Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Exposed aggregate concrete is a great way to transform dull-looking spaces into unique-looking walls. An aggregate concrete wall looks as classy as a marble or a granite wall, with the only difference being that it is made with concrete and costs much lower.

Where can you use exposed aggregate concrete?

Exposed aggregate concrete is a surface stripped of its outer layer to reveal the beauty of the material beneath it. The technique here is to mix the concrete with an aggregate and apply it to the wall or put the aggregate on the cemented surface.

The exposed aggregate concrete allows for friction, which prevents skidding, making it an ideal material for sidewalks, patios, plazas, pool decks and much more. The exposed aggregate concrete can also be used for retaining walls and facades of buildings that require an uplifting look.

Ways that aggregate can be applied to the surface

There are three different ways that aggregates are put into concrete slabs. These include:

Seed the aggregate:

The aggregate is applied on a freshly cemented surface using a shovel or hand. Then the aggregate is embedded into the surface using a darby or a bull float so that a thin layer of cement covers it.


A simple method of having an exposed aggregate concrete surface is mixing it with the cement and applying it to the wall. This method can be more expensive than seeding because, in seeding, the aggregate is sprinkled on the surface, whereas mixing requires a higher quantity for it to show on the surface.

Mix aggregate into the top layer:

The aggregate is mixed into the coated layer on top of the surface. This method works well with smaller aggregates because the layer of topping ranges from 1 to 2 inches.

What effects can I get by using aggregate on my surfaces?

There are many different ways that you can get a variety of textures and a unique look for your space by using aggregates. Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Different aggregates that give smooth and textured surfaces can be used in combination to give the surface a different look compared to surfaces with a single texture.
  • The aggregate can be made to resemble specific shapes and forms. For instance, a pathway can have a textured finish in the condition of a flowing river, while the surrounding surface can be left smooth.
  • Different aggregate shades can be used in alternative block settings to ensure the surface looks great.
  • In addition to this, aggregates in contrasting shades can be used to make the surface look varied.
  • Different surface sections with aggregates can be sand blasted to varying depths to give the surface a unique look.
  • There are many creative ways to make an exposed aggregate concrete surface look great. You can experiment and use your imagination in the best possible manner.
Why Choose Us?

The Coalesce team is experienced at mixing, topping and seeding and will recommend a method based on your requirements. An expert will visit your site and suggest the most affordable and optimal solution for your needs.

Regardless of the  method, you can be sure that the work will be completed with finesse, and your surface will look exactly how it is meant to be.

Another alternative is to place a thin topping course of concrete containing the decorative aggregate over a base slab of conventional concrete. The topping can range in thickness from 1 to 2 inches, depending on the aggregate size. This method generally works best when smaller decorative aggregates are specified.