Exposed aggregate boosts traction on walkways, patios, driveways and other surfaces are made of concrete. It also lends a touch of aesthetic beauty, when it comes in the form of decorative and colorful stones. When it comes to poured concrete, driveway contractors let the concrete get set. Then, they spray acid onto the surface to wear the concrete away and have the aggregate exposed. It can be tedious to choose the best aggregate for exposed aggregate driveways. However, these tips can be useful for you in making informed choices.
Consider important questions
First, you have to ask yourself a few important questions – such as:
- Will you regularly walk barefoot on the driveway?
- Will you use it mainly for cars and other vehicles?
- What is the drainage level that you require?
exposed aggregate driveways
The answers to such questions can be very useful for you in choosing the best solutions. If you would like to walk barefoot on the driveway, choose a finer aggregate. It would be a more comfortable solution for you. A coarser mix will be needed if you require more traction and drainage on the driveway. This will help water from washes or rain to spread and prevent skidding or slippage while driving on the exposed aggregate driveways.
Talk to your architect
You should first have a discussion with your architect about the exposed aggregate driveways. Ask him to give you a layout with the finalized external color of your home. If needed, ask him to give you a color swatch of the outer render color for your home – painted or brick type finish. In case you are just renovating your own driveway and the home exists already, get a few photos that show your driveway from the perspective of your home.
exposed aggregate driveways
Show the plan to suppliers
Take the plan from your architect to the aggregate suppliers in your locality and have them visit your home. Get as many suggestions and advice from the experts as you can. When you show the plan and also offer some perspective to them, you can have them feel what you need exactly and whether they have done a similar job at any time before. Suppliers of concrete aggregate come with premixed aggregate range of their own, and you can access the same from the best sources. However, you should not assume that they have only their own premix range to work with. Aggregate can be customized easily. Thus, you can contact a supplier and customize a blend of stones and pebbles that both of you feel will suit your needs the best for an exposed aggregate driveway.
Get a small sample
After talking to the supplier and getting some options that you prefer and would like to consider, have him offer a small sample to you. Go back home and then spread this sample in a specific area in your driveway, which cannot be viewed easily by outsiders. From this area, you will get an idea about how the sample mix would work against your home color as well as the surrounding vegetation in your landscaping.
Consider the coloring
It is essential for you to understand that the effect in exposed aggregate driveways is not achieved only by the aggregate. Most suppliers offer the aggregate and the concrete and offer it in a mixed form – ready to be poured before the mix is set and can get exposed via blasting techniques. You will also need to think over whether or not you will like to have the concrete in a colored form. Suppliers have knowledge of the concrete of which color works the best with a specific type of aggregate. Thus, while contacting and discussing suppliers, you should ask about this.