All You Need to Know about Exposed Aggregate

Exposed aggregate is becoming increasingly popular, mainly due to its aesthetic features. If you do not know much about this surface solution, below is a brief about the material.

What is it?

This is a surfacing solution that makes use of decorative aggregate. Exposed aggregate can be compared to marble or granite that has been transformed by polishing. An aggregate by itself is a crushed rock which, along with cement, makes up a concrete. Smaller particles are also referred to as aggregate. In construction, unremarkable surface is stripped away to reveal the beauty that lies underneath, the beauty of the exposed aggregate.

Exposure can be achieved through various methods. A sandblast finish only reveals sand. In light exposed finishes, only the edges and top of aggregate are revealed. Medium exposure is achieved where there is 50/50 exposure of cement and rocks. In full exposure, aggregate is revealed as the major part of the surface.


Exposed aggregate is used on various surfaces, including driveways, walkways, patios, courtyards, entry ways, and pool decks. In all these areas, the exposure and application of the aggregate is varied to suit the specific needs and functions of the surface. On driveways, the exposed aggregate should not hinder smooth passage of cars, and should be resistant to heavy traffic.


The benefits of exposed aggregate make it one of the most preferred surfacing solutions for home owners. The appearance itself is appealing, making it an attraction wherever it is placed. The aggregate comes in various finishes and colours, providing customers with a variety to choose from. Other benefits include:

  • It is simple to fix exposed aggregate on any surface.
  • Exposed aggregate only requires occasional cleaning and sealing. 
  • The maintenance needed is very little
  • Exposed aggregate is durable, with the ability to withstand various elements without sinking.
  • It is safe to walk on
  • It can be customised


There are three methods used to create surfaces that have exposed aggregate – monolithic, seeded, and overlay. The easiest method is the monolithic process, which involves batching the aggregate on concrete when the concrete is being made. In the seeded method, aggregate is placed on concrete. The process should start immediately the concrete has been laid on surface. The overlay method uses existing concretes that are in good condition. Overlay aggregate material is mixed and then applied over old concretes. The exposed aggregate will make the surface look new.