What is Exposed Aggregate Concrete?July 3, 2023
If you are building a new driveway, concrete pool or any other concrete area on your property and want to add both practicality and style to the space, then exposed aggregate is an excellent choice. It’s a decorative concreting technique that involves leaving the stones and pebbles used in the concrete mix exposed, rather than concealing them beneath a smooth finish like standard or coloured concrete. This creates a distinctive textured surface that offers a wealth of additional benefits over traditional concrete finishes.
Aggregate concrete is incredibly popular in both residential and commercial outdoor spaces, particularly for paving driveways, patios and pool areas. This is because it is an aesthetically pleasing and durable option that is both hardwearing and cost-effective. Additionally, it is easy to maintain and provides a non-slip surface that is ideal for busy areas where people walk, work and play.
As the name suggests, aggregate concrete is made from a combination of small stones, pebbles and other types of rock, sand and minerals, which are mixed with cement to form a concrete mix. These materials are then placed in a mould and poured to form the desired shape. After the concrete has set, a chemical or mechanical process is then used to remove the top layer of cement paste to reveal the aggregate.
Once the aggregate has been exposed, the concrete is washed using a mixture of hydrochloric acid and water to clean the surface. This helps to ensure that any excess slurry and dirt is cleaned away, and it also helps to even out any inconsistencies. Following this, a sealant is applied to help protect the surface and increase its lifespan.
Typically, exposed aggregate concrete is more expensive than standard concrete. This is because it takes longer to lay, and the preparation stage can take longer as well if the existing base needs to be removed and compacted. Additionally, if you opt for a honed finish, this will also cost more than simply exposing the concrete aggregate as it involves grinding the dimpled surface of the exposed stones to a smooth finish.
A good Melbourne concrete contractor should be able to explain the exposed aggregate process clearly and answer any questions you might have. They should also be able to provide examples of their previous exposed aggregate projects. If they are unable to do this, it might be best to look elsewhere for a concreter.
Exposed aggregate concrete in Melbourne has gained in popularity over the years because it can be laid on both flat and sloped surfaces and is a great choice for outdoor spaces. In addition to this, it is highly durable and resistant to weather damage such as chilly winters, rainy monsoons and hot summers. In addition, it can withstand the weight of heavy vehicles and does not require much maintenance.