When concrete companies mix pebbles, stones, and other materials in with their concrete, they are creating what’s called an “exposed aggregate.” Other times, they will simply remove the surface layer of the concrete to expose the aggregate, but either way, you’re left with something that’s less uniform, more complex, and more decorative. The popularity of exposed aggregate driveways and surfaces has soared in recent years and for good reason, as there isn’t really anything out there that can recreate this look.
When you are in the process of a major renovation or new building project, you have the opportunity to create something truly unique and visually impressive, and exposed aggregates can be the solution. They are more attractive than plain concrete, more durable than brick, and more affordable than stone, and apart from that, they have all of the following benefits.
- Decorative and Highly Customisable
“Exposed aggregate” is somewhat of a loose term that simply means the materials in the concrete are visible from the surface, so this leaves a lot of room for customisation. The aggregates used for this type of surface also vary and may include any of the following:
- Crushed rocks
- Porcelain chips
- Sea shells
- Polished rocks
Exposed aggregate surfaces can either be raised, giving your driveway an interesting texture, or smoothed off and polished. Depending on your taste and preference, exposed aggregates can be colorful, glossy, or designed with interesting textures and patterns, so if you are building or renovating your home, you will have a lot to choose from.
- Durable as Any Other Material
Exposed aggregates are just as durable as any plain concrete surface, and they certainly handle heavy traffic better than natural stone.
Most importantly, exposed aggregate surfaces can survive bouts of heavy traffic and harsh weather for many years, and they require little to no maintenance to do so. Wherever you put your aggregate surface, you can be confident that it will retain its quality for years, and if you take the time to do some minimal cleaning and sealing, it will likely last even longer.
- Sturdy and Strong with Great Traction
In addition to being durable, it’s sturdy, and since most exposed aggregate surfaces are raised, they also provide excellent traction. This can be quite helpful during the colder months of winter. With the raised texture, your vehicle has more to grab, and if you were to install an effective draining system, you could reduce the issues you have in the future.
Other materials, while rough, don’t have that raised texture, and a gravel driveway would flatten and become slick over time. The aggregate surfaces are more reliable in this way, and they are strong enough to support heavy traffic, whether it comes from people or vehicles.
- It’s a Practical Solution
Exposed aggregate concrete can give your home a more attractive look, that is sure to grab people’s attention, and due to the inner materials being exposed, these aggregate surfaces have a more “natural” look than plain concrete or brick.
As long as you are working with professionals, the installation should be smooth and specific to your needs, so you can easily get a large driveway, a long walk path, or a small slab wherever you need it. Exposed aggregates are also extremely practical for homeowners in that they prevent weed growth and moss formation, so in addition to the low-maintenance qualities, you can effortlessly keep your surface clear of annoying weeds.
- Easily Blends with All Sorts of Designs
Aggregate surfaces are often neutral, but they can also be full of colour or made to specifically match a certain home style. If you are in the process of building your home, you are likely planning out all of the different designs, colours, and styles, and while some aggregate types may complement your home more than others, they generally blend easily with all sorts of different styles.
Aggregate colours can be as subtle or as bold as you want them to be, and with the ability to add different materials, you can get something that perfectly matches your home.