Exposed aggregate is a common type of concrete finishing that is usually applied to flat surfaces such as walkways and patios. It is a decorative form of finishing and involved concrete mixed with different aggregates before being poured. Following this, the surface layer of the concrete poured is sanded back, thus providing a rough and designer texture comprising of the various aggregates such as pebbles and stones to the concrete surface.
There are quite a few things that one should remember while choosing an exposed aggregate as their choice of finishing, which have been discussed below.
5 Things You Need to Know About Exposed Aggregate
- #1. The right type of structure: Since exposed aggregate type of finishing has a unique texture and look to it. This makes it suitable for being used in certain types of surfaces. Common places where they can be applied be includes patios, walkways and driveways. It provides an extensive anti-skid property, which makes it an ideal choice for these installations as they add a measure of safety to the vehicle or foot traffic that passes over them. Alternatively, exposed aggregate can also be used as a designer finish for polished interior floors.
- #2. Variety of styles: When it comes to different available options, exposed aggregate offers a ton of options for you to choose from. Based on the type of aggregate used and size of the aggregates, multiple types of finishes can be achieved, each having its own texture and look. One can go for a single colored look, where the aggregate particles are made from the same color and texture as the concrete. It provides the advantages of the right texture and anti-skid properties discreetly without providing a contrasting colored finish. One can alternatively go for textured finished involving aggregates of different sizes, textures and colors. This provides a unique look and is suitable for places such as indoor flooring or patios. Multiple combinations of aggregate materials and colors are possible for textured finish.
- #3. Low maintenance: Durability and low maintenance are the key advantages of exposed aggregate. Since it is used in areas which are constantly exposed to the harsh outside conditions as well as vehicle and foot traffic, the durability is a very important characteristic to consider. It is also low maintenance and doesn’t require frequent repair and polishing to keep up with appearances, despite being under constant wear and tear. Regular hosing with water is the only maintenance required, in contrast to other concrete finishes which require power washing. The low maintenance feature makes it an excellent choice for outside surface such as walkways and driveways.
- #4. Sealing: Exposed aggregate type of concrete finish needs to be sealed with a concrete sealer in order to enhance its durability and look. The sealant helps in preserving the natural color and look of the aggregate while at the same time providing protection to the wear and tear it faces. It is also advisable that the sealing is repeated after every 1-2 years in order to continue with the preservation of the natural look. Absence of sealant can significantly reduce the lifespan of the exposed aggregate, and cause fading away of the original texture.
- #5. Visually appealing: While regular concrete finishes can look drab and generic on the eye, the exposed aggregate provides a unique look to every surface it is used on. The different designs and colors of aggregates help a surface with exposed aggregate finish to stand out and draw the attention.
There are a number of different concrete finishes available. It is often difficult for one to assess which type of concrete finish is suitable for them. If you’re looking to give your walkway or patio a strong and durable finish that looks visually appealing, exposed aggregate finish is your go to choose.