Exposed aggregate concrete is an excellent way to get a spectacular look at a reasonable cost. The finish is achieved by either seeding (adding an aggregate such as decorative rocks, quartzite or crushed glass to fresh concrete) or stripping away the surface of fresh concrete to expose an interesting aggregate already mixed into the concrete. The finish is ideal for a concrete patio, a concrete pool deck, a driveway or a sidewalk.
Advantages of Exposed Aggregate Concrete:
- More slip resistant than brushed concrete
- Almost unlimited color and texture options allow customizing your look
- Low maintenance, other than sealing and occasional cleaning
- Easier to master than other decorative techniques
- Requires fewer additional materials or tools than other decorative techniques
- Often less expensive than other decorative techniques
- Resistant to heavy traffic and extreme weather
Advanced techniques can be used to achieve even more dramatic effects. You can use contrasting aggregates, alternate areas of smooth and exposed-aggregate finishes, use wood divider strips for contrast or color the concrete in a complementary shade. Whatever effect you use, exposed aggregate concrete will get you the most bang for your buck.