Traditionally the concrete driveway was all about a smooth surface in a neutral concrete tone. It was not a feature but a bland background, a contrast for garden, car and home. Now, with the option of exposed aggregate decorative concrete that is all changing. The driveway is coming to the fore; it is another way for your home to stand out from the crowd. The amazing colour variations, textured affects and patterning now available is turning the driveway into a canvas for the art and architecture of your home or workplace.
What is aggregate concrete?
Decorative exposed aggregate concreting employs a mix of natural rock and stone, which is crushed into a variety of granular pebble sizes to create a distinct colour combination and textural effect. There is the opportunity to achieve a uniqueness in the appearance of your driveway in concert with the architectural features of your home or building. Imagine blue stone shades, or light quartz colours, and or earthy Australian reds, these can form the natural palette from which to discover the perfect effect for your driveway. Even the base colour of the concrete, which underpins the aggregate, can be chosen; everything is customisable. In artistic terms it is somewhat akin to the Roman tradition of mosaic art; offering contrasts between a light or dark concrete base colour with its opposite in aggregate tones.
For new homes being constructed it is recommended that you consult with your architect or builder before making a decision on the colour and make-up of the driveway materials in consultation with the aggregate concrete driveway supplier in Adelaide. For existing homes, taking along some colour images of the exterior of your home, or building, when visiting the aggregate specialist is advised. Your aggregate supplier can advise you on the colour and textural outcomes that can be achieved with the various base materials.
There are practical considerations in addition to aesthetic affects, as in the case of the surface texture around where home occupants will be walking – a smoother surface in these places is more conducive to sensitive bare feet and things like high heeled shoes. This means that you can vary surfaces within the one driveway. The slipperiness of the surfaces when wet can be adjusted by the aggregate texture content as well. The durability of properly installed aggregate concrete driveways is another important feature when considering the make-up of your next driveway, as they have the ability to look and feel great for many years.
The aggregate and concrete mix is most often transported to your home or building in a liquid state in a concrete mixing truck, which allows the mix to be poured, spread and then leveled. Once the driveway is established and in its curing process the concrete is then either acid washed or air/sand blasted to expose the aggregate in accordance with the desired finish. Typically there are four levels of abrasion, beginning with minimal blasting which produces a sand paper like texture and look, the more blasting used creates a coarser finish.
There are definite choices now for the type of concrete driveway you want for your home or building; and within that initial choice there are further options open to the discerning home owner in regard to the exact look and feel of their driveway, available within the decorative exposed aggregate concrete driveway category.