How to Pour Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Exposed aggregate concrete is a great choice of material to use for your walkway or patio at home. It brightens up the home with its various decorative colours, textures and stone types. Exposed aggregate can also be a great choice when you want to make a colourful contrast with another finished surface. Aggregate is the gravel part of the concrete, which the cement bonds to. It gives substance and strength to the concrete. Below are steps on how to pour exposed aggregate concrete;


  1. Build a wooden box that you will use to hold the concrete in place till it is cured. The box will be the shape that your pad will have, and you can use laminating wood for a curvy pad. The dimensions that you use for the box will be your pad dimensions.

  2. Put the box in the location you want to have your pad. Make sure the designated area is relatively flat. Hammer stakes alongside the perimeter to hold the box in place.

  3. Compact the surface and add steel mesh for strengthening purposes.

  4. Contact your local concrete company and order exposed aggregate concrete. They will inform you of the different options and prices for each.

Pouring of concrete.

  1. Pour concrete into your wooden structure using a wheelbarrow. Finish this quickly so that you have time to move it around while it's still wet.

  2. Level the top of your concrete. You can use a straight board across your wooden structure to do this. If the area you are leveling is too large, you can stand inside the board and work outwards.

Finishing the concrete.

  1. Bull float the concrete. This simply means smoothing out the concrete. It will knock down rocks and bring the creamy mix to the surface. The surface should be smooth and flat, without holes.

  2. Use a hand edge to hand float the edge to seal it and create nice rounded edges. Repeat bull floating and hand floating till the surface is smooth.

  3. Use a retarder chemical to spray the surface and then cover the surface with nylon plastic, weighing down the edges.

  4. Let it harden; wait for some hours, depending on how wet the cement was when pouring it. Remove the plastic and spray the top with water to remove the creamy top layer and expose the pea stone.

  5. Remove the wooden structure and saw cut the pads in symmetrical shapes so that the concrete cracks along these lines.

  6. Use sealant spray to seal the surface. This prevents erosion, is weather resistant and brings out the true shine of the surface.