The use of welded wire mesh in residential slabs has been on the decline for the last ten years as more contractors switch to synthetic-fiber-reinforced concrete. Synthetic fibers — which are often called Fibermesh, a well-known brand — have been marketed as a substitute for wire mesh in residential slabs.

Most contractors are eager to avoid the hassle of wrestling with wire mesh, and prefer the easier option of ordering synthetic fibers from their ready-mix supplier. Jon Hanson is the vice president and estimator at Walker Construction, a concrete contractor in Stowe, Vt. "We used to buy bundles and bundles of rolls of wire mesh, but we...

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