A Few Quick Tips for Choosing Exposed Aggregate for a Home's Concrete Surfaces

Posted on: 30 June 2016


Concrete isn't always the most attractive material for an outdoor surface, but it can be made to look much more attractive with an exposed aggregate. This refers to pebbles, soft glass, and other items that are poured over the top of concrete before it dries. This gives the surface a bumpier texture and some added visual appeal. There is a wide range of choices when it comes to an aggregate you might add, so you need to consider those choices carefully to ensure you get something you love and that will last. Note a few quick tips to keep in mind. 

Aggregate size

Larger aggregates will mean more traction and a bumpier texture; you might prefer this around the edge of your pool, where wet concrete can be very slippery. This can also be good for cement steps you build into your walkways, so that persons can more readily keep their balance as they walk up and down those steps. However, note that a larger aggregate can also be uncomfortable under the feet. While you may want this size of aggregate close to the pool where people step onto it with wet feet, you might choose a smaller and more comfortable aggregate for the rest of your patio or outdoor walkways.


Don't underestimate the importance of choosing the right color of aggregate. Like a paint color, you may not realize how overwhelming certain shades may look once they're applied in a large area such as a driveway or the area surrounding your home's pool. Note your home's exterior color, colors in your landscaping features, and the color of outdoor furniture or anything else that will be on or near the aggregate. Choose something lighter than you think you'll need to coordinate with all those shades, so the aggregate itself doesn't seem muddy or overwhelming to the space.


Glass aggregate is very durable, but it might not hold up as well as stone when it comes to heavy vehicles running over it. While larger stones might provide more traction, they may also not sit all the way in the concrete and may be more prone to being pulled out of place, especially when exposed to heavy traffic that pushes and pulls the aggregate. Be sure you note the durability of an aggregate choice especially for a home's driveway, where vehicles put tremendous stress and strain on the material and may cause excess damage.

To learn more about your options for exposed aggregate, contact local specialised contractors.