Joyce from Near South Bend, IN
Both types of concrete will work just fine, but quick setting concrete will give you faster results and it's usually cheaper. If you're looking for something other than standard gray concrete, you can create various colors using a cement/mortar tint. These products can be found at most hardware or home improvement stores. They really allow you to jazz things up a bit or even match the color to your home's foundation or to other elements in your landscaping. Some products are mixed in and change the color of the entire body of concrete, while others are applied as tints after the concrete sets and cures.
In regard to the correct water-to-concrete ratio, different mixes will harden at different rates depending on the air temperature during curing, the temperature of the water added, and the percent of cement in the mix. As a general rule, the more cement the faster the concrete cures. Also, the less water (or more cement) the stronger the concrete. Try a 4:1 ratio (4 parts mix, 1 part water) to start with. You can always add more water. Aim for a not-too-thick but not-too-thin consistency similar to brownie batter. Stepping stones need to be durable, so a slow, damp and cool cure is best for producing the strongest finished product. In other words, cover the form with a damp cloth while it cures and keep it out of direct sunlight.
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I used the concrete calculator: http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/howmuch/calculator.htm
It says you'd need .01 cubic yards. There also may be information on there about the amount of water to mix in. Because it is such a small amount, look on the bag of concrete as to how much it makes and divide accordingly.
The thing that is nice about Quikcrete is that it is all mixed, rock added, and gives instructions for how much water to add to mix it up. I'd recommend that if you are only making two. It also comes in smaller bags. (09/01/2006)
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