How Much Is Concrete Reinforcing Wire?
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You don’t see it, but concrete wire mesh reinforces your concrete and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road. Fortunately, the cost of reinforcing mesh is minimal, just like the rest of your concrete. Of course, concrete wire mesh prices do vary by location and availability.
Continue reading to see the local costs for concrete mesh. As always, if you need assistance with your concrete project, ImproveNet can connect you with local masons!
Table of Contents
- Concrete Wire Mesh Prices
- Concrete Reinforcing Wire Cost Factors
- Wire Mesh Cost Comparison
- When To Use Concrete Mesh
- Flat Vs. Rolled Concrete Wire Mesh
- Concrete Wire Mesh Sizes & Features
- Advantages Of Concrete Wire Mesh Sheets
- Disadvantages Of Concrete Wire Mesh Sheets
- DIY Or Hire A Mason?
- Concrete Wire Installation
- Find A Local Mason Contractor
Concrete Wire Mesh Prices
Rolled Concrete Wire Mesh
Flat Concrete Wire Mesh
As you can see above, more often than not, your concrete mesh price will not exceed $2.00, with installation. Given the low wire cost per square foot, your total concrete project cost will largely come down to size. If your project is small, we recommend biting the bullet and buying flat concrete mesh. Flat mesh is easier to lay and install, cutting down on installation time. Furthermore, rolled concrete wire mesh tends to curl up. Since concrete mesh is the tension keeping concrete in place, it’s imperative to ensure all mesh is perfectly straight before installation.
Concrete Reinforcing Wire Cost Factors
While concrete reinforcing wire is affordable, there are ways to ensure you get the best possible mesh price in your town. While you can’t control all considerations below, you do have a say in most.
Keep the following factors in mind as you shop for rolled or flat concrete mesh:
- Time of Year: Try to buy concrete wire in October or November. Like many outdoor contractors, this is the down season. To encourage homeowners to embark on a new project, suppliers and pros tend to lower prices.
- Vendors: There are numerous suppliers that offer concrete wire mesh. From Home Depot and Lowe’s to a local concrete company, if you search hard enough, you will find the best deal in town.
- Masons: Installation costs do vary by pro. Unless you DIY, chances are, you will see multiple price points in labor costs per square foot. That is why we always recommend you contact at least three masons before any concrete project.
- Delivery: Depending on where you purchase your concrete wire mesh, some suppliers charge for delivery. That is why it’s always ideal to buy products nearby. The closer they are, the cheaper it will be. The same rules apply for concrete delivery.
- Purchasing Method: Because masons work with concrete wire all the time, they know where to go to get the best deals. Therefore, if you hire a mason contractor, ask them about purchasing materials. See if there is an upcharge to go through them. If there isn’t, chances are, their concrete wire mesh price will be less than if you went to the store and bought yourself.
- Miscellaneous: Not directly related to the cost of wire mesh, but some contractors include site prep and/or land excavation in their labor costs. You’ll need to get this done either way, but before you sign with any mason, make sure you know exactly what services are included.
Wire Mesh Cost Comparison
We use concrete for a lot of projects, some of which are much larger than others. If you’ve ever seen wire mesh in the store, you know that it’s not that thick. As you might imagine, when it comes to foundations or holding up buildings, you need a thicker material, like rebar, to ensure your concrete does not crack.
As opposed to wire mesh, rebar prices are heavily influenced by fluctuations in the steel market. Therefore, there is no average rebar cost. In fact, the cost of rebar in 2008 was $1,203 per metric ton. Last year, the price went down to $400 per metric ton. Currently, rebar prices hover around $0.75 per foot. Rebar generally costs a bit more than wire mesh, which is expected considering it’s meant to hold more weight.
Rebar Vs. Concrete Wire Mesh
Rebar is designed for tension cracking in structural or foundation installation projects. With so much weight, buildings tend to force concrete down. The rebar ensures the building stays even with the concrete, not to ruin your concrete or foundation.
Concrete wire mesh, on the other hand, is intended for non-structural cracking. It’s used on smaller projects where not much weight is held. Wire mesh handles movement in concrete slabs as opposed to heavy weight from a building.
When To Use Concrete Mesh
Concrete wire mesh is used primarily in new construction to reinforce poured concrete's tension strength. Concrete with a high strength can't be compressed, but low-tension strength means that concrete is easily pulled apart. This is why it cracks easily and breaks up as water freezes in the cracks during cold weather. In other words, this is why pros use concrete wire mesh on smaller concrete projects as opposed to structural projects.
Mason contractors like to use wire mesh in a number of places to reinforce concrete. The main use of concrete wire mesh is in home and building construction, but it’s also used in patios, foundations, walls and even sidewalks. Plus, this metal grid has other impromptu uses:
- Temporary fencing
- Ground cover or traction
- Animal barriers or cages
- Support for growing plants
If you’re willing to think outside the box, concrete reinforcing wire can be useful in jobs all around the home. Sheets of stainless steel mesh can be used for interior decorating projects or re-purposed with frames to hang notes, pictures or keys on by the front door.
Flat Vs. Rolled Concrete Wire Mesh
As you saw in our concrete wire price grid above, concrete wire mesh is sold in rolls or flat sheets. Rolled wire mesh is useful when pouring a lot of concrete, as it’s sold in lengths up to 150 feet. Rolled mesh is compact and rolls out more quickly when preparing a site. Flat sheets are a good option for smaller work sites and for those who do not want to store unused mesh. These sheets are flat squares or rectangles when purchased, and they stack up for storage. Many masons prefer flat mesh sheets because they don't have the tendency to curl up like rolled mesh.
Concrete Wire Mesh Sizes & Features
Beyond rolled or flat, there are other characteristics that make every concrete wire unique. From concrete wire mesh sizes to their weights, the following features will affect the concrete mesh price.
Concrete wire mesh is a series of steel wires welded together in a grid-like pattern. This creates flexible metal fencing useful for reinforcing concrete. Depending on the purpose, concrete wire mesh is available in a wide range of sizes and grid patterns.
Wire mesh is measured by the diameter of the wire and the width of each square in the grid. For instance, a popular wire mesh for most home concrete jobs is 1/16-inch diameter and features a 4-inch grid.
The heavier the gauge of wire, the more weight it can support. Wire gauges may also indicate the wire mesh thickness. As with other metal wire, lower numbers indicate thicker diameters while higher numbers indicate thinner diameters.
Advantages Of Concrete Wire Mesh Sheets
Like any building or remodeling material, there are pros and cons to using concrete wire mesh. First and foremost, concrete reinforcing wire minimizes the chances of concrete cracking. It provides support and added tension needed to hold concrete together.
Second, concrete mesh is cheap. In fact, it is much cheaper than costly concrete repairs or concrete removal.
Finally, you can research and find concrete wire mesh yourself. It’s readily available at a store near you.
Disadvantages Of Concrete Wire Mesh Sheets
On the downside, wire mesh is not for every project. For one, it’s not made to handle heavy loads. If you’re installing a concrete driveway, chances are, you’ll have to use rebar.
Furthermore, adding wire mesh is another time-consuming step in the process that could increase the possibility of making mistakes, especially for DIYers. Finally, just like any material, wire mesh brings extra costs. Therefore, if your project is very small, such as concrete only two or three feet across, consider skipping concrete wire mesh.
DIY Or Hire A Mason?
Working with concrete is not the most dangerous project, but it’s not the safest either. Unlike paint or small plumbing projects, concrete is permanent. One small mistake can lead to expensive repairs or replacements. Therefore, just like any concrete project, we highly recommend you pay for the labor and hire a mason to install your concrete wires.
Concrete Wire Installation
If you’re ready for challenge, you can install concrete wire mesh without a professional contractor. Below are the steps any mason would take to add concrete reinforcing wire:
Before concrete is poured on a site, the construction team digs out the area, removing grass, rocks and roots. The soil should have good drainage. A mechanical tamper is used to tamp down the dirt and flatten the area for a level surface. Wood forms are built around the area to contain the concrete while it sets.
The concrete wire mesh is measured and cut to fit the area, and flexible wire is tied around key sections of the wire mesh. The ends of these ties are secured around rebar supports set into the ground around the outside area. Other masons keep the wire mesh in air between these forms with wooden slats.
Concrete is then poured into the forms until they are filled, and the surface is flattened with a screed board. When the concrete is partially dry, the supports are removed and the holes are filled with more concrete.
Find A Local Mason Contractor
No matter what concrete project you’re undertaking, consider adding concrete wire mesh. Costs are minimal, but it can save you thousands down the line.
Ready to jump in? We have local masons ready to handle any concrete wire mesh project you throw their way.
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Last updated on Oct 30, 2017