Reinforcing Concrete Sidewalks: Rebar vs. Steel Mesh

a concrete sidewalk
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Concrete sidewalks are seen in every urban, suburban, and even rural neighborhood. Concrete sidewalks act as a walkway that allow pedestrians to pass along a busy street without fear of being struck by a vehicle.

Concrete is a strong material that can be made stronger by using other materials to reinforce it. The two most useful in concrete sidewalks include rebar and steel mesh. The following article will share the pros and cons of each of these materials as reinforcement for concrete sidewalks.

Concrete Thickness

Concrete sidewalks can come in many thicknesses and the thickness can be used to decide which material is best suited to reinforce it. If the slabs are less than 1 foot thick, then steel mesh may be best suited as rebar's strength comes from its vertical stability.

Vertical vs. Horizontal

Steel mesh and rebar can both be used in either orientation and both will do well either vertically or horizontally. Steel mesh, unlike rebar, can be shaped around forms.


A problem you'll face is actually placing and maintaining the placement of the reinforcement material. Steel mesh can be placed after partial concrete has been poured, but it may sink. Rebar can be placed deep in the ground to secure it in place.