How to Set Rebar

Setting Rebar with Vertors is a SNAP!!

We put rebar, duro wire and concrete mesh in concrete to over come concrete’s one weakness: concrete is brittle so concrete cracks. We call this reinforcement (re-in-for-cement). We use steel because steel has a sympathetic thermodynamic expansion rate (meaning steel and concrete expand and contract at very similar rates) this keeps the steel and concrete incontact with one another during thermodynamic expansion or contraction.

Profile picture of a Vertor vertical rebar holder

All of the parts needed come on the Vertor frame.

This article will help if you are setting rebar for the following:

  • Reinforced concrete foundation design
  • Soil reinforcement design
  • Basement reinforcement
  • Footing reinforcement
  • spread footing foundation
  • Seismic reinforcement
  • Reinforcement wall
  • Structure reinforcement
  • Joint reinforcement
  • Foundation bridge
  • Shear reinforcement
  • Rebar reinforcement
  • Building reinforcement
  • Column reinforcement
  • Monolithic mat foundation design
  • Masonry or Concrete Retaining Walls
  • Patio Walls
  • Masonry or Concrete Homes
  • Masonry or Concrete Building Walls
  • Stem Walls
  • Straw Bale Footings
  • Concrete ICF Walls

This article is assuming you know how to do the following:

  1. Design the wall – structure
  2. Lay out the footing
  3. Dig the footing
  4. Set the elevations
  5. Calculate the Concrete

If you need help learning how to do any of the above go here –>MonumentMasonry.com


DO NOT CUT VERTICAL REBAR TOO LONG – Too long will be anything over 24″ above top of footing! average lenght is 40″ +- a couple of inches depending on exact depth of footing. You need a minimum of 21 inches of #4 rebar above the top of footing. A rebar that is over 36 inches will become very wobbly.

How to Set Reinforcing Rebars Using Vertors

An Array of Rebar Chairs

There is an array of rebar chairs all with a specific use. Rebar chairs are used to keep rebar suspended from the ground or form sides so that the rebar is typically surrounded by a minimum of 3 inches of concrete.

Once you understand how to do everything on the above list you will need to set reinforcing rods (rebar) in such a position as to wind up with the steel rebars suspended in the footing (typically 3″ from any form or soil edges). It must remain in position as and after the concrete is poured. Rebar must be surrounded by the concrete in the footing to do its reinforcement Job. The hardest thing about setting rebar for footings, making it “float” into the mass of the concrete – AND – not be knocked over by the force of the concrete and it comes sliding down the shoot at over 80 pounds per cubic foot in weight.

Rebar chairs come in a variety of sizes shapes and each have a specific use.  There was a time not too long ago that the professional “rod busters” or rebar setters, were appalled that we would use plastic chairs.  Of course they were approved by architects and engineers a like by tons (literally) of empirical testing in the field.  However the complaint of the rod busters was not that the chair was not architecturally sound, no their complaint was that they saved too much labor and of course they were worried about being put out of a job.

Vertor Concrete Chair Frame Laying on its Side

Vertor Concrete Chair Frame Laying on its Side Picture of a vertor - The vertical rod is why the Vertor is so much more effective for footing setting, it holds the vertical rebar in place. The parts are attached to the Vertor so you simply twist them to break them off and use them to snap the rebar in place.

Vertors are the ONLY rebar chair whose specific application is to hold up the vertical rebar.  There is no other device available on the market today that is designed to hold both the horizontal and the vertical rebar in one application.


Vertor Rebar Coupler Snap

Vertor Rebar Coupler Snap goes around two lapped pieces of rebar to keep them in place as teh rack is set and as the concrete is poured. This saves valuable labor in not having to tie horizontal rebar laps.

It is advantageous to start at one end and place a line of rebar end to end including lap snapping the rebar together with the coupler snaps (see picture) then begin measuring at the start point placing marks on the rebar exactly where the center point of the vertical rebar will be placed – typically according to an architectural plan or an engineering schematic.

For the Linear Snap Horizontally on Dimension Marks

First you lay your horizontal rebar in the clean trench. Then measure your spacing for your vertical rebar and mark the horizontal rebar as shown - 32-48" typical. Then snap the Vertors onto the marks you made on the horizontal rebar.


Rebar Vertical Placement

Next, cut your vertical rebar approximately 40

Next cut and bend all of your vertical rebars. Slide the short side of the bend into the hole in the Vertor as shown.

Then you take the snap link that you broke off of the main skeleton and snap it around the plastic vertical stay and the vertical rebar. We usually begin by breaking all of the snaps and connectors off of the Vertor frame to save having to wriggle the rebar frame once you are attaching the verticals to the Vertors. If you do this be sure to keep track of all of your snaps and connectors as there is only one per frame for use in setting the rack. If you loose one or two you will have to use wire again!

Vertors lock the vertical rebar together like this picture.

Vertors lock the vertical rebar together without wire or tying a simple and quick "snap".

Close-up Vertical rebar Locked into a Vertor

Just like that you are finished - voila!! It really is that easy. It took me longer to tell you about it than it would have for me to snap about 50 verticals in place.

Rebar Rack Ready for Concrete

Just like that you are finished - voila!! It really is that easy. It took me longer to tell you about it than it would have for me to snap about 50 verticals in place. Vertical rebar placement and tying used the be the hardest part of reinforcing a footing, but now with Vertors it really is a snap!!!

Yours in Light and Gratitude,
Rusty