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Is Quikrete As Good As Concrete?

Quikrete premixed concrete is just as good, and strong, as traditional concrete you buy from a plant or concrete you mix on site. Concrete is made from sand, cement and aggregate stone and that’s exactly what’s in Quikrete premixed concrete. Premixed bags are very easy to work with because all the ingredients are already put together in the correct ratio for the strength you need. Bags come in a variety of strengths as high as 5000 psi so you can build just about anything with Quikrete right out of the bag. And if you need something special like reinforcements or color, you can add additional ingredients to Quikrete just like you can with traditional concrete.

Quikrete offers a variety of mixes for all sorts of applications. These include traditional mixes in a variety of strengths and attributes like fast setting and crack resistant. They even offer mixes for special applications like building shower pans or countertops.

One of the most popular Quikrete mixes we use is the fast setting mix. it’s very strong and sets much quicker than traditional concrete. If you doing a job that’s time sensitive, like installing fence posts, you’ll love having a concrete that hardens fast.

Quikrete fast setting concrete is just as strong as regular concrete. Concrete gets its strength from a chemical reaction that occurs over time during curing. After it’s had time to cure, which usually take 28 days to complete, Quikrete can reach strengths up to 5000 psi.

If Quikrete premixed fast setting concrete is just as good, and strong, as traditional concrete, why not use it for everything?

Price

The biggest difference when comparing Quikrete to regular concrete is price. Quikrete comes premixed and by the bag which is a big convenience. But it falls in the middle in terms or price. The cheapest form of concrete is when you mix it yourself. The problem is all the extra labor costs money too and you have to figure all the ratios yourself. If you don’t get the sand, cement and aggregate levels just right, your concrete won’t have the proper strength. Concrete trucks are great for large jobs because they can shoot tons of concrete right where you want it, but they’re expensive. Especially for a small load.

Fast setting Quikrete is even more money than the standard batch because it contains special ingredients. You pay a little more because it sets so fast. If you only need one bag, then the difference may only be a few bucks. But if your mixing 100 bags, that extra cost will add up fast.

When you consider whether or not Quikrete is as good as standard concrete, it really depends on what your using it for. For some projects, buying your concrete from a truck makes more sense. If your pouring a large patio slab, then mixing your own concrete by hand and wheeling it in place takes too long and adds lots of labor to the job. Buying a truck load is worth the extra money because you’ll save that additional cost in labor. But if your setting a few fence posts, Quikrete fast setting concrete is the way to go.

Quikrete vs Traditional Concrete

Although fast setting premixed concrete is a little more expensive, for some projects it’s worth the money. Mainly for smaller jobs or jobs that are time sensitive. In general I try to use a fast setting premix any time it would cost me more in labor to use traditional concrete. For example, Using fast setting Quikrete to set fence posts can cut my day down to an hour or two. Compare that to the eight hours needed for regular concrete. The extra dollar or two per bag is definitely worth the money because of the time it saves me.

Small scale projects that don’t need to be troweled are great for fast setting concrete. But I wouldn’t use it for things like a large slab. The concrete sets up so fast you may not be able to trowel it smooth fast enough. Some concrete projects are better with a slow setting traditional concrete.

Weather is another concern. If I’m trying to beat bad weather and waiting isn’t an option, I’ll consider using Quikrete. There are definitely advantages to using a concrete that sets up quicker.

Regular concrete is better for larger projects, jobs that need troweling and things that aren’t time sensitive. Pouring an entire sidewalk is usually done with regular concrete. But we use Quikrete for smaller repair job.

Regular concrete is also better in hot weather. Concrete typically sets up quicker when it’s hot out no matter what type it is. If your using a fast setting concrete like Quikrete and it’s hot out, you’ll have to work really fast or risk the concrete hardening too quickly.

It’s generally best to avoid both hot and cold temperature extremes when working with concrete.

Set Times

Comparing Quikrete to traditional concrete mixes is all about the set times. That’s because in every other way Quikrete is regular concrete. The only difference is the set up time.

In general, Quikrete sets in about 25-40 minutes. Regular concrete mixes take a few hours. That’s a big difference. And both have there pros and cons. Which is better is very situational.

I use Quikrete for small jobs that benefit from a fast setting mix. Things like small repair work, deck footings or setting fence posts. I don’t want to waste the day waiting hours for the concrete to set up before finishing my other work.

But, if I’m pouring a large patio slab, there’s no way I can use a fast setting concrete. I’d actually prefer a very slow setting concrete. I need time to spread and smooth the concrete out. Time to set my stamped forms, spread color, trowel edges, smooth and shape surfaces or create a finish. Concrete with a finished surface takes time to work which means fast setting Quikrete is a bad idea.

There are also pros and cons when it comes to using bagged premixes. For a large job, mixing 100 80 pound bags adds a lot of labor.Not only in terms of mixing but also lugging those bags around. At that point your better off mixing the concrete yourself or buying a truck load. But for a small to mid sized job, Quikrete bags can be better. Especially if you need the concrete to set up fast.

Why Does Quikrete Set Up So Fast?

Concrete gets its strength from a chemical reaction between the cement and water. This reaction is known as “curing.” The curing process is different from concrete setting up or hardening. For example, a concrete patio will usually set up and be walked on in a day, but it can take 28 days for the concrete to fully cure and reach maximum strength.

Quikrete’s ingredient ratios are a little different that regular concrete and they use a few secret additives they don’t detail on the label. This speeds up the reaction, making concrete harden much faster.However it still take about a month for it to full cure.

Curing is what’s known as an exothermic reaction. That means its a chemical reaction which produces heat. This is true for all concrete. Have you ever noticed that concrete can get warm after it’s hardened? That’s the curing process going on inside.

You can add ingredients to regular concrete which makes it set up just as fast as Quikrete. Remember, Quikrete and regular concrete are basically the same. They’re just sand, cement and aggregate mixed with water. Varying these ratios as well as adding in additional ingredients are what makes Quikrete set so fast, but it’s still concrete.

Working With Quikrete

Quikrete fast drying concrete is the same as regular concrete in almost every way. This is because they are essentially the same substance. Quikrete is concrete. They’re both primarily sand, cement and aggregate stone. The only difference is that Quikrete has some additional ingredients and slight different ratios that make it set up faster. But it’s still concrete.

Working with Quikrete is exactly the same as regular concrete. It mixes, pours and trowels exactly the same. The difference only comes in terms of speed. If your used to working with regular concrete, switching to Quikrete will be an adjustment. You won’t have nearly the same amount of time to trowel and shape the concrete. This is why I recommend using Quikrete on small jobs or projects that don’t have a nice finish. Footings are a great place to use fast setting Quikrete. But for a finished sidewalk that needs edging and a broom finish, you’d be better off with regular concrete.

If you plan on using fast setting concrete, be ready to move quickly. Once the concrete sets up there’s nothing you can do to shape or smooth it anymore. But aside from the set speed difference, it’s the same as regular concrete.

Summary: Is Quikrete As Good As Concrete?

Quikrete premixed concrete is just as good, and strong, as traditional concrete you buy from a plant or concrete you mix on site. Concrete is made from sand, cement and aggregate stone and that’s exactly what’s in Quikrete premixed concrete. Premixed bags are very easy to work with because all the ingredients are already put together in the correct ratio for the strength you need. Bags come in a variety of strengths as high as 5000 psi so you can build just about anything with Quikrete right out of the bag. And if you need something special like reinforcements or color, you can add additional ingredients to Quikrete just like you can with traditional concrete.

Quikrete offers a variety of mixes for all sorts of applications. These include traditional mixes in a variety of strengths and attributes like fast setting and crack resistant. They even offer mixes for special applications like building shower pans or countertops.

One of the most popular Quikrete mixes we use is the fast setting mix. it’s very strong and sets much quicker than traditional concrete. If you doing a job that’s time sensitive, like installing fence posts, you’ll love having a concrete that hardens fast.

Quikrete fast setting concrete is just as strong as regular concrete. Concrete gets its strength from a chemical reaction that occurs over time during curing. After it’s had time to cure, which usually take 28 days to complete, Quikrete can reach strengths up to 5000 psi.

If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.

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