The Beauty of Exposed Aggregate: Choosing the Right Mix

When choosing a finish for outdoor flooring projects like patios, walkways and driveways, there are many, many options available. One of the more popular options is exposed aggregate. In addition to its unique and natural beauty, exposed aggregate is also slip-resistant, low-maintenance and highly durable, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of applications. 

Read on to learn a little about exposed aggregate and whether it may be right for your outdoor space. 

What is exposed aggregate?

Exposed aggregate is concrete that’s mixed with various sizes and colours of stones. The top layer of concrete is removed so the stones are exposed, creating a unique and attractive surface with a natural texture. The size, shape and colour of the stones used can be customised to complement the surrounding landscape and enhance the overall aesthetic of the space. 

Whether you’re looking to finish a beautiful new patio, walkway or driveway, exposed aggregate is definitely worth considering. Exposed aggregate can be customised to fit the style of any outdoor space. The small stones and pebbles come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes, making it easy to create a design that complements your existing landscaping and architecture. With its customisable mix of stones, slip-resistant surface and long-lasting durability, it can provide a beautiful and functional surface that you’ll enjoy for many years to come.

Choosing the right mix

There are so many options when it comes to exposed aggregate. The stones you select for the mix can create vastly different visual effects. Here are some factors to consider when choosing your mix 

Consider the size of the stones

The size of the stones and pebbles used in the mix can have a big impact on the final look of the surface. Smaller stones will create a smoother finish, while larger stones will create a more textured and natural look. Consider the overall style of your outdoor space and choose the stone size that complements it best. 

Choose the right colour

The colour of the stones and pebbles used in the mix can be customised to fit your style. Neutral colours like beige, grey and brown are popular choices which suit a variety of design styles, but you can also choose more vibrant colours to add a pop of colour to your outdoor space.  

Think about the texture

The texture of the surface is another important factor to consider. A smoother surface will be easier to clean and maintain, while a more textured surface may be slightly more difficult to clean, it will offer better traction to prevent slipping. Think about how you plan to use your outdoor space and choose the texture that works best for your needs. 

Consider the durability

Exposed aggregate is a durable material that can withstand heavy foot traffic and harsh weather conditions. However, some mixes are more durable than others. Consider the climate in your area and the amount of foot traffic your outdoor space will receive when choosing the right mix for your project. 

Benefits of exposed aggregate

In addition to its unique, natural-looking finish, exposed aggregate offers a variety of benefits to outdoor spaces. Here are a few reasons you might want to consider using exposed aggregate for your outdoors: 

Low maintenance

One of the biggest advantages of exposed aggregate is its low maintenance requirements. Unlike other materials like wood, which requires regular staining and sealing, exposed aggregate does not require any special maintenance. 

Regular cleaning with a hose and mild detergent is usually all that’s needed to keep the surface looking its best. This can be done as often as you like, depending on how much foot traffic your surface sees and how dirty it gets. 

Durability

Another significant benefit of exposed aggregate is its durability. Since it’s made of stones tightly bound together with concrete, it’s incredibly strong and resistant to wear and tear. The natural texture of the exposed stones also helps to hide scratches and other small imperfections that can occur over time. 

Exposed aggregate is resistant to many of the factors that can cause other materials to deteriorate over time, such as harsh weather conditions, UV exposure and heavy foot traffic.  

Exposed aggregate is also durable enough for use in areas that bear heavy loads, such as driveways. It can withstand the weight of vehicles without cracking or breaking. When installed correctly, exposed aggregate can last for many years with minimal maintenance. 

Slip-resistant

A significant advantage of exposed aggregate come Winter season is its slip-resistance. The natural texture of the stones creates a non-slip surface that’s safe to walk on, even when wet. It can also be further customised to create a surface that’s even more slip-resistant. For example, smaller stones or a rougher texture can be used to create a surface that provides even more traction. 

This makes exposed aggregate an excellent choice for areas like pool decks or walkways and driveways exposed to rainfall, where slip hazards are a significant concern. The surface helps to prevent water from pooling and creating a slip hazard, and the non-slip texture makes it easier to walk on in wet conditions. The slip-resistant surface can help prevent accidents and provide a safe environment for children, elderly and others who may have an increased risk of slipping. 

Customisable

With a variety of colours, sizes and textures available, exposed aggregate can be customised to fit the design style of any outdoor space. It can also be combined with other materials like stamped concrete to create a more unique and personalised look. 

 

Exposed aggregate is a beautiful and durable material that can add an interesting and natural-looking texture to any outdoor space. By considering factors like stone size and colour, texture and durability, you can choose the right mix for your project and create a stunning outdoor space that will stand the test of time. 

Maintaining exposed aggregate

Although exposed aggregate is quite a low-maintenance surface, there are a few things you can do to keep it looking its best: 

Clean regularly

Regularly cleaning your exposed aggregate surface with a hose and mild detergent will help prevent the build-up of dirt and grime. Avoid using high-pressure washers, as they can damage the surface. 

Reseal as needed (optional)

While exposed aggregate does not need to be sealed, some homeowners choose to do so for added protection. If you choose to seal your surface, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and reseal as needed. 

Avoid harsh chemicals

Harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia can damage the surface of exposed aggregate. If you need to use a cleaner, choose one that is specifically designed for use on concrete surfaces. 

Repair cracks and chips

While exposed aggregate is resistant to cracking and chipping, it can still happen over time. If you notice any cracks or chips in your surface, have them repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. 

Avoid heavy vehicles

While exposed aggregate is a durable and long-lasting surface, it’s best to avoid driving or parking heavy vehicles and machinery. This can potentially cause cracking or chipping, which can lead to costly repairs. 

If you need to park heavy vehicles on your exposed aggregate surface, it’s recommended to use a driveway pad or other type of protection to prevent damage. By taking care to avoid heavy vehicles and machinery, you can help to extend the lifespan of your exposed aggregate surface and prevent the need for costly repairs. 

Exposed aggregate Perth

Exposed aggregate is a beautiful and durable material that offers many benefits. With its natural texture and slip-resistant surface, it can create a unique and attractive finish for your outdoor areas. Plus, it’s perfect for homeowners who want a beautiful surface with minimal upkeep. If you’re considering using exposed aggregate for your next outdoor project, make sure to consider stone size and colour, texture and durability to get the perfect mix for your space. 

At Absolute Scapes, we’re experts in decorative concrete. With over 15 years’ experience, we’re dedicated to exceptional craftsmanship in every project we take on. Transform your outdoor area with a stunning exposed aggregate finish and enhance the beauty and value of your home. 

Contact us today to schedule a free estimate.