Exposed aggregate can give your home or office a modern and natural look. There are a large range of exposed aggregate mixes to choose from – with a variety of different colours and textured stones available. You can also mix a colour oxide (coloured concrete) into your exposed aggregate mix, so rather than having just a plain grey concrete behind your exposed aggregate stone, you may mix full colour oxide to your mix to enhance the look (see coloured concrete).
Exposed aggregate has the same properties as plain concrete, with the difference being the different coloured and textured stones in the mix, where plain concrete generally has just standard black gravels. Exposed aggregate is placed and finished the same way as plain concrete until the final finishing stage, at which point the top of the exposed aggregate concrete is sprayed with a retarding agent that slows the layer of slurry at the top from setting. The top layer is later hosed off, which then exposes the top layer of aggregate, giving you exposed aggregate. 48 hours after exposed aggregate has been completed it needs to be acid etched, which removes the dusty film that settles back over the slab after being hosed off.
Exposed aggregate can look great and add value to your property. With so many colours and textures to choose from, be sure to take your time and select something that matches with the surrounds.
When deciding on exposed aggregate, things to watch out for is that it can be very slippery on a slope in the wet. So if you have a steep driveway it might pay to explore other options such as coloured concrete or you may want to park on the street on rainy days. Poor surrounds can look great in exposed aggregate, just watch out for texture as it can be harsh on small feet.
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