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Exposed Aggregate Concrete: Cost, Pros, and Cons

Exposed aggregate concrete offers a stylish and durable solution for outdoor surfaces. It’s a popular choice for driveways, patios, and walkways, providing a unique and textured finish. This blog explores its cost, pros, and cons, offering a comprehensive guide for homeowners and contractors alike.


What is Exposed Aggregate Concrete?


Exposed aggregate concrete is a decorative finish that you achieve by removing the top layer of cement paste to reveal the underlying aggregate. This process highlights the natural textures and colors of stones like granite, quartz, or limestone, creating a visually appealing surface.


Cost of Exposed Aggregate Concrete


Understanding the cost is crucial for any home improvement project. The price varies depending on several factors, including materials, labor, and location.


Material Costs


The cost of materials includes cement, aggregate, and any additives used to enhance the mix. On average, the material costs range from $100 to $150 per cubic yard.


Labor Costs


Labor costs vary widely based on the complexity of the project and the expertise of the contractors. Generally, labor costs range from $8 to $12 per square foot.


Total Installation Cost


Considering both materials and labor, the total installation cost typically ranges from $80 to $100 per square meter. Moreover, this price can increase for more complex designs or if additional treatments are required.


Pros of Exposed Aggregate Concrete


It offers several benefits that make it a popular choice for various applications.




Firstly, it is highly durable. It withstands heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions, making it suitable for driveways and walkways.


Aesthetic Appeal


Moreover, its aesthetic appeal is unmatched. The exposed stones create a textured and visually interesting surface that can enhance the overall look of your property.


Slip Resistance


Additionally, it provides excellent slip resistance. The rough texture of the aggregate makes it a safer option for outdoor surfaces, especially in wet conditions.


Low Maintenance


Furthermore, it requires minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning and occasional resealing usually suffice to keep the surface in good condition.


Cons of Exposed Aggregate Concrete


It has many advantages. However, there are also some drawbacks to consider.


Initial Cost


Firstly, the initial cost can be higher than other types of concrete finishes. The need for specialized materials and skilled labor increases the overall expense.


Installation Complexity


Secondly, the installation process can be more complex. Achieving the desired finish requires precision and expertise, which might limit the number of available contractors.


Potential for Damage


Additionally, it can be susceptible to damage. Heavy traffic or freeze-thaw cycles can dislodge the exposed stones over time.


Maintenance Requirements


Moreover, maintenance is generally low, but it is still necessary. Resealing the surface every few years protects against stains and weathering.

Exposed aggregate concrete patio

Comparison with Other Concrete Finishes


To provide a better perspective, compare exposed aggregate concrete with other popular concrete finishes.


Stamped Concrete


Stamped concrete is another decorative option that involves pressing patterns into the surface. On the other hand, it offers a variety of designs, but it lacks the natural texture and slip resistance of exposed aggregate concrete.


Polished Concrete


Polished concrete provides a sleek and smooth finish, ideal for indoor surfaces. Nevertheless, it doesn’t offer the same durability and slip resistance as exposed aggregate concrete for outdoor applications.


Broom Finish Concrete


Broom finish concrete is a simple and cost-effective option, achieved by dragging a broom across the surface. In contrast, it’s slip-resistant, but it doesn’t offer the same aesthetic appeal as exposed aggregate concrete.


Maintenance Tips for Exposed Aggregate Concrete


Proper maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity and appearance of exposed aggregate concrete.


Regular Cleaning


Firstly, regular cleaning is crucial. Use a pressure washer or a hose with a high-pressure nozzle to remove dirt and debris from the surface.


Sealing the Surface


Secondly, sealing the surface helps protect against stains and weathering. Apply a high-quality sealer every two to three years to maintain the integrity of the concrete.


Repairing Damages


Additionally, repairing any damages promptly is important. If stones become dislodged, use a patching compound to fill the gaps and restore the surface.

Exposed aggregate concrete stairs

Additional Benefits of Exposed Aggregate Concrete


Versatility in Design


Moreover, it is versatile in design. You can choose from a wide variety of aggregates to create different looks and styles. This allows homeowners to customize their surfaces to match their aesthetic preferences.


Environmentally Friendly


Furthermore, it is environmentally friendly. It uses natural materials, and its long lifespan reduces the need for frequent replacements, minimizing environmental impact.


Enhanced Property Value


Additionally, it can enhance property value. Its aesthetic appeal and durability make it an attractive feature for potential buyers, adding to the overall value of your home.


Potential Drawbacks to Consider

Weather Sensitivity


Moreover, it can be sensitive to weather conditions. In regions with extreme freeze-thaw cycles, the surface may require more frequent maintenance to prevent damage.


Limited DIY Potential


Furthermore, its installation is not typically a DIY project. The process requires specialized tools and expertise, which can limit its accessibility for homeowners looking to save on labor costs.


Surface Roughness


Additionally, the rough surface of exposed aggregate concrete, though slip-resistant, can be uncomfortable for barefoot walking. This may be a consideration for areas like pool decks or patios where barefoot traffic is common.


Expert Installation: Cesars Concrete


For the best results, hire professionals like Cesars Concrete for your exposed aggregate concrete projects. Their expertise ensures high-quality installation and long-lasting results.


Why Choose Cesars Concrete?


Firstly, Cesars Concrete offers experienced professionals who specialize in exposed aggregate concrete. Their team ensures precise and skilled installation, achieving the desired finish every time.

Moreover, they use high-quality materials, guaranteeing durability and aesthetic appeal. By contrast, choosing Cesars Concrete, you can be confident in the longevity and beauty of your concrete surfaces.

Furthermore, Cesars Concrete provides excellent customer service. They work closely with clients to understand their needs and preferences, delivering customized solutions that meet and exceed expectations.

Equally important, their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction sets them apart from other contractors.


Your Next Step


In conclusion, exposed aggregate concrete is a durable, attractive, and slip-resistant option for outdoor surfaces. Although it may have higher initial costs and installation complexities, its benefits often outweigh these drawbacks. Thus, for a beautiful and long-lasting concrete finish, consider exposed aggregate concrete for your next project. Finally, choose Cesars Concrete to ensure professional installation and high-quality results. 

Call us at: (970) 420-9040

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