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What is Exposed Aggregate? Why Use it on Your Driveway?

 Exposed aggregate is a decorative concrete finish that transforms ordinary surfaces into extraordinary masterpieces. This popular method involves removing the top layer of cement paste to reveal the colorful, textured stones beneath. 

It's eye-catching and remarkably durable, making it a top choice for enhancing driveways. Choosing this material means investing in a driveway that stands up to harsh weather and heavy use while maintaining its beauty. 

Its skid-resistant texture increases safety, and the array of customizable color and design options ensures it fits perfectly with any home's exterior. Whether you're looking to boost curb appeal or add functional elegance to your property, exposed aggregate offers an attractive and practical solution. 

Discover how this unique finishing option from Apex Concrete can elevate the look of your driveway and increase your property's value.

The Process of Creating Exposed Aggregate

Creating an exposed aggregate surface begins with traditionally pouring concrete. However, what sets it apart is the treatment applied shortly after the concrete is laid. 

To reveal the richly coloured and textured stones embedded within, concrete contractors either wash away the top layer of concrete with water and brushes or apply a chemical that retards the setting of the surface layer. 

Once the desired texture and stone exposure is achieved, the surface is rinsed thoroughly and sealed. This sealing process not only enhances the aesthetic appeal by bringing out the depth and hues of the aggregates but also protects the driveway from weathering, stains, and abrasions.

Why Choose Exposed Aggregate?

Durability and Longevity: 

One of the primary reasons homeowners opt for exposed aggregate is its incredible durability. This surface is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions, from extreme heat to freezing temperatures, without cracking or becoming slippery. It's also resistant to heavy traffic, which makes it ideal for driveways. The robust nature of exposed aggregate ensures that it maintains its stunning appearance with minimal upkeep, potentially for decades.


Exposed aggregate offers a rich texture and colour that traditional concrete simply cannot match. Customization options are nearly endless, and there are various aggregate types, ranging from river stone and granite to quartz and even recycled materials. Concrete contractors can tailor the look to complement the style of your home, whether you're going for a modern, sleek look or a more traditional, rustic appeal. This flexibility in design allows homeowners to create a truly unique driveway that stands out in the neighbourhood.

Safety and Skid Resistance: 

Safety is a crucial consideration for any driveway material. The exposed aggregate's textured surface provides excellent skid resistance, particularly important in areas that experience rain or snow. This makes exposed aggregate safer than smoother surface materials, which can become slippery when wet.

Low Maintenance: 

Unlike other driveway materials that require frequent cleaning, sealing, or repair, exposed aggregate is low maintenance. Post-installation sealing helps protect the driveway against dirt, oil, and other contaminants. Occasional pressure washing and resealing every few years will keep it looking new and well-maintained.

Increases Property Value: Installing an exposed aggregate driveway is an investment that pays off by increasing your property value. Its aesthetic appeal and functional benefits make it a desirable feature for potential home buyers, should you ever decide to sell your property.

Choosing the Right Concrete Contractor

The success of an exposed aggregate driveway heavily depends on the skill and expertise of the concrete contractors hired to undertake the project. Here are some tips to help you choose the right contractor:

  1. Experience: Look for contractors specializing in exposed aggregate with a proven track record of high-quality installations.

  2. Portfolio: Review the contractor's previous work to ensure they can deliver the aesthetic and quality you expect.

  3. References: Speak to past clients to learn about their experience with the contractor, focusing on timeliness, professionalism, and satisfaction with the finished product.

  4. Quotations: Obtain detailed quotes from several contractors to compare prices, but remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best. Ensure that the quotes include everything from preparation work to the finishing touches.

Licensing and Insurance: Always choose a contractor who is licensed and insured. This protects you from liability in case of accidents or unforeseen issues during the project.

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