Flooring professionals set concrete and afterwards lift the outer skin of cementitious material to reveal ornamental grained aggregate, resulting in an external surface. As such, the exposed aggregate texture is appropriate for most low-cost structures because of its longevity and friction coefficient. Meanwhile, it is used in:
- Decks for swimming pools
And, for concrete walls and tilt-up panels, the exposed-aggregate finishing is also feasible. For example:
- Retaining decorative walls
- Facades of architectural structures
- Walls that act as sound barriers
Benefits of Aggregate Concrete
Aggregate concrete is an excellent aesthetic treatment for concrete driveways since it is easy to maintain and inherently skid-resistant. And, since extra trim materials (apart from ornamental aggregate) or equipment (past essential refining tools) are the only necessity with an uncovered aggregate finish, you may produce excellent results at an affordable price. Other significant benefits of bare aggregate surfaces include:
- The fundamental methods are easy enough for even the most inexperienced finishers to learn. The ground is tough, non-skid, and can withstand high traffic and inclement weather.
- There are many multiple kinds and quantities of ornamental aggregate to choose from, allowing for endless colour-texture combinations.
- Exposed aggregate blends wonderfully with regular concrete and other ornamental treatments like embossing, stencilling, staining, and integrated colouring.
- Besides sealing and wiping regularly, little care is necessary.
Decorative Aggregate Selection
The style of ornamental stone selected heavily influences the colour pallet of an exposed surface of the aggregate. Gravel choosing could also have a significant influence on the program’s expenses. As such, it is not always necessary to use pricey aggregates to obtain remarkable effects.
The following are the most important factors to take into account while choosing aggregate:
- Dimensions and gradient
- Exposure technique
- The price and the availability (In general, aggregate generated locally is less high.)
Natural stones with vibrant colours, like basalts, quartz, marble, or limestone, are the most liked ornamental aggregates. Fabricated materials, including such repurposed glass blocks, can also be used. Mussel shells and other intriguing things can also be embedded in the cement.
Aggregates come in a variety of colours, based on their mineral formations. There are a variety of colours to choose from, including exquisite pastels like pink or violet quartz, rich colours like royal blue or scarlet granite, and neutral colours like mousey brown river pebbles, charcoal basalt, and grey dolomite.
The thickness and form of the aggregates vary as well. The degree of exposition is mainly controlled by the volume. The aggregate form influences the ground design and structure. And rounded aggregates offer excellent protection and a neater finish, whilst angular particles give character and detail. Hollow or sliver-shaped particles don’t withstand well throughout the exposure process and are readily dislodged.
Composition of the Aggregate in the Concrete
The ornamental aggregate can be included in concrete blocks in several distinct ways for subsequent exposure, like:
Spread the Aggregate on the Ground
Seeding decorative aggregate over onto concrete surface right after it has been poured, knocked off, and bull tossed is the most popular approach.
Incorporate the Aggregate Into the Concrete Mix
You may also have the decorative aggregate mixed immediately into the conventional concrete while batching, obviating the need to scatter it onto the ground once the concrete has been placed.
Make a Thin Topping Out of the Aggregate
Another option is to lay a decorative aggregate-filled narrow topping layer of cement over a typical concrete pile foundation. The finishing might be 1-2 inches broad, considering the aggregate size. And when finer ornamental aggregates are provided, this strategy works well.