Decorative concrete finishes are becoming increasingly popular in Melbourne due to their versatility, durability, and aesthetic appeal.
Long gone are the days when concrete was dull, drab and grey.
With multiple finishes available, the challenge is choosing the concrete finish that’s right for you. Decorative concrete is an excellent choice for both residential and commercial properties, offering a range of customisable options to enhance the appearance of outdoor spaces, driveways, walkways, and other areas.
And two of the most popular decorative concrete finishes are coloured concrete and exposed aggregate.
Both finishes offer unique benefits and drawbacks, and the choice between them depends on several factors, including climate, location, design style, and budget.
In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of coloured concrete and exposed aggregate and help property owners in Melbourne make an informed decision when choosing a decorative concrete finish.
Let’s get right into it.
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What is Coloured Concrete?
Coloured concrete is achieved by adding pigments to the concrete mix before it is poured.
This type of concrete finish provides an attractive and uniform colour that can complement or contrast with the surrounding landscape or building.
Coloured concrete can be used for driveways, patios, and walkways, and it is a popular choice for commercial buildings as it can be customised to match corporate branding.
Advantages of Coloured Concrete
✔ Customisable: Coloured concrete can be customised to match any design style, including modern, traditional, and contemporary.
✔ Uniform colour: The pigments used in coloured concrete ensure that the colour is evenly distributed throughout the concrete surface, creating a uniform finish.
✔ Durability: Coloured concrete is durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, heavy foot traffic, and vehicular traffic.
Disadvantages of Coloured Concrete
✘ Cost: Coloured concrete is more expensive than regular concrete, and the cost increases with the number of pigments added to the mix.
✘ Maintenance: Coloured concrete requires regular maintenance, such as cleaning and resealing, to maintain its appearance.
What is Exposed Aggregate Concrete?
Exposed aggregate concrete is created by removing the top layer of cement to reveal the aggregate underneath. This finish provides a natural and textured look, making it a popular choice for outdoor spaces such as driveways, patios, and pool areas.
Advantages of Exposed Aggregate
✔ Natural appearance: Exposed aggregate provides a natural and textured look that complements outdoor landscapes.
✔ Slip-resistant: The rough surface of exposed aggregate provides excellent traction and slip resistance, making it ideal for pool areas and walkways.
✔ Low maintenance: Exposed aggregate requires minimal maintenance, and it is resistant to stains and wear.
Disadvantages of Exposed Aggregate
✘ Limited customisation: Exposed aggregate is limited in colour and design options, making it difficult to customise to match specific design styles.
✘ Cost: Exposed aggregate is more expensive than regular concrete and requires additional labour and equipment to achieve the desired finish.
When it comes to choosing between coloured concrete and exposed aggregate, several factors need to be considered to determine the best option for a project.
Coloured Concrete vs. Exposed Aggregate: What to Consider
There are a handful of key factors to consider when choosing between these finishes, whether it’s for a concrete driveway or other project.
Here’s a break down of what to keep in mind.
Melbourne experiences a range of weather conditions throughout the year, which can affect the durability and maintenance requirements of decorative concrete finishes.
Coloured concrete can fade or discolour over time due to exposure to UV rays and harsh weather conditions. To maintain its appearance, coloured concrete requires regular cleaning and resealing to protect it from staining, fading, and cracking.
Exposed aggregate, on the other hand, is more durable and resistant to weather conditions. It does not fade or discolour over time, and it requires minimal maintenance. However, it is susceptible to erosion, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic or vehicular traffic in the form of a driveway.
Coloured concrete may not be suitable for areas with high foot traffic, such as shopping centres or public areas. The pigments used in coloured concrete can fade or wear off over time, leaving the surface looking patchy and uneven.
Exposed aggregate, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for areas with heavy foot traffic as it provides excellent traction and slip resistance. It is also ideal for pool areas and outdoor spaces where a natural and textured look is desired.
Coloured concrete is a versatile option that can be customised to match any design style, from modern to traditional. It is an excellent choice for commercial buildings that require branding consistency for residential properties that want to add a unique touch to their outdoor spaces.
Exposed aggregate, on the other hand, is best suited for natural and rustic design styles. It provides a natural and textured look that complements outdoor landscapes and is an excellent choice for outdoor spaces such as driveways, patios, and pool areas.
When it comes to cost, both coloured concrete and exposed aggregate are more expensive than regular concrete. The final cost depends on the size of the project and the level of customisation required. Coloured concrete is generally more expensive than exposed aggregate as it requires additional materials and labour to achieve the desired finish.
Coloured Concrete vs. Exposed Aggregate: The Final Word
Both coloured concrete and exposed aggregate offer unique benefits and drawbacks.
It’s important to choose a finish that will complement a property’s building or outdoor space and meet specific project requirements.
With careful consideration of these factors, property owners and business owners in Melbourne can achieve a durable and attractive decorative concrete finish that will enhance the beauty and functionality of their properties for years to come.
Trust Your Next Project to Concept Concrete, Melbourne’s Concreting Experts
At Concept Concrete, we have decades of experience in the concreting business across the domestic and commercial sectors.
As a family-run and owned business, we know the importance of choosing a local Melbourne team you can trust – which is why we offer obligation-free quotes onsite, peace of mind warranties, and a commitment to hassle-free and fast projects.
If you need help with your next concreting project, reach out on 1300 366 343 or request a fast and FREE quote online today!
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