Features & Benefits
Exposed aggregate is probably one of the most popular finishes for outdoor concrete here in Victoria, BC. The concept is simple: we place the concrete, and before it is finished setting we remove a top layer to "expose" the gravel or pebbles just below the surface. The aggregate we wish to expose can either be mixed right into the concrete itself, or "seeded" onto the top of the concrete while setting.
This finish provides a surface that has good grip when it is wet, and has the best "wearability" without sealing. It can be applied to horizontal or vertical surfaces, and the final product requires very little maintenance.
Exposed aggregate also has many different decorative options, thanks to the varying size, colours, and textures of aggregate we can expose.
Complexity 12345 SimpleComplex
Install Time 12345 ShortLong
Design Options 12345 FewMany
Things to Consider
Exposed aggregate finishes are somewhat limited on color choice. We are also at the mercy of what is available from the various concrete ready-mix suppliers, making it difficult to match existing exposed concrete (especially if the concrete is from varying suppliers).
When combined with borders, exposed aggregate can provide a grippy surface and maintain its look for many years without being sealed.
With that said, we don't recommend leaving your concrete unsealed. However, if you are someone who doesn't want to spend time maintaining your concrete, exposed aggregate wears very well.
Timing is crucial with an exposed aggregate finish. We start by making the surfaces flat while the concrete is soft, then when the timing is just right we "expose" the aggregate before the concrete sets.
Ensuring a perfect result also depends on the type of exposed look you are trying to achieve (for example, deep or surface exposed), with each look offering unique challenges.
For best results, we recommend using a transparent sealer to lock in your exposed aggregate concrete. In addition to protecting the finish, sealers tend to enhance the colours and textures of exposed aggregate.
Where To Use Exposed Aggregate
This method/technique of finishing concrete works great with the following applications: