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bobby769 09-06-2010 06:45 PM

Making Concete blocks
I have a walkway beteween the house and detached garage w/ old slate tile just laying on the ground.

I'm thinking of making 2'x2' blocks of cement and embedding the slate into it.

I imagine I'd make some wood forms, place the slate tile in the form and then pour concrete over it. When the concrete dries it would be flipped out of the mold so the slate now appears on the walking surface of the concrete blocks.

The cement blocks would be 3" to 4" high w/ galvanized mesh for rebar. The slate that I currently have ranges in thickness from about 1" to 2" and some are not very flat on the top. This uneven slate would probably result in a rustic looking block but I'm ok with that.

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Some of the questions I have are:
- How heavy will these blockes be? Since I have to flip them over.
- The plan is to use regular plywood. Will I have a hard time freeing the cement blocks after curing? I was hoping I could simply flip them out.
- Do I have to use special wood? Will the cement cause the plywood to start falling apart?
The plan is to counter sink the concrete blocks so the are realtively flush w/ the ground. Can I just dig out enough depth for the blocks or would i have to dig out more and build it up w/ sand for drainage?


bobby769 09-08-2010 03:42 PM

I hope this isn't considering
I hope this isn't considered bumping, but

No one has any thoughts on my project?

Daniel Holzman 09-08-2010 03:48 PM

While you can certainly do what you propose, there is no need to embed slate tile in concrete. I have a slate walkway in the back of my house, it is placed directly on soil, and has been stable since 1959 when it was placed. I also have a brick walkway in front of the house, which is placed in two feet of compacted masons sand, and has been stable for about 20 years. The concrete adds nothing to the stability of the slate, it can be placed in sand and will perform just as well. There are numerous old threads on this site discussing in exhaustive detail proper placement techniques for walkways, I suggest you review them, and save yourself the work of building concrete supports for walkway slate.

bobby769 09-08-2010 04:06 PM

Thanks Dan.

I did a search and didn't find anything useful specifically for the questions I have.

My main concern w/ laying slate over sand is that the slate I have isn't all of the same thickness. The thicknesses range from a little more than 1" to over 2".

In fact some of the slate I have was split from a thicker peice that was over 6" thick. From this peice I was able to get 3 slate tiles.

I wanted to do embed in concrete because of the look.

gregzoll 09-08-2010 05:32 PM

When it sits in the sand, the sand will conform to the slate. You are over thinking the process. Instead of sand, actually Rock Dust is used, since it locks. Placing the slate into concrete makes it look cheap.

bobby769 02-22-2012 02:55 PM

It's finished.
I've posted some pictures of it here:

I finished in late summer 2011 and so far I'm very happy w/ the way it came out.

SPS-1 02-22-2012 09:16 PM

looks great Bob !

bobby769 02-23-2012 07:35 AM


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