Concrete is a popular building material in Texas, and it’s easy to tell why. Texas concrete is relatively inexpensive, durable, easy to work with, and is able to withstand near-constant exposure to the state's hot and humid climate and high heat.
That said, there are some things you should know before you start using concrete in Texas for your next project. In this FAQ guide, we'll answer some of the most common questions about concrete, and cover everything you need to know to get your concrete job done well. If you're ready to start working with concrete in Texas, read on!
What is Texas concrete?
Concrete is a building material that has been around for centuries. It's made from the very basics: cement, aggregate (rock and sand), water solids with other additives like chemicals to enhance or modify its properties, depending on what it’s being used for. It’s a versatile tool that never goes out of style, which is why Texas (and many other well-known cities) are all often something of a concrete jungle.
Fun fact: Concrete is the most widely-used building material in existence and is second behind water as the planet's most-consumed resource.
What’s the difference between cement and concrete?
Cement is a powdery substance made with calcined lime and clay. Concrete is actually a durable construction material that can be made from cement, sand, gravel, and water.
The mixture of these ingredients forms an instant binding paste that, when mixed together at high pressures, makes the heavy, rough building material we typically refer to as “concrete.”
Why does Texas use concrete for roads, parking lots, and sidewalks?
While concrete is both a beautiful and affordable building solution, there are many other reasons why businesses and municipalities continue to use it in Texas.
For one, concrete is incredibly environmentally-friendly—it produces no emissions or toxins, and is made of naturally occurring materials. Furthermore, the amount of CO2 produced during manufacturing and when using concrete is relatively small. Similarly, concrete costs very little to maintain, and, when laid correctly, will retain its classic appearance (and value) for years.
Moreover, the durability of concrete in Texas is unmatched compared to other building materials. It won’t crack, break, or shatter, and can last as long as 60 years or more with minimal maintenance. Finally, concrete also improves traction (making for safer roads), reduces noise pollution (making for more pleasant communities), and costs significantly less than similar materials, like asphalt.
How much is concrete in Texas?
A better question is “how much is a yard of concrete?” The cost of concrete in Texas is fairly constant. What matters is how much you need to use. Prices are generally determined based on square footage or yards, plus the cost of labor to lay it or repair it.
How much does Texas concrete weigh?
Normal weight concrete weighs about 4,000 lb. per cubic yard, whereas lightweight concrete weighs around 3,000 lb. per cubic yard. This means a 26,000 lb concrete truck in Texas—which can carry 10 cubic yards of concrete—can weigh as much as 66,000 lbs(!) with the concrete added.
What’s the best Texas concrete for sidewalks?
The important thing to note about working with concrete for sidewalks in Texas is consistency. If the ingredients are off just a little between batches (typical when you mix concrete yourself) the color and strength of your concrete will be off too. You can ensure the concrete you use for your Texas sidewalk is consistent and of good quality by working with a professional cement paver near you.
At Lone Star Paving, we can work with you to recommend a crack-resistant concrete mix that matches the color you like, sets fast, and remains strong with years of use.
What’s the best type of Texas concrete for commercial parking lots & driveways?
Parking lots require a substantially thicker slab of concrete than residential driveways. This with why your concrete’s weight capacity—or how much weight it can hold—matters.
You can ensure the longevity and safety of your parking lot by using Texas concrete that can withstand the weight of any vehicle that may drive over it. This should account for the fact that most vehicles in the United States are roughly 4,000 pounds (sometimes more) and that snow can add an additional 20-30 pounds of extra weight per cubic foot.
Need concrete in Texas for your commercial project? Not sure what to get?
Contact Lone Star Paving for a professional recommendation! We can recommend a concrete mix based on your project’s requirements—including its size and weight capacity—and your specific preferences.
Need concrete paving in Texas? We also provide professional concrete paving and flatwork for roads, parking lots, sidewalks, and more in Texas! All our concrete projects come with a one-year quality guarantee, so you can rest assured that your paving investment will last!
Contact us today to find out how we can help with your paving project!