The Exposed Aggregate Concrete Look – Classic and Durable Finishing
This article lightly explores the history behind the exposed aggregate concrete finish in both public and private buildings and homes which have been around for millennia. For more than two thousand years and since the people of Rome sought for materials and procedure to redecorate their homes without spending too much money. During the Italian peninsula, workers utilized Exposed Aggregate Concrete to imitate the look of the pristine marble and granite floors of the empire’s wealthiest people. At present, when it comes to the economic climate, an increasing number of homeowners are taking advantage of the usefulness of Exposed Aggregate Colours to add real value and enormous beauty to their home without withdrawing a lot from the bank.
The people in Rome have become fully knowledgeable when it comes to the art of concrete although they did not discontinue using the material as an effective tool to build higher and wider things. Workers have created a way to pour a cement floor and then sprinkle tiny bits of colored stone or marble chips over the surface to project the look of using many expensive materials.
Now, contractors are capable of utilizing essentially similar techniques – with advanced materials and processes – to let homeowners who like to modernize or expand in order to achieve high-end appearance without spending more.
Exposed aggregate concrete has a lot of boundless possibilities that can be utilized almost anywhere on a residential property. Garden pathways and patios are probably the most frequent outdoor applications, although the variety of finishes, colors, and textures available became totally in demand for garage floors, garden walls, and driveways made from this modern process. When it comes to indoors, those experienced artisans can build amazing floors, stairways and even countertops and fireplaces from exposed concrete. The method used seems quite simple; however, the work is normally best left to experienced professional installers. Concrete is not really so easy to use material and fixing mistakes can be a very expensive and time-consuming endeavor.
People who work begin by pouring a traditional concrete slab or form mold in almost any shape that you can imagine. At present, surface retarders can be applied in order to avoid the topmost layer of concrete from completely drying. As soon as the lower portion dries, the top layer is washed away to show the tiny bits of sand and aggregate, but most of the time the concrete is allowed to become almost dry and then – just like the Romans would do – small bits of stone are spread across the surface and pressed evenly. The outcome of the way it looks and the texture is certainly and completely unique because of the individual nature of every piece of concrete and the infinite potential of cheap and diverse aggregate material.
A more costly although amazing option is to further improve the Exposed Aggregate Concrete Colours by cleaning the raised bits down level with the concrete, and then polishing the entire surface to a brilliant shine. The result looks like of exotic cut marble or granite slab.
Exposed Aggregate Colours and Unique Coloured Aggregates
The exposed aggregate colours are a widely known for a unique decorative concrete finish and texture from aggregates within the concrete mix, which can include materials like crushed rocks, small stones, pebbles and sand. The easiest way to have this finish is by washing and brushing off the cement paste until the aggregates are shown. In a different process, the aggregates are broadcast over wet concrete and embedded before the concrete sets, and then followed by similar washing and scrubbing techniques to expose the aggregates.
Choosing Exposed Aggregate Colours
When it comes to exposed aggregate colours, the final dominant colour of the surface will depend on the colour of the stones while their size and shape will determine the surface texture. Stones, known as coarse aggregates, are available in an amazing spectrum of aggregate colours such as marble, green or black quartz, feldspar, obsidian, red gravel, granite and basalt, just to name a few.
The variations in Exposed Aggregate Colour Choices of these natural stones depend on their geological source. With the wide colour selection, it is easy to choose exposed aggregate colours that will enhance any landscape. If you want a light exposed surface, you can choose stones in subtle pastels like rose quartz. For earthy tones, some options are gray limestone or black basalt. If richer tones are desired, there’s dark blue granite or red lava rock. Frosted rose river rock and cranberry granite are other interesting options.
Aside from the exposed concrete colour, however, there are other factors to be considered in selecting decorative coarse aggregates such as size, grading, shape, surface texture, and durability. All of these things should be taken into consideration to ensure the exposed aggregates colours will be appropriate for the intended use. For example, it is best to use smaller stones that are easy on the feet for pavements that receive barefoot traffic like in pool areas while smooth, glassy stones may not be suitable for sloping footpaths because of their low skid resistance.
Colouring the Exposed Aggregates
While coarse exposed concrete imparts their natural colour to the concrete’s surface, the cement matrix in between them can also be coloured so it’s not just plain grey or white. One way to colour exposed concrete is to use integral colours, which colours the concrete throughout. These pigments are called integral because they are mixed into the concrete mix, resulting in the exposed aggregate colour which is carried all the way through the concrete.
The use of integral colours is more convenient than other colouring options since the aggregate colour is already mixed into the concrete. This is also means savings in labour costs because no extra steps to colour the exposed aggregate are required; the concrete can be placed and finished as normal. Also, because the Exposed Aggregate colours are integral to the concrete, it is will not peel off even if the surface is chipped.
When choosing The Best Exposed Aggregate Concrete, select a shade that will complement or enhance the colour palette of the coarse aggregates. The correct pigment proportion is important to get the desired exposed aggregate colours and pigment suppliers will be able to help in determining this. It is essential to do small test samples to find out the exact pigment and level of concentration that should be used. If on the other hand you do not wish to undertake the project by yourself you can always contract some Concreters in Sydney to do the work for you.