What is Exposed Aggregate Concrete?

Exposed aggregate concrete is one of those materials that many people with have seen – probably even walked over or rested their drink on – without knowing its name.

It is however, one of the best techniques for adding a truly personal and well-designed finish to any concrete surface. It is especially popular with home improvement projects where you may want a more interesting finish to a poured concrete surface without having to invest significant time or effort.

These days, stamped concrete is becoming an increasingly popular finish for driveways patios and similar areas. Stamped concrete involves the use of special stamps and often coloring agents to add a design to freshly poured concrete, such as to make it look like a brick path.

 Whilst this can often bring excellent results however (hence it’s growing popularity!) it can also be an expensive and time consuming process.

On the other hand, freshly poured concrete that is just left to dry can look kind of… well, boring really.

Now, no one wants to stop using concrete as a building medium, particularly for patios and driveways. After all, concrete has so many advantages over other materials, such as:

  • Durability – When well poured by a professional contractor, the lifespan of concrete can be measured in decades. This is true both in areas of adverse weather and also high volumes of foot and vehicle traffic which makes concrete ideal for both home and commercial applications.
  • Versatility – Concrete presents so many options for designs, finishes and colors that no two concrete driveways or patios have to look the same. Concrete, as a poured material, also lends itself well to be used in small areas or onto surfaces with odd angles. Wood, for instance, can begin to look out of place the more it has to be manipulated into a set space. Concrete simply flows into whatever shapes and designs you have planned for it.
  • Low Maintenance – No one wants to be out caring for their driveway every weekend, do they? Life’s too short for that! Well concrete is the option that comes with the lowest lifetime maintenance. Wooden decking is going to start warping – even rotting – if it is exposed to rain or other water sources and it is not regularly varnished. Asphalt driveways need to be “sealcoated” every few years or they will turn grey and brittle. Concrete just needs the occasional power jet wash and brush with a hard broom. That’s it!

But for all that, if it looks ugly, you won’t even want to jet wash it. Exposed aggregate concrete can be the excellent middle ground between boring plain concrete and expensive stamped concrete.

The aggregate is, quite simply, the small stones that form a part of the concrete mix. In exposed concrete these are simply left to form a surface that then gives a unique, stone pattern texture to the top of your concrete. There are various types of aggregate too, many of which can be selected to complement the area that the concrete will be poured into.

So if you’re interested in exploiting the many benefits of concrete in your home but are looking to trim a little from the budget with no compromise in design or quality, the exposed aggregate concrete could very well be the best choice for you.