How to make curved concrete

Written by tami parrington
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How to make curved concrete
Adding a curve to a stairway or path adds depth and visual appeal. (Concrete stairway image by MAXFX from

You can use concrete to build beautiful walkways, paths, steps, and patios that make your property more enjoyable and visually appealing. Concrete is a thick liquid which is applied so it is possible to create any form or shape desired. The trick to curved concrete is in the preparation. Once dry and hard, concrete will hold any shape you pour it into.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Spirit level
  • 2 by 4 Tamping post large enough to comfortably tap the ground
  • 1 by 2 Wood stakes cut into one foot sections
  • 1/8 inch Plywood cut to desired height of concrete slab
  • Deck screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Trowel
  • Gravel
  • Concrete

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  1. 1

    Plan your slab area carefully. A path should be two to three feet wide in order to accommodate two people walking together, or one person pushing a wheelbarrow. A slab used for a patio that will hold people, along with furniture or utility items such as a barbecue only has to be about four inches thick, but a slab that will serve as a storage area for heavy equipment or vehicles should be at least six inches thick to withstand the weight. Another consideration is the aesthetic look of your project. Use a garden hose to lay out the pattern you desire and see how it looks, and feels to use the area in the layout you have designed.

  2. 2

    Dig out the area you want covered in concrete with your shovel. Dig your foundation area four inches deeper than the thickness of concrete desired. For a four inch slab, dig the foundation out eight inches so there is room for a gravel base. Tamp the ground holding a 2 by 4 long enough for you to comfortably tap the ground from a standing position. Hitting the dirt with the 2 by 4 creates a hard, firm surface.

  3. 3

    Hammer stakes in along both sides of the pit following the curve . Insert the 1/8 inch plywood border tall enough to accommodate the thickness of cement desired and use deck screws to secure it to the stakes with the top edge level with the top of the desired concrete. Use a spirit level to make sure the sides are level, and also lay it across the opening, or on a piece of wood laid across the space from one stake to another to make sure both sides are level with each other.

  4. 4

    Add additional support stakes around the actual curves no more than two feet apart for greater stability.

  5. 5

    Pour four inches of crushed gravel into the foundation. Gravel allows water to drain and that keeps moisture from collecting at the bottom of a concrete slab and weakening it.

  6. 6

    Pour concrete into the foundation. Smooth with trowel and allow to dry at least 48 hours before walking on it.

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