Pebbled Concrete Walkway

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Old 09-25-08, 10:38 AM
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Pebbled Concrete Walkway

Hi everybody!
This is my first post, this site looks like a great place to learn how to do just about anything you'd want to do!



I want to construct a pebbled concrete walkway to my house. I've seen them and it looks like they have just poured pebbles right on top of the concrete and mashed them down a little. Has anyone had experience doing one of these?
I don't want to spend the money on the concrete if it is just going to crumble loose after it dries.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 02:48 PM
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It's called exposed aggregate and it's pretty easy to do. When you order the concrete, make sure to order a gravel mix (as opposed to stone). Tell them it's for exposed aggregate.
Form, prep and pour the concrete as normal, and when it is flat and fairly smooth, spray a mixture of molasses and water (pint of molasses to gallon of water) evenly over the surface. The sugar in the molasses will retard the set of the paste on the surface, but won't affect the concrete underneath. After a couple of hours, or when it is set up enough that walking on it won't leave footprints, use a garden hose and a push broom to gently remove the paste from the surface, exposing the gravel in the slab. It will take some experimenting to see how much you want to expose. You don't want to take too much paste out or the rocks will pop out.
The next day, mix up a 10:1 water to muriatic acid solution and using a cheap all-plastic sprayer from Home Depot, etc. and a garden hose, clean the surface more thoroughly. The acid will fizz a bit when you spray it on to the water-dampened slab. Scrub it around with the push broom to remove the gray haze that the cement has left on the surface. Rinse thoroughly.
The next day, seal it with a 30% solvent-based clear acrylic sealer and it's done! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Good luck.

Pecos
 
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Old 09-25-08, 03:53 PM
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Pebbled Concrete Walkway

As usual, Pecos has it right.

Around here contractors just order a McDonalds mix (as in Mac & Donalds gourmet restaurant). Anyone can buy the same mix from a leading concrete supplier - if the order taker isn't into exposed concrete, find a better supplier.

If you are in a major market it is pretty standard stuff and will have the strength and air entrainment for your local area. - Around here it is 4000+ psi with 5% air entrainment. Contractors here use a purchased surface retarder, but molasses and water will work.

In the end, it is much better and more economical than trying to haul and cast in a surface aggregate. This applies even if you have to pay a minimum for a short load, because any exposed concrete usually takes too much learning if you are mixing, pouring, casting and finishing to do a decent job. - Tearing out and getting rid of a mistake is costly.

Dick
 
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