If you’re looking for an option to pave a new driveway, walkway, patio, or entryway, What do you look for? If you want something more attractive than but just as durable as regular grey concrete, and you don’t want to break the bank, decorative concrete for you. When it comes to decorative concrete, there isn’t a more economical choice than exposed aggregate concrete.
You may have seen this type of concrete in front of public buildings, sprawling driveways, or a poolside walkway. Exposed aggregate is everywhere, and for good reason. It’s a popular option for all sorts of areas because it’s long lasting and strong, easy to maintain, and have more personality than plain concrete or asphalt.
Keep reading to see if exposed aggregate concrete is right for you!
What is Exposed Aggregate Concrete?
Exposed aggregate is a type of decorative concrete that has exposed stones on the surface of the concrete, making it a very beautiful and durable option for anywhere you lay concrete - patios, decks, driveways, and more. You can get a variety of materials for the exposed layer of stones, such as gravel, river pebbles, crushed glass, and more. Different sizes and types of rocks give you a textured 3-dimensional result that looks unique to you.
Why Exposed Aggregate?
Beauty - You can get a unique look with your choice of colour and material. You can make it as fine or textured and as colourful as you want.
Traction - Your safety is assured with exposed aggregate’s natural non-slip surface. You won’t lose your footing, and it’s good for driving on as well. You can choose how grippy you want your surface to be - more relief for high grip, less relief for less bumpy comfortable walking.
Easy maintenance - Just like plain concrete, it’s easy to maintain. It just needs to be swept or hosed down regularly, and resealed every few years to keep it looking fresh.
Affordable - Cheaper than other types of decorative concrete, this is a great choice if you’re looking for a unique look without the extra cost. It’s slightly more expensive than regular concrete, but it’s a small price to pay for the beauty it brings.
Where can you use Exposed Aggregate?
Driveway - It’s great for car traction in regular weather, and reduces slipping in rain or snow. Good for your tires and and your feet, when getting in and out of your car.
Sidewalk/walkways - Again, it’s great for traction, so it’s perfectly safe for your whole family. No more tripping and slipping for your little ones or others with clumsy feet!
Deck/Patio - You need a non-slip surface, especially around areas you’ll be using water. Drinks, pool water, and other liquids can be a recipe for disaster without grippy concrete under your feet!
Entrance - An artistic walkway leading to your home or the space in front of your front door is key for potential buyers. It’s great for curb appeal, and eye-catching for your guests!
Installing Exposed Aggregate Concrete
Exposed Aggregate Mixes
All concrete mixes do contain some aggregates which are needed to make a strong durable surface. For this type of decorative concrete, you can choose what type of material and colours for the mix that you want to be exposed. You may want larger aggregates for some extra grip, or a red hue to match your existing outdoor space. This is the time to get creative!
We’ll pour the concrete mix like you would with regular concrete, and level it out. The key to this type of concrete is that at the optimal time, we’ll spray the surface with water to wash away the excess concrete, exposing the first layer of aggregate. There is specific timing involved with this process, which our professionals at Burnaby Concrete have got down pat. We’ll clean the concrete until the aggregate is exposed to the level you want.
After the aggregate has been exposed to your liking, we spray on a sealer. Sealer is very important because exposed aggregate surfaces can be prone to damage by regular washing. Once sealed, it’s protected from power washing or precipitation. It’s best to use sealant or a curing compound once every 2-3 years to keep your concrete area long-lasting and looking great.
Our concrete experts love working with exposed aggregate, and have the experience to get you the decorative element you’re looking for in your outdoor space. Call us today and get an estimate on your driveway, patio, or walking path!