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- Exposed Aggregate Home
- Advantages of Exposed Aggregate Finishes
- How to Expose the Aggregate
- Choosing the Right Decorative Aggregate
- Choosing Decorative Aggregate
- Adding the Aggregate to the Concrete
- Design Ideas for Exposed Aggregate Finishes
- Achieving Special Effects
- Exposed Aggregate Pool Decks
- Combining Decorative Elements with Exposed Aggregate
- Ideas for Enhancing Exposed Aggregate Concrete
- Protecting and Maintaining Exposed Aggregate
- Exposed Aggregate Sealers
Exposed Aggregate Reveals the True Beauty of ConcreteAchieve spectacular effects at a minimal cost with the many types and sizes of decorative aggregate available
Exposed aggregate concrete can almost be compared to a piece of granite or marble transformed by polishing: A plain, unremarkable surface has been stripped away to reveal the exceptional beauty lying beneath. In the case of concrete, that beauty is in the form of decorative aggregate, either natural or manufactured.
The decorative process of exposing aggregate has been around since the early 1900s, well before pattern stamping, stenciling, and decorative overlays became trendy. But this method is far from being ready for retirement. An exposed aggregate finish offers numerous advantages. And many of today's contractors are finding creative ways to take exposed aggregate to a new level.
What Is Exposed Aggregate and Where Is it Used?
An exposed-aggregate surface is obtained by placing concrete and then removing the outer 'skin' of cement paste to uncover decorative coarse aggregate (either batched into the concrete mix or seeded onto the surface). Because of its durability and skid resistance, an exposed aggregate finish is ideal for most flatwork including:
- Pool decks
An exposed-aggregate finish is also possible on concrete walls or tilt-up panels. Vertical applications include:
- Decorative retaining walls
- Architectural building facades
- Sound barrier walls