All You Need to Know About Exposed Aggregate Concrete


A number of you out there may have heard about it, but for those who haven’t, let’s check it out and see what it’s all about.

Exposed aggregate concrete is developed when the top layer of wet concrete is removed which then results in what looks like the underlying aggregate. So, exposed aggregate concrete really is nothing but concrete lacking the topmost layer.

  • This type of concrete has various benefits over standard concrete and with many applications.

How is it formed?

The exposed aggregate concrete is created by pouring fresh concrete down upon a surface followed by the treatment of a chemical on the top. This chemical stops the cement from hardening and keeps it soft, even while the underlying concrete hardens and sets. This is vitally important when making top quality exposed aggregate concrete in Melbourne.

After the underlying concrete has indeed set, the surface paste is then taken away with the assistance of a brush or pressure washer to expose the gravel in the underlying concrete. Then the surface is treated with a special mild acid solution.

  • Aggregates which are used in the concrete can be bean-sized or larger and are placed into the surface before the concrete completely hardens.

How are Aggregates Combined into The Concrete?

One technique is by seeding the decorative aggregates over the concrete’s surface by using either Darby or bull floats. This is carried out until all of the aggregates are covered by a thin layer of cement.

  • Another way involves mixing the aggregates into the concrete mix during the batching process.
  • And yet one more method is the placing of a thin topping of concrete onto the concrete. This topping contains the decorative aggregates and lays a thickness which can range between 1 and 2 inches.


The most important beneficial aspect of exposed aggregate concrete is its decorative appearance. (It is actually quite often known as “decorative concrete”)

  • Exposed aggregate concrete comes in different colours and textures in various sizes.
  • The rough surface of exposed aggregate concrete prohibits any slipping or sliding during wet weather and any other wet conditions. (Skids are also a thing of the past)
  • Exposed aggregate concrete will remain highly durable for many years (even decades). It can withstand harsh weather conditions a lot more than most other surfaces.
  • It also needs very little maintenance and requires being cleaned every now and again with water from a hose pipe and simply resealed every few years.

Various Uses

Exposed aggregate concrete of different varieties is seen in many patios to give a nice decorative look and feel to them. (Marble chips and coloured stones being the most popular)

  • Exposed aggregate concrete is commonly used for the building of top quality driveways.
  • This is due to the fact mentioned above that it is skid proof and renowned for its high resilience and resistance to wear and tear.

You will also see it being put to good use on walkways.

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