What is Exposed Concrete Aggregate and When Do We Need it

Exposed Washed Aggregate

Exposed aggregate concrete is a popular, durable form of concrete that is commonly used to create interesting driveways, paths, patios, pool decking and alfresco areas, vertical and retaining walls.

For those who are looking to enhance the appeal and value of their home, there are numerous design options to choose from. Read on to learn more about exposed concrete aggregate:

What is Exposed Aggregate Concrete?

An exposed aggregate surface is a decorative finish achieved by creating a ready mix of pebbles, quartz, sand, granite or natural stones. These are added to the concrete mix either during the mixing process, or after it is laid. 

The stones are left exposed by either removing the outer skin or adding them to the top layer of concrete. As there are many stones of different colours and sizes to choose from, you can have fun creating your own unique concrete design.

The 4 Types of Exposed Aggregate

Standard aggregate is the most commonly used due to its affordability and natural appearance. The stones are mixed into the concrete before pouring. When the top layer is removed, it has a mixed effect.

Hand seeded application of stones allows for a more controlled finish. Stones are carefully placed into the wet concrete in the design of your choice. Some people choose glowing stones which have a visually appealing result.

Honed aggregate gives you a sophisticated look. After laying the concrete, the stones on top are ground down for a smoother appearance. To provide some traction and prevent falls a sealing additive is applied.

The Benefits of Using Exposed Concrete Aggregate


Exposed aggregate concrete is very sturdy and hard wearing, and can last for the life of your home. It is weather resistant and can withstand heavy driveway traffic, bikes, scooters and skateboards. It is an excellent surface for patio areas.


If you want your driveway, patio or outdoor area to have a modern, natural finish, exposed concrete aggregate is more affordable than marble or slate. There are cheaper options like plain concrete or asphalt, but the final appearance of the exposed aggregate may turn out to be worth the extra cost.

Slip Resistant

By leaving stones exposed in, or on the concrete it provides a slip resistant coating and allows for traction. This can minimise falls and is a safe option for pools or outdoor areas. Driveways and commercial spaces such as shopping malls and car parks are suited to exposed aggregate due to its slip resistance and durability.

Low Maintenance

Apart from cleaning occasionally with water and a cleaning solution, exposed concrete aggregate requires minimal maintenance. If you want to rejuvenate the area, you can re-seal the exposed aggregate every 5 years.

Increased Property Value

Not only does a beautifully crafted, decorative, exposed aggregate area enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home but it will add value too. Your family and guests will appreciate the design and non-slip finish. Potential buyers will be impressed by the exterior and outdoor living areas when you use exposed concrete aggregate.

At Capital Concrete we can assist you with all your concrete needs. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions!