Exposed aggregate concrete is a form of decorative concrete achieved by removing the top layer of cement paste and revealing the underlying aggregate.
The decorative aggregate now becomes a very durable, skid-resistant surface that is great for sidewalks, driveways, pooldecks, and patios.
MONOLITHIC - The aggregates are batched right into the concrete truck at the concrete plant. This is the easiest and most common method. Usually a smaller aggregate is used called Pea stone.
SEEDED - Immediately after the concrete is placed the decorative aggregates are broadcast, or hand placed, onto the surface of the concrete and floated in by hand.
OVERLAY - This method is used on existing concrete that is in good shape. Aggregates are mixed into the overlay topping material and applied to the old concrete to give it a new look.
The "secret" to exposing the aggregates is keeping the top layer of cement paste soft while the underlying concrete hardens. This is done by spraying on a surface retardant immediately after installing the concrete and aggregates.
A few to several hours later the cement paste can be rinsed away with a garden hose or pressure washer and the aggregate is exposed on the surface.
When compared to other decorative concrete styles, exposed aggregate cement is a lower cost method to having a terrific looking decorative concrete look.
For information on other great concrete design ideas click on the links below.