Have you ever seen a piece of a driveway or sidewalk that had a decorative piece of stone? If so, you were looking at what they call exposed aggregate concrete. Exposed aggregate concrete is a style of decorative concrete. It is created after removing the upper layer of the cement paste. This type of concrete is extremely durable, slip-resistant, and lasts a long time. If you are looking to save cost, then one way is to add exposed aggregate concrete on your poolside areas. They are also a great choice for driveways, sidewalks, and patios. Since they are so durable and sturdy, exposed aggregate concrete are resistant from cracks and other kinds of physical damages. They also do not cost as much as stone so you can easily use them when improving your home.
Exposed aggregate concrete can just about be compared to a piece of granite or marble that is transformed by polishing. In other words, it is like an ordinary surface has been stripped away to show its true beauty underneath. When it comes to concrete, that beauty comes in the form of decorative aggregate, either natural or manufactured.
Benefits of Exposed Aggregate Concrete
Exposed aggregate concrete comes along with many benefits, including the following.
Easy to get decorative textures and effects at a decent price.
A simple procedure and anyone who deals with concrete can master the technique quite quickly. Exposed aggregate concrete can be installed in one or two days, and you can hire a professional to make sure the job is done right.
This type of concrete provides surfaces that are skid-resistant, strong, and able to survive severe weather and climatic conditions; therefore, they are not affected by moisture and they last a long time.
There are many different options for you to choose from when it comes to colors, designs, and textures.
Requires very little maintenance. All that needs to be done is to clean them occasionally with water.
Where Is It Used?
Due to the fact that it is durable and skid-resistant, exposed aggregate is perfect for most flatworks such as sidewalks, driveways, patios, pool decks, and plazas. Other possible places to use exposed aggregate finish are decorative retaining walls, sound barrier walls, and architectural building facades.
How to Choose Decorative Aggregate
The color palette that is used is mainly determined by the type of decorative stone that is used. The aggregate that you choose to use will have an impact on the total cost of the project. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to purchase expensive aggregate in order to achieve beautiful results.
When choosing aggregate, consider the following main factors:
- Size and gradation
- Method of exposure
- Cost and availability
The most common decorative aggregates include richly colored natural stones, such as basalts, granite, quartz, or limestone. However, manufactured materials, such as recycled colored glass, is another option, as well as other interesting objects including seashells.
The size and shape of decorative aggregate also vary. The size determines the depth of exposure and the shape can affect the surface patter and texture. Aggregates that are round offer the best coverage and a smoother surface, whereas angular aggregates provide more texture and dimension. Try not to use flat or sliver-shaped pieces because they do not hold well during the exposure process and can come out easily.
It is important to not use aggregates that contain substances that can stain the concrete, such as iron oxides and iron pyrites.
Decorative aggregate concrete can add beauty to your driveway, sidewalks, and patios, as well as add an interesting piece to your landscape. When it comes to installing aggregate concrete, it is important to leave it to the professionals. The experts at Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls have had a lot of experience incorporating decorative aggregate to a variety of landscape pieces. If you are thinking about adding decorative aggregate concrete, then call us today at (636) 861-1530 to discuss the different options we have to offer you.