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Exposed Aggregate: Exploring the Pros and Cons of Decorative Concrete


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While deciding on flooring options, aesthetic appeal and durability are the two most important factors that should be considered. It is a common belief that a surface which endures for a longer period isn’t likely to have a great visual appeal. However, with exposed aggregate, both the qualities can be achieved.

This type of concrete flooring is characterized by a rough finish where the top layer is etched off to expose the aggregates that are typically small bits of stones and sand mixed with the concrete.

Since this flooring option is still not very widely used by many homeowners, the many advantages related to its use can be discussed.

#1. Stylish Design:

Given the wide array of color and pattern choices aggregate floorings offer, concrete pavements are not any longer dull and plain in terms of appearance as it was commonly perceived to be.

With unlimited options in textures, color and design, the shape of the flooring can also be altered as per user specifications. The most striking feature of exposed aggregate is that they offer different finishes, ranging from polished slippery finish to a rough non-skid finish transition can be achieved using the same mixture. Such a feature ensures uniformity of flooring appearance throughout the property.

#2. Durable Choice:

Cost effectiveness is directly proportional to durability. The long-lasting nature of this concrete flooring is unmatched if compared to other flooring options and that too with very little to no maintenance. As compared to other counterparts like stone pavers, these concrete floors do not require frequent resealing which is a huge cost saving. The structural binding of the insert materials is the reason behind the high compressive strength which is further reinforced by abrasion.

exposed aggregate rosebud
exposed aggregate rosebud

#3. Ease of Maintenance:

As already mentioned, exposed aggregate is very low on maintenance and can be left alone for years without compromising on the quality, even with constant usage. Some issues cropping up can easily be resolved by contacting the installation contractors if it is still covered under warranty.

Cracks in the driveways are often a cause of concern for many homeowners. With regular cleaning, these decorative concrete pavements should last for many years without servicing or repair.

#5. Cost Savings:

With the elimination of regular maintenance and repair by professionals, a lot of money can be saved. Issues like color change of the surface, development of gaps and eventually weeds as well as erosion of the surface do not occur with exposed aggregate pavers. Installation process also saves cost as there is no need to cut the tiles to ensure thy fit an area, thereby reducing wastage.

Along with the many advantages, there are some downsides of installing decorative concrete, such as:

  • DIY projects of exposed aggregate are not recommended.
  • Very high-quality materials should be ensured for areas with heavy traffic, especially vehicles.
  • Specialized job hence requires professional and experienced installers for ensuring installation with proper thickness, finishes, and levels.
  • State ethical rules and regulations should be followed for flooring procedures.

Exposed aggregate has gained popularity among homeowners and professional pavers in recent years because of its share of advantages over disadvantages. This decorative form of concrete is unique in looks and design and can be used in driveways, sidewalks, and patios. The extraordinary look is due to the combination of small pieces of stone and pebbles in a concrete mix. The varieties of designs are possible due to the etching or stripping the surface. With this flooring choice, not only the overall look of the property is enhanced but it is also a surface that can tolerate harsh climatic conditions and sustain for long years.


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