What is Exposed Aggregate?

Exposed aggregate is a popular decorative concrete finish that is achieved by removing the top layer of concrete to reveal the underlying aggregate materials. This technique creates a visually appealing and textured surface that is often used in driveways, patios, and walkways. Exposed aggregate offers a unique and natural look, making it a popular choice for both residential and commercial applications.

The Process of Creating Exposed Aggregate

To create an exposed aggregate finish, the concrete is poured and allowed to partially set. Once the concrete has reached the right consistency, the top layer is removed using various methods such as pressure washing, sandblasting, or chemical retardants. This exposes the aggregate materials, which can include stones, pebbles, shells, or glass, depending on the desired aesthetic. The surface is then sealed to protect it from stains and enhance its durability.

Benefits of Exposed Aggregate

There are several benefits to choosing exposed aggregate for your concrete surfaces:

1. Aesthetic Appeal: Exposed aggregate offers a natural and visually interesting finish that can enhance the overall appearance of your property. The exposed stones or pebbles create a unique texture and color variation that adds depth and character to the surface.

2. Slip Resistance: The exposed aggregate surface provides excellent slip resistance, making it a safe option for areas such as pool decks or walkways. The texture of the aggregate materials creates traction, reducing the risk of accidents caused by slippery surfaces.

3. Durability: Exposed aggregate is a highly durable finish that can withstand heavy foot traffic, harsh weather conditions, and regular use. The sealed surface helps protect the underlying concrete and aggregate materials from damage, ensuring a long-lasting and low-maintenance solution.

4. Versatility: Exposed aggregate can be customized to suit various design preferences and styles. The choice of aggregate materials, such as stones or shells, allows for a wide range of color options and patterns. This versatility makes exposed aggregate suitable for both traditional and contemporary designs.

Applications of Exposed Aggregate

Exposed aggregate can be used in a variety of applications, including:

1. Driveways: Exposed aggregate driveways offer a visually appealing entrance to your property. The textured surface adds interest and can complement the overall design of your home.

2. Patios: Exposed aggregate patios create a unique outdoor living space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The textured surface provides a slip-resistant area for entertaining or relaxing.

3. Walkways: Exposed aggregate walkways are a popular choice for both residential and commercial properties. The textured surface enhances safety and adds visual interest to the landscape.

4. Pool Decks: Exposed aggregate pool decks offer a slip-resistant and durable surface that can withstand exposure to water and chemicals. The natural texture of the aggregate materials creates a visually appealing and comfortable area around the pool.

Maintenance of Exposed Aggregate

To maintain the beauty and durability of exposed aggregate, regular maintenance is required:

1. Cleaning: Regularly clean the surface using a mild detergent and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the sealed surface.

2. Sealing: Periodically reseal the exposed aggregate surface to protect it from stains and enhance its longevity. Consult with a professional to determine the appropriate sealing schedule for your specific application.

3. Avoid Heavy Impact: Avoid dropping heavy objects or dragging sharp items across the surface, as this can cause damage to the exposed aggregate finish.

4. Repair Cracks: Promptly repair any cracks or damage to the surface to prevent further deterioration. Consult with a professional for proper repair techniques.


In conclusion, exposed aggregate is a popular decorative concrete finish that offers aesthetic appeal, slip resistance, durability, and versatility. It can be used in various applications such as driveways, patios, walkways, and pool decks. To maintain the beauty and longevity of exposed aggregate, regular cleaning, sealing, and avoiding heavy impact are necessary. Consider incorporating exposed aggregate into your next concrete project to create a visually interesting and durable surface.