Installing a new walkway is an exciting project! It can get pretty tricky though as you’d have to choose from many options and styles. Of the many options available in the market, there are two that are most popular and preferred by Australian homeowners: aggregate and stamped concrete.
Both are fantastic options. If you’re looking into the two options and you’re finding it hard to choose which one is better, let us help you.
In this article, we’d discuss the main difference between the two. We’d also discuss cost, durability, and aesthetics. We trust that you’d make the best choice after reading this.
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Aggregate concrete or exposed aggregate is a kind of concrete that provides a decorative finish on pathways and walkways. This is made possible through its application process that exposes a texture made of pebbles and small stones. Using it on your pathway is best if you want to create a rustic or earthy appearance.
Aggregate concrete has a flexible look that can go well with an already existing landscape design. Its look melds well with most outdoor plans.
It is preferred by many Australian households because maintaining an exposed aggregate concrete driveway is pretty easy. It does not require meticulous and consistent maintenance.
It is also very durable and cost-efficient. It is perfect for families with kids because it has a non-skid texture that prevents slipping accidents.
Many Australian homeowners also prefer stamped concrete. It has an exceptional look that gives off a clean and composed finish. It is also cost-efficient. A pathway or driveway with stamped concrete simply has repeated patterns all over.
It wasn’t popular before because homeowners have limited choices. Now though, homeowners can already choose from thousands of designs and styles. They now also come colored and pigmented.
Stamped concrete is fantastic because it creates a flat and level surface. It can even be made stronger with the use of rods. Homeowners who don’t prefer the growth of weeds in their driveways and pathways will highly enjoy stamped concrete.
Perfecting the application of stamped concrete with a flat surface can be complicated. Most Australian homeowners still prefer to do it by themselves anyway.
If you want to lay stamped concrete by yourself, you will need at least our people to help you. You will also need special tools. Lay stamped concrete by following these steps:
1. When placing the concrete, you should ensure that it is at least 100 mm thick. Placing anything lesser will be useless and futile.
2. You can choose to add color in the mixer or after concrete placement. Placing color after concrete placement (surface or broadcast coloring) will require that you evenly spread the dry color.
3. You may then add the release agent.
4. To be performed in succession, you should then lay the mats.
5. Allow it to dry for a whole day.
6. Remove the release agent after it has dried for a whole day by pressure washing.
7. Have the sealing cleared.
It is more complicated to place an aggregate concrete so it’s ideal if you could leave the work to the pros. But if you want to lay it on your own, you can still do so. You need to take note though that you will need extra hands. You will also need dedication and patience as you follow the basic steps:
1. Clean the site. Make sure that it is ready for the application of the aggregate.
2. Use heavy equipment to place and discharge the concrete during application.
3. Even out the surface carefully.
4. Allow the surface to cure after ensuring that it is flat.
5. After curing, you may then apply the surface retarder.
6. You may now expose the pebble.
7. Have it lightly acid washed after a week.
Both are affordable options for your pathway or driveway. If you have to choose the more affordable one though, then aggregate concrete is more affordable. Stamped concrete can cost you at least $120 for starters while exposed aggregate will only cost around $100.
Of the two, aggregate concrete is more durable. It can resist harsh weather and wear and tear for long years. An aggregate concrete placement can easily last for more than 10 years. It can also withstand consistent heavy foot traffic and vehicles.
Stamped concrete is also durable but it’s best for interior floors. It can also be used on patios, pools, and walkways. When placed in an ideal area, it can also last for more than 10 years.
This is a tricky question to answer because it will all boil down to a person’s matter of preference. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. If you’re after a more adventurous, playful, and flexible option, you should opt for stamped concrete.
This is the case because it comes in different colors and designs. It is pretty fantastic because, with today’s technology, stamped concrete can very easily mimic other finishes. One thing that it can’t mimic though is the aggregate concrete look.
If you’re after the authentic aggregate concrete feel, you should then duly opt for one. Though limited in style and design options, they now come in different colors that can allow you to easily customize.