Transforming your outdoor areas like patios and pool surrounds from drab to fab can be as simple as changing your flooring. One compelling option is the use of exposed aggregate concrete. This distinctive, textured material blends functionality and aesthetics, offering a unique visual appeal and high durability.
What is Exposed Aggregate Concrete?
Exposed aggregate concrete, sometimes referred to as washed aggregate, is a type of decorative concrete that reveals stones and pebbles embedded in the concrete matrix. This effect is achieved by pouring a concrete and aggregate mixture and then removing the top layer of concrete to expose the chosen aggregate. The result is a rugged, yet visually striking, surface that adds a distinct charm to any outdoor space.
The Benefits of Exposed Aggregate Concrete
This flooring style is more than just eye-catching; it’s also extremely practical. Here are some notable benefits of opting for exposed aggregate concrete:
- Versatility: Exposed aggregate concrete comes in a variety of styles, textures, and shades, making it easy to match with the existing architecture or landscaping design.
- Durability: It’s not only attractive but also robust, slip-resistant, and easy to clean.
- Low maintenance: It’s resistant to elements, requiring minimal upkeep over the years.
- Value for money: Given its long-lasting nature and aesthetic appeal, it provides great return on investment by boosting your home’s curb appeal and overall value.
Steps to Install Exposed Aggregate Concrete
- Get a Quote: First, research to find a service that suits your requirements and budget. Get a quote online or call their team to discuss your project.
- Prepare the Site: This step involves clearing the site and preparing the ground. Professional teams level the sand, wet, and compact the area, which is critical for long-term durability.
- Pour Concrete: Next, the formwork is installed where the concrete will be poured. To ensure the stability of the structure, a mesh is usually installed. The concrete is then delivered and poured onto the prepared area.
- Clean and Seal: Once the concrete has cured, the top layer is washed off to expose the aggregate. Then the entire site is cleaned and sealed. The sealer provides a protective layer, safeguarding the surface from sun, dirt, rain, and chemicals.
Choosing the Right Aggregate
Selecting the right aggregate involves considering your taste and matching it with the colours of your house, garden, and other surroundings. It’s recommended to inspect actual flooring samples to confirm texture and exposed aggregate colour before finalizing your choice.
Maintaining Exposed Aggregate
Keeping your exposed aggregate concrete looking pristine involves two simple steps: washing and sealing. Regular high-pressure washing removes mould, moss, and loose dirt, and regular sealing ensures a long-lasting, polished finish.
Honed Aggregate Vs Exposed Aggregate
While both exposed and honed aggregates consist of the same materials, their surface finishes differ. Exposed aggregate has a coarse texture with visible stones and materials, whereas honed aggregate is ground down to feel smooth, making it more comfortable for barefoot walking.
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Cost
The cost of installing exposed aggregate concrete can vary depending on several factors, including the required site preparation, levelling, and sealing. However, considering its long-lasting nature and aesthetic appeal, it can be a worthwhile investment for those looking to revamp their outdoor spaces.