like a river, enveloping the relief.

Art Nouveau in the garden suggests the presence of white concrete with a smooth surface and clear geometry. What could be easier? Clear marking of trenches, «cushion», filling and leveling…

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