concrete ratios

Concrete ratios aka concrete mix ratios – Explained.


The various concrete mix ratios employed in construction are mentioned below in the table. The table gives the concretes mixes ranging from the lightest concrete (M5) to the hardest one (M70). General use concrete will be usually in the M10 to M40 range. It is usually recommended to go for M20 for light loads such as furniture and human load. M25 is usually used for heavy loads such as in driveways and also for house slabs. For roofs, M15 is usually used, but M20 is the safest and the most durable type. Similarly, for foundations, M10 is usually used, but M15 to M20 is the safest. For all mixes see the table.

Concrete GradeMix Ratio (cement : sand : aggregates
Compressive Strength MPa (N/mm2)
Pounds per Square inch (psi)
M30Design Mix304350
M35Design Mix355075
M40Design Mix405800
M45Design Mix456525
M50Design Mix507250
M55Design Mix557975
M60Design Mix608700
M65Design Mix659425
M70Design Mix7010150

The most Common Concrete mix ratios are given in the image below.

concrete ratios

What is the standard ratio for a concrete mix?

The standard ratio of concrete is 1:1:2 which is also called M25. It contains one part cement, one part sand, and 2 parts of gravel or aggregate.

What is a strong concrete mix?

A strong concrete mix is any mix over and above M25. These mixes will contain increasing amounts of cement and decreasing amounts of sand and aggregate as the grade goes higher and higher. Very high grades such as M70 also contain other additives in the form of rocks and binders.

What is a 1:2:3 mix for concrete?

The 1:2:3 mix contains 1 part cement to 2 parts sand and 3 parts of gravel or aggregate. The 1:2:3 concrete mix falls between M15 and M20 on the concrete grade scale. It is right around M18. It can hold about 2500 psi of pressure. It is most commonly used as a foundation for heavy load-bearing structures such as multi-level buildings.

Is it cheaper to mix my own concrete?

Yes, absolutely. Especially if you are using large amounts of concrete. Premade concrete is easier to use, as it comes premade and packaged for small application purposes. But when it comes to pouring in heaps of concrete to lay the foundations or for making concrete roofs, every contractor prefers making their own concrete on the spot.

You also will need to rent a concrete mixer for such large jobs. So one would think the cost would go up but no, premade concrete will still be more expensive.

How do I make my own concrete mix?

Use a plastic tray if you are only making limited amounts. For larger amounts of concrete, you can just mix the ingredients on an old tarp placed on the ground.

Just mix up the dry ingredients based on the ratios I mentioned above. Your need will determine the ratio of concrete that you go on with.

You will need a shovel to mix larger amounts of concrete but for smaller batches, you can just mix with a hoe. Do not try to mix with bare hands as concrete can get stuck to the skin and damage it.

While mixing concrete be aware that the more amount of water you add to the mix the more it will be reduced in strength. So the consistency of every mix of concrete should be roughly the same as a barely soaked oatmeal. It should be chunky and not spread like a paste.

If you want to color the concrete, you can add a decorative coloring mix to the water before pouring it in. This way the color will be distributed evenly on the concrete. Check out this video.

For instructions on how to make cinder blocks, check out this article.

How do you mix small amounts of concrete?

You can mix small amounts of concrete in a plastic tray, a wheelbarrow, or any other open mouth container. Just make sure that it is large enough so that you can easily mix the concrete in it.

Which concrete is hardest?

The hardest concrete will be made from a design mix. It will contain high amounts of cement, low amounts of sand and gravel. It will be reinforced with either steel or iron Bars/Wires or rocks. It may also contain binding agents especially if it is being used in a marine environment.

Is Ready Mix Concrete good?

Yes, it is. It comes premade and mixed so you can just do the job at hand with minimal effort. While this types of concrete is great for small applications such as fixing a minor area on your driveway, etc. the cost of premade concrete quickly adds up and makes it really expensive. Premade concrete also cannot ne mixed in a variety of ways to make it more strong of less in weight. This is probably why large projects usually always mix their concrete on the spot.

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