How to Mix Cement

Опубликовал Admin
26-09-2016, 00:20
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Whenever a project calls for a hard, permanent binding material, most professional and independent builders use cement. Extremely durable and easy to use, even underwater, cement is a material that will harden and support virtually any foundation or structure. While many novice builders may wonder how to mix cement properly, it can be a fairly simple process once you understand what materials you need and how to use them.

Preparing the Dry Mix

  1. Determine what type of cement will work best for your project. Type 1 Portland cement is the most-popular option because of its mix composition, but there are other types available that offer sulfur resistance or temperature sensitivity. Research online or in the hardware store to understand what will work best for you.
    • Over 92% of Portland cement produced in the United States is Type 1, 2, or 3. Type 2 is specially designed to fight against sulfate attack, while Type 3 is typically used for added early-strength.
  2. Purchase the cement needed along with fine sand and gravel. You will need to purchase twice as much sand and three times as much gravel in order to get the proper cement mixture.
  3. Lay out the supplies. This includes bags for mixing and a heavy-duty wheelbarrow, since the mixture will be heavy once combined.
  4. Open the cement, gravel, and sandbags that you will use for mixing concrete. Use your small spade to shovel a ratio of 1 part cement, 2 parts sand, and 3 parts gravel into the wheelbarrow.
    • For example, one wheelbarrow full should be a mix of 2 spades of cement, 4 spades of sand, and 6 spades of gravel. If you're working with bigger quantities of cement up front, you might have a ratio of 4 spades of cement, 8 spades of sand, and 12 spades of gravel.
  5. Mix the ingredients thoroughly with your spade to ensure they are well combined. Though they'll be mixed later, it's a good idea to have the dry mix thoroughly incorporated before adding the water.

Incorporating Water Into the Dry Mix

  1. Pour a small amount of water, roughly half of a 5 gallon (18.9 L) bucket, into the wheelbarrow. Be sure to measure out a known amount, so that you can replicate the same consistency with successive batches of concrete.
    • If pouring your water into a bucket before incorporating into the dry mix, mark the water level on your bucket with a marker. This way, you can quickly fill the bucket without measuring out the water each time you mix a new batch. /7/75/Mix Cement Step 6Bullet1.360p.mp4
    • Cement that contains too much water is about half as strong as properly-mixed concrete. While it's tempting to just eyeball the amount of water, it could compromise the integrity of your structure. Be sure to read manufacturer's labels when adding the correct amount of water.
  2. Start with 3/4 of the dry mix. In a wheelbarrow or other mixing container, agitate about 3/4 of the dry mix with all of the water. This first mix will appear a bit soupy because of the excess water, but it should be easy to mix. For best results, mix with a rake.
  3. Once incorporated, add the remaining 1/4 of dry mix to the soupy cement mix. Mixing will become a little more difficult at this point, but a trusty rake should make the job easier. Mix until the finished cement is thick and wet but no longer soupy.
  4. Pour the mixed cement immediately into your project's area. This step needs to be completed as soon as possible after mixing.
  5. Clean up your supplies as soon as possible. Ideally, one partner starts on clean-up duty while another partner lays the concrete. But if that's not possible, submerge the wheelbarrow or cement basin with water immediately upon finishing. Then, scrub the wheelbarrow or basin with a stiff-bristle brush until it has been completely freed on any cement.
    • Dump the cement water somewhere inconspicuous, preferably where there isn't grass. (It will kill grass.) You can even dig a small hole, dump the water in, and then fill the hole afterward.


  • If your project requires more than 1 or 2 wheelbarrows of cement, consider renting a portable concrete mixer from your local hardware supplier to guarantee the cement will be of the same consistency.
  • If your cement mixture doesn't look right, consider adding a little more water. The most common problem in mixed cement is a low water to cement ratio.
  • Consult the manufacturer's instructions on the cement bag before mixing. There may be some specific requirements of your brand that you will need to follow.
  • Use a smaller spade for the project, as you will need to stir the cement frequently, and a larger spade will be difficult to maneuver.


  • Freshly mixed concrete will burn your skin and eyes if they are exposed too long. For your protection, be sure to wear rubber boots, long-sleeved shirt, pants, and safety glasses.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective gear (rubber boots, long-sleeved shirt, pants, and safety glasses)
  • Heavy-duty wheelbarrow
  • Cement mix
  • Sand
  • Fine gravel
  • Water source
  • Small spade
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