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Quikrete 'Concrete Mix' vs 'Fast Setting Concrete Mix'

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  • Quikrete 'Concrete Mix' vs 'Fast Setting Concrete Mix'

    I will be pouring some deck footers using the pre-formed tubes. It appears there are two types of concrete that may be used. One is fast-setting and the other is not. What are the pros/cons of each type? I won't be putting the deck on it for a few weeks after it is poured... so the fast setting isn't really a requirement for me from that standpoint.


    QUIKRETE® Fast-Setting Concrete is the ideal concrete mix for this job. It gains its initial set in 20-40 minutes and reaches strength of 1000 psi (6.9MPa) in 1 day so construction work can continue almost uninterrupted. QUIKRETE® Concrete Mix is another excellent mix for constructing QUIK-TUBE™ footers.

  • #2
    I've only used the regular stuff. According to the spec sheets, both reach a compressive strength of 4000psi in the standard 28-day curing period, but the write-ups make it sound like the fast-setting flavor is intended more for filling in around fence posts, and for light-duty slabs, than for footings. The "pour dry mix into hole, then add water" part seems to reinforce this.

    Since you say time isn't a factor, I'd recommend you use the regular.


    • #3
      Definitely what Larry said.

      The fast-setting stuff has gravel in it already. It's specifically designed for post-hole applications and tends to have grainy, chunky consistency that can break down over time.

      For deck footings you'd be better of with regular Quik-Crete mixed to your satisfaction.



      • #4
        That quick set stuff is good for mailbox posts. I would use regular mix for doing footings though.


        • #5
          The quick setting stuff costs a bit more than the regular as well, I want to say almost double. I think I paid $4 a bag 3 months ago when I poured my deck footing, and the quick dry stuff was around $7. I needed 30 bags so there was really no choice.

          But the fellas are right, that stuff is only good for mailbox posts and the such.

          Happy pouring.



          • #6
            I believe most recent Fine Homebuilding has an article on deck footer pouring. Including determining proper thickness/depth and type given the site, deck size, etc. Number of bags calculation and full description of the process, too.


            • #7
              The thing with the fast drying concrete is it cures fast which makes it harder to work with. Anyone who works around concrete knows slowing the curing process helps prevent cracking. If you are mixing say 6 bags per footer, you will have to mix like a mad man or it will start to setup before you get the next bags mixed.


              • #8
                thanks.... everybody confirmed my suspicions. I will go the regular route!

                The slower cure should give me more time to pour all my (4) footers (~28 bags) then go back, check my alignment... and do the J bolts in the end. right?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PALefty
                  The slower cure should give me more time to pour all my (4) footers (~28 bags) then go back, check my alignment... and do the J bolts in the end. right?
                  Any thoughts on this? Would it be better to set each J bolt as I go along... or do I have time to do it at the end (using standard Concrete Mix)?


                  • #10
                    Depends some on the ambient temperature and humidity. I would probably put the J bolts in and check the alignment at the end and hope I could move them. If you cannot and they are too far off, you can cut them off with a recipricating saw and drill a hole for an anchor (lead is tradition but there are others).

                    If you want your footings extra strong, you can also buy a bag or two of portland cement and add a little to each bag of pre-mix as you mix. It does not take a lot of extra cement to up the strength. Probably overkill, however.



                    • #11
                      upon re-reading this, I was not very clear. What I was trying to say is put them in as you complete each footing and then check the alignment after you get all the footings done.


                      • #12
                        I'm with Jim on that, set them as you do each footer. I dont now think you will be able to mix 20+ bags yourself in a short enough time to do it otherwise. We had 3 people do 32bags and it still would have been too slow to set them at the end.


                        • #13
                          ok, will do. I didn't know how 'slow' the regular stuff was.. but it doesn't seem slow enough. I thought I could get around putting my lines up and down... but better safe than sorry.


                          • #14
                            mixing concrete

                            Like Jim said "temperature and humidity" have a great affect on curing.
                            The slower you can allow any concrete to cure allows the strength to develop much higher. May not be under your control but work in shade or cloudy day. You may want to mist water on earlier pours as you work down the line. The old time method for this was to lay wet burlap over concrete as a cure retarder.
                            There are chemical retarders available also for portland cement products. I think may even be sold at HD
                            You probably could save a good bit by getting bagged portland cement and a yard of sand and gravel. Not as convenient as the all-in-the-sack kind but mixing cement is much more taxing on your muscles than your brain. Lowe's around here have big sacks on pallets that they sell with sand and gravel if you have a good size pickup (3/4 ton?) Big cement yards don't deal well with do-it-yourselfers but they will sell to anyone and load onto your truck unlike HD but you may encounter some attitude.
                            Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler
                            --Albert Einstein