If you're laying concrete slabs and need to reinforce them, then you have to decide whether to use steel mesh or rebar. In some cases, mesh has more benefits. What are they?
When you reinforce concrete with rebar, you insert steel bars into certain parts of the slab before you pour the concrete. Typically, you have to cut and lay the bars on site individually. You then have to tie them together to create a networked reinforcement.
You'll generally find it a lot faster and easier to put down a reinforcing mesh. You do have to cut the mesh to size; however, this is typically a faster job than cutting rebar.
Here, you can cut large areas of mesh to fit the slab plot. You don't need as many pieces to fill the space. So, you'll get your reinforcements ready and installed a lot faster if you use mesh rather than rebar.
Better Shaping Support
If you need to shape or mould the concrete you lay, then you might find it hard to use rebar reinforcement. These bars are straight and rigid. They won't bend. So, you might not be able to get all the reinforcement you need in areas that aren't flat and even.
Mesh has more elasticity and flexibility. It can bend and change shape if you need it to. So, it adds strength to shaped or sloped areas of your slab in a way that rebar can't. This helps ensure that your whole pour sets strong and hard with the right levels of future crack resistance.
The costs of laying rebar are usually higher than the costs of using reinforcing mesh. For a start, you'll have higher labour and/or scheduling costs if you use bar reinforcements. You'll need more people working on a rebar job to get it done quickly or you'll have to spend more time on it.
Plus, you'll pay more for your steel bars. These bars are made from thick and solid steel; they use more materials.
Mesh is fast to install, and you might not need as many people working on this job. So, your labour costs will be lower and you won't have any scheduling delays. Mesh material costs should be lower. Its grids are made up from thinner pieces of steel so that lowers the costs.
While reinforcing mesh is the right solution on many builds, there are situations where rebar is a better option. To find out which option is the best fit for your project, ask concrete reinforcement contractors for advice.