DIY: How to make cement bricks for your next project

Whether you are building a garden wall or commercial premises, cement bricks are strong, durable, and weather resistant. Making your own bricks can be a very satisfying process and if done correctly can save you money. Be sure to follow the steps carefully and allow the bricks to cure properly before using them. With a little effort, you'll be able to create high-quality bricks that will add a professional touch to your next project! Make sure you have enough space to store the raw materials as well as space to cure the bricks you make - preferably in a covered area out of direct sunlight when curing.

Picture is for illustrative purposes only.

What You'll Need:

Step 1 - Find a Suitable Place

Find a wide open space, ideally on a sloped concrete slab, covered – not under a tree, to avoid falling leaves or other contaminants.

.The space should be wide enough to mix concrete and pour it into a mould. Make sure the area is well ventilated as working with cement can be dusty. Make sure you use correct PPE, such as a dust mask, safety glasses, etc.

Step 2 - Make the mould

You can use a variety of different moulds, such as a wooden frame. The size of the mould will determine the size of the bricks you make. If you are using a wooden frame, seal the frame with an oil sealer. Once dry,  apply releasing agent to the sides of the mould before pouring to cast.

Step 3 - Prepare the Concrete Mix

The ratio for a basic dry concrete mix is 1 part cement (42.5N) to 2 parts river sand or crusher sand,  to 2 parts stone (19mm-26.5mm).

Add the dry ingredients to a mixing tub and slowly add water until the mixture reaches a mushy consistency. Be careful not to add too much water as this will weaken the bricks. In general, water that is fit for drinking is suitable. Use enough water to make a workable mix.

Start by mixing the cement, sand, and stone in a large wheelbarrow or bucket. If you’re using a wheelbarrow, mix in small batches so that it’s not too heavy to move around. When mixing concrete, the water content is critical to achieving a successful result. The mixture must be wet enough to bind together when compacted, but it should not be so wet that the blocks slump (sag) when the mould is removed. A common mistake is to use mixes that are too dry, resulting in incomplete compaction.

The water content should be as high as possible to allow for adequate curing and strength. Water content is approx. correct when ripple marks form on a steel rod, or the back of a shovel when it is rubbed against some of the mixture. The water content is optimum when ripple marks begin appearing on the blocks when they are de-moulded.

Step 4 - Scoop the mixture into the molds

Once the mixture is ready, begin scooping it into your chosen mold(s). Again, if you’re using a wheelbarrow you may want to work in small batches so that it’s not too heavy to lift. Once all of the mixture is in the mold(s), use a steel rod to compact it down and smooth out the surface. Be sure to pack the mixture into the mold to ensure there are no air pockets. Tamper 50 times per mould if you don’t have access to a vibrating table.

Step 5 - Remove Excess Concrete

Use a trowel to level off the top of the mold and remove any excess concrete. You want the top of the brick to be smooth so that it will be easy to remove from the mold.

Step 6- Vibrate the Mold

To ensure that your bricks are strong and free of air pockets, you need to vibrate the mold. Use a hand-held electric mixer or a drill with a mixing attachment to do this. Hold the mixer close to the bottom of the mold and turn it on. Move it around in a circular motion so that the concrete is evenly mixed.

Step 7 - Curing the Bricks

After vibrating the mold, it’s time to let your bricks cure. The curing process is very important as it strengthens the bricks and prevents them from cracking. Curing can be done in a number of different ways, but the most common is to sprinkle the bricks with water and cover them with plastic sheeting. This creates a humid environment which helps the curing process.

To cure your bricks, first wet them down with a hose or bucket of water. Then, cover them with a tarp or plastic sheeting. Be sure to secure the plastic so that it doesn’t blow away in the wind. Leave the bricks to cure for at least 24 hours. Once the bricks are cured, remove the plastic and allow them to air dry for at least 7 days. Once they are completely dry, you can use them for your next project!

Overall, making your own cement bricks can save you money and give you a great sense of achievement. However, it is important to do your research beforehand, make sure you have the correct tools and enough space to complete the project from start to finish.

We hope this guide has been helpful and that you now feel confident in making your own cement bricks. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Happy building!

Guided Estimation for Your Building Materials:

While the process of making cement bricks is straightforward, figuring out the amount of sand, cement, and other materials you might need can be daunting, especially for bigger projects.

Whether you’re a novice brick-maker or a seasoned DIY enthusiast, having a reliable guide can make a world of difference. That’s why we’ve introduced our brick, cement, and sand calculator. It’s designed to offer an estimate, ensuring you have a starting point for gathering your materials. While every project may have its unique requirements, our guide calculator is a great place to begin. Dive in and let us help guide your brick-making preparations!

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Wall Dimensions:(Single Brick Wall)

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