When making your own concrete it’s important to use the correct concrete mixing ratios to produce a strong, durable concrete mix.
Some basic mixing ratios for concrete are 1:2:3, 1:3:3, 1:2:4. These mixing ratios are based on the proportions of cement : sand : stone in that order. The ratio you use will depend on what psi strength you need.
To make concrete there are four basic materials you need:
cement – You can buy this in a 94lb bag
- Sand – Course or Fine will work (course sand will give you a stronger mix)
- Aggregate (stone) You can use 3/8″, 1/2″, or 1/5″ stone for aggregate
- Water – Clean cool water is best.
concrete mixing ratio chart
Listed above are some standard concrete mixing ratios used in the U.S.
Listed above are some standard concrete mixing ratios for the rest of the world.
What’s a good concrete mixing ratio for a slab?
One of the best concrete mixing ratios for a slab is 1 : 3 : 3 (cement : sand : stone), this will produce approximately a 3000 psi concrete mix.
This mixing ratio is excellent for a shed slab but it’s also good for most concrete patios, footings, steps, and foundation walls.
Mixing water with the cement, sand, and stone forms a paste that coats the stone and binds the materials together after the mix hardens.
strength of the concrete will depend on how much water you use to mix it all together.
Basically this means the more water you use to mix the concrete
(very fluid) the weaker the concrete mix.
The less water you use to mix
the concrete (somewhat dry but workable) the stronger the concrete mix.
Accurate concrete mixing ratios can be achieved by measuring the
dry materials using buckets or even a shovel.
3000 psi concrete mix ratio for 1 cubic yard
1 : 3 : 3 MIX RATIO
To produce a 3000 psi cubic yard of concrete (27 cubic feet) the concrete mixture ratio is:
- 517 pounds of cement or (234kg)
- 1560 pounds of sand or (707kg)
- 1600 pounds of stone or (725kg)
- 32 – 34 gallons of water or (132L)
mixing ratio will give you a concrete mix that is strong, durable, and
good for most concrete projects.
A cubic yard of concrete will fill an
area 8 feet wide by 10 feet long by 4 inches thick, or 80 square feet @ 4
At 6 inches thick a cubic yard of concrete will
fill an area 52 square feet and at 5 inches thick, it will fill an area
that’s 65 square feet.
4000 psi concrete mixing ratio for 1 cubic yard
1 : 2 : 3 MIX RATIO (approx.)
To produce a cubic yard of 4000 psi concrete, you have to adjust the concrete mixing ratio to:
- 611 pounds of cement or (277kg)
- 1450 pounds of sand or (657kg)
- 1600 pounds of stone or (725kg)
- 33- 35 gallons of water or (133L)
As you can see a little more cement and a little less sand is
required to produce this stronger concrete mix that is great for
driveways, pool decks, sidewalks, exterior patios, and commercial
Knowing the weight of the materials and how much water to use
should help you determine how much cement, sand, and stone to purchase
to complete your project.
For estimating purposes, you can make about 1 cubic yard of
concrete with 5 1/2 94-pound bags of cement, 17 cubic feet of sand, and
18 cubic feet of gravel. (It takes about forty 80-pound bags of
prepackaged materials (like Quikrete) to make 1 cubic yard of concrete.)
Or… 1 cubic meter of concrete will require approximately 7.15 bags of Portland cement, .48 cubic meters of sand, and .51 cubic meters of gravel.
These are some tools that make mixing concrete easier
how do you calculate a smaller concrete mix ratio?
If you need less than 1 cubic yard of concrete (or if ready-mix is
not available) you can mix your own on site either by hand, using the tools above, or by using an electric concrete mixer like the one in the link above.
To make smaller batches of concrete, use the same
proportions, but with smaller quantities, substituting buckets for
cubic feet. (For the mix proportions given previously, you’d use 1
bucket of cement, 3 buckets of sand, 3 buckets of stone, and 1/2 bucket
For any batch size, the most important thing is to keep the
proportions of the ingredients the same. You can double or triple the
batch size simply by doubling or tripling the number of buckets of each
ingredient you add to the mix.
what is the 1:2:3 mix ratio for concrete?
The mix ratio of 1:2:3 consists of 1 Part cement, 2 Parts sand, and 3 Parts stone (plus some water) to make a concrete mix you can use for most any building project.
The way you measure the ratio could be in shovels, buckets, or wheel barrows. As long as you’re consistent you’ll get a good strong mix.
Generally, when the stone ratio is more than the sand, this concrete cures a little stronger than a 1:3:3 ratio. The difference is in the workability of the concrete. The sand tends to make the concrete a little more easier to work with. The less sand the rockier the mix is going to be.
Cool things you can make by mixing your own concrete
For very small projects, such as setting a mailbox post or doing
repairs, you may want to purchase a packaged concrete mix. Such a mix
combines cement, sand, and gravel in the correct mixing ratios and
requires only the addition of water to create fresh concrete.
These bags are basically a 1 : 2 : 4 concrete mix ratio.
These concrete mixture ratios are designed for the concrete to
reach full strength at or around 28 days old.
Curing the concrete can be
done by keeping it wet after the first day until the concrete is 7 days
Curing is an important step to take for the concrete to achieve full
strength by 28 days.
Watch my video talking about what concrete mixing ratios and what it takes to achieve 3000 psi, 3500 psi, 4000 psi, and 4500 psi concrete.
I also break down the equivalent 20mpa, 25mpa, 30mpa, and 35mpa concrete mixing ratios.
See the video HERE.
concrete mix ratio calculator
Below you can use this concrete mix ratio calculator to determine how many cubic yards and bags of concrete mix it will take to do your project.
Make sure to use the proper dimensions (Feet and Inches, or Meters and centimeters) to get accurate results.
Once you know how many cubic yards or meters (or how many bags) it’s going to take, you can figure out the weight and proportions of cement, sand, stone from there.
EXAMPLE: A project that takes TEN 80 lb bags of concrete mix, means you need 800 lbs of material.
A 1:3:3 mixing ratio calculates to 115 lbs of cement to 343 lbs of sand and 343 lbs of stone. (Rounded off)
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For more on concrete slabs see the information below:
WHAT IS THE CONCRETE MIX RATIO OF 3000, 3500, 4000 AND 4500 PSI CONCRETE?
HOW TO POUR CONCRETE
CONCRETE SLAB CALCULATOR
HOW TO MIX CONCRETE
FORMING A CONCRETE SLAB
POURING A CONCRETE SLAB
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