What’s the Correct Thickness for a Concrete Driveway?

If you want to deposit your own concrete driveway or if you are looking for bids from contractors, you may be confused about how thick your driveway should be. This article discusses the driveway thickness.

Weight

The thickness of the concrete required for a driveway is based on the weight of the vehicles that will use it. Most households with cars, trucks or SUVs can suffice with a concrete slab that is four centimeters thick. This is based on vehicles with a weight of 10,000 lbs. or less. To give an example, an average SUV or pickup truck weighs between 4,000 and 6,000 lbs, and even a boat on a trailer is generally no more than 8,500.

Where you see the need for a thicker driveway is if you plan to have heavier vehicles. For the average household, that larger vehicle is often an RV. Most campers start at 10,000 lbs. and go up to 30,000 (which does not necessarily take into account the extra weight that is loaded into it). So if you are looking for a place for your personal RV, you want 5 or 6 inch thickness for your concrete driveway.

Thicker better for preventing cracking?

Concrete will crack. Period. Thicker does not always mean that you get a guarantee for less cracking. In general, cracking is caused by other factors that are related to thickness, but are not causes because of the thickness. For example, as mentioned above, if too much weight is put on a thinner concrete driveway, yes, this can eventually lead to cracks. Another important cause of cracking is that there is no solid basis under the driveway. Concrete does its best on solid surfaces without movement. In areas where the soil mainly consists of sand or clay, there will be more chance of serious cracks. And in such cases a thinner potted driveway would suffer faster than a thicker driveway. However, a good contractor will know how to lay a good foundation to prepare the land for the concrete slab, so whether the driveway is now four inches or five, precautions have been taken to protect it from excessive cracking. Likewise, the use of gauze or reinforcing bar (reinforcing bar) when laying the concrete will maintain the integrity of the concrete for longer, regardless of the thickness of the slab.

Price differences

Although the pricing for the task itself has many variables and can fluctuate across the country, it is about 20% more concrete costs to move from a four-inch-thick plate to a five-inch-thick plate. However, adding that extra inch increases the weight of your driveway by 50%.

If you go with the thickness of four inches, you will save money because that thickness does not require reinforcing steel to reinforce it. Most contractors use the aforementioned mesh that is considerably cheaper and still very affective.

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