A lot of concrete contractors recommend the use of exposed aggregate for it can enhance a property’s overall look. It is almost similar to granite materials but is more embellished with several advantages. Exposed aggregate comes before other overlay concrete patterns, such as stenciling and stamping, hence has gained popularity in today’s market.
Different Uses of Exposed Aggregate
The main purpose of exposed aggregate is to polish concrete. It can be seen on the sidewalks, patios, and even driveways which are the first thing people will notice in a property. Exposed aggregate makes these areas more visible and eye-pleasing to impress visitors a lot quicker.
Other applications for exposed aggregate include decorating sound barrier walls and building facades. Indeed, it is a versatile architectural element with the excellent skills of contractors that could match every client’s demand.
Installation of Exposed Aggregate
First, find a solid surface and expose its coarse texture by eliminating the outer skin of the concrete. The following points are the next steps to successfully settling the exposed aggregate to the selected concrete spot.
- Choose The Right Aggregate
Aggregates are available in different colors, sizes, and shapes, whichever will resemble your property’s style. They also differ in prices which will impact the total cost. Some of the options are best for consumers with a tight budget while more expensive types of aggregates do not guarantee better quality.
Selecting the right aggregate The hardness of the aggregate also matters to construct a highly durable concrete surface or wall. Another factor to consider is the availability of the material which changes over time. For instance, local aggregates are more accessible than the other types.
There are so-called decorative aggregates to choose from and are made of natural stones. If you wish to be eco-friendly, the market also offers aggregate out of recycled glasses that promise the same robustness. Seashells are likewise a good choice to enhance aggregate concrete walls which are so unique compared to others.
Be careful in picking aggregate colors because some options may leave a stain on the concrete, like iron oxides and pyrites. You can instead opt for pastels to produce a modern and more vibrant aggregate surface.
Moreover, finding the best shape and size of aggregate will have an impact on its visibility. Contractors use angular aggregates to build more textured surfaces while rounded options guarantee the best coverage. Flat aggregates are the least among the possible choices because they are not that stable. While the size of the aggregate may range more than 2-inches, depending on the exposure level that you want.
2. Add Aggregate
Contractors follow either of the three methods in adding aggregate to the concrete surface. Each procedure will demand a lot of effort and also skills to deliver quality results.
The most common way is to seed the aggregate into the surface. First, position the concrete and make sure it is stable without any defects to avoid further damage when all things are set. Get a shovel and then sprinkle and embed the aggregate on its surface. Prepare a cement paste and cover up the area with a thin layer to expose the aggregate.
Mixing the aggregate and concrete is another technique that you can employ in your next project. This method is faster than the previous technique that you can even use a ready-mix producer. However, it can be costlier as the method requires more quantities of aggregate to be mixed on the concrete by batch. The entire procedure would also demand better skills to formulate the right mixture of materials.
Last but not least, is the thin topping method. This works with a smaller quantity of aggregate needed to polish a block of concrete. The thickness of the topping will depend on the size of the aggregate. It will range from up to two inches and not less than an inch. This one is the simplest method that even beginning contractors can follow.
Try to be more creative for the final look of the concrete by adding special effects. Contractors know some techniques for choosing the right colors and textures of aggregate best for your property. They make sure to complement and heighten your facade making it more welcoming to the guests.
The following tips will deliver the best outcome within your means:
- Opt to combine smooth and exposed aggregate to achieve a contrasting final look.
- Choose a color that will complement the overall concrete design.
- Make the pattern of the aggregate more visible by applying chemical stains. This will also improve the effect of exposed aggregate on the concrete elements.
- Put a higher concentration of aggregate on the pathways for better exposure.
Ask experts for more exposed aggregate design ideas to get started. They can recommend which best suits your budget and needs.
Benefits of Exposed Aggregate
The procedure to decorate concrete with an exposed aggregate is so simple to master. This element benefits homeowners with a safer pathway during harsh weather. It makes the floor non-slipping because of the added texture of the aggregate component. It offers versatile patterns, colors, and textures to make concrete surfaces more attractive.
Aggregate concrete demands just a little maintenance, such as sealing and cleaning the surface regularly.
Investing in the exposed aggregate to improve a concrete surface is a wise decision. It comes with a lot of benefits as mentioned earlier, including safety and low-cost maintenance. Contact a Fluid Concrete contractor to get started with your project.