When we meet with businesses and homeowners to discuss options available for concrete driveways, sidewalks, paths and retaining walls, they are often surprised at the options available.

Concrete has come a long way from the days of only having one color and texture to choose from. These days, you can choose everything, from decorative colors to interesting textures to trendy surface patterns.

Of course not everyone likes the trendy stuff so they opt for some of the most popular, traditional concrete applications. Two traditional concrete applications are broom finished concrete and exposed aggregate concrete. Both are visually appealing and have similar longevity—the choice comes down to the owner’s preference and what they find visually appealing.

Exposed aggregate concrete has been popular for decades! The exposed rocks provide a timeless, natural looking pattern and its texture makes sidewalks and driveways a bit slip resistant. Exposed aggregate can also be sealed so it has a glossy appearance, which is popular with many Northwest Washington homeowners.

Exposed Aggregate Sidewalk Detail

Aggregate concrete is created by spraying the surface mortar of the concrete away to reveal particle stone (aggregate) that is below. The result is a sturdy and beautiful surface that reveals the smooth pebbles in the concrete.

Exposed aggregate concrete is a great option for high traffic areas, such as driveways, paths and patios. It can also be used for retaining walls around hillside homes. It can be used alongside stamped or broom finished concrete to add extra detail. Check out our Pinterest board for aggregate projects for inspiring ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/customconcrete/all-things-aggregate/

Broom finished concrete is exactly as it sounds. Concrete is framed and poured, but before it sets, a broom is brushed over the surface to create fine texture. That texture is beneficial because it adds a bit of traction; broom finished concrete is great for sidewalks and patios.

Broom finish

While a broom finished surface may have a traditional feel, it can also be decorative. There is an art to broom finished concrete – different textures can be created based on the size of the bristles and the direction the broom is swept. The sample above is a broom finished patio we created that has a clean, modern feel.

If you’re trying to decide what concrete options are best for your home or business, contact Custom Concrete Contracting. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type of concrete and help decide what solution is best for you.