When it comes to concreting a driveway or walk, you have one of a number of options from which to choose. Therefore, it helps to look at the selections before you call out a concreting professional. Concrete comes in various forms, including coloured concrete, plain concrete, stencilled and slate impression concrete, exposed aggregate, and pave cut. Concrete is also used for slabs, foundations and footings.
Coloured concrete, as the name suggests, comes in various colours and is considered exceptionally durable. Usually a coloured oxide is mixed into the concrete before it is laid, to ensure a rich and even colour throughout. If you wish to have a deeper colour, then colour sealing is often recommended for achieving this look.
If you merely want to rejuvenate the appearance of your driveway or an outdoor area, such as a patio, plain concrete is often the ideal solution. Concreters finish the concrete with a stipple, which creates a slightly textured finish.
Stencilled and Slate Impression Concrete
Stencilled and slate impression concrete is completed by the stamping of textured mats into ready-mixed concrete. This particular concrete choice is made by homeowners who are looking for an affordable alternative to slate tiles.
Exposed Aggregate Concrete
Exposed aggregate in Melbourne and other areas of Australia is one of the most popular driveway finishes, as it has a contemporary and premium look. A vast range of colours and textured aggregate are offered to suit all kinds of architectural designs and landscapes. The exposed surface of this kind of concrete drive displays the textures of numerous stones, such as crushed stone, pebbles or shells.
With an exposed aggregate finish, you can achieve a spectacular look at a reasonable price, because few additional materials, other than a decorative aggregate, and tools are needed. Reasons why this finish is so popular include the following:
- The basic process is simple and straightforward enough for inexperienced concreters to master
- The surface is a non-skid surface that is rugged and resilient to weather extremes and heavy traffic
- Many kinds and sizes of decorative aggregate are available to obtain unlimited texture variations and colour
- An exposed aggregate finish achieves beautiful effects at an affordable cost, because the finish is highly versatile and contrasts well with plain concrete walks or bordering and other decorative treatments, such as colouring, staining, stencilling or stamping
- Little maintenance is needed, other than an occasional cleaning or sealing
The most used method is to seed a decorative aggregate onto a slab surface right after the concrete is placed. This process involves sprinkling the aggregate by shovel or hand and embedding it until it is entirely covered by a thin tier of cement paste. The concreter may also put the decorative aggregate into the concrete mix during the batching process. This process can cost more as more aggregate is used.
Pave Cut Concrete
Pave cut concrete is becoming a popular concrete finish because of its paver and slate-like appearance. To obtain this type of finish, a plain or coloured concrete is used and is then cut utilising a diamond saw. This type of finish is favoured by homeowners who are seeking a paver look without the outlay in cost.