Exposed aggregate concrete costs between $100 to $150 per m2 in Melbourne, but these prices can be misleading. You’ll need to take into account the size of your concrete surface, the complexity of the job, the detail of your chosen aggregate, as well as the skill of your installation team. To find Melbourne’s best prices, read on.
If you’re looking to remodel or revamp your driveway, patio, or swimming pool deck, this type of concrete is a stylish and durable option.
This contemporary, low-maintenance concrete finish is easy to maintain, entirely unique, and unlikely to show significant wear and tear over time. But here’s the catch – not all options are created equal.
From the skill of your Melbourne concreter to the complexity of the project and the grade of concrete required, you can easily end up overpaying without knowing how to price your new concrete finish.
And that’s exactly what we’ll show you how to do.
Read on for every cost associated with exposed aggregate concrete, and discover how to find the right flooring experts for you.
Is exposed aggregate concrete worth the investment?
Exposed aggregate concrete is very different from standard concrete, so it helps to know what you’ll be paying for.
Typically, the top layer of concrete is removed, either exposing the aggregate underneath or allowing for aggregate to be added.. This aggregate is generally made of stone, gravel, sand, and other materials and is exposed to reveal unique colours, shapes, and textures.
There are many benefits, including:
✔ Offers optimal traction and stability if you’re dealing with mud or rain
✔ Extremely durable and less susceptible to cracks and potholes
✔ Increase your home’s curb appeal, aesthetic and resale value
✔ Easy to maintain which means less work for you, and savings over time
In short, you’re paying for a durable surface that can last up to 30 years with the right care and maintenance. On top of strength, this solution is characterised by its visually eye-catching beauty.
If creating unique designs, modifying new patterns, or having the most striking concrete surface in your neighbourhood excites you, then you’ll love your investment in this type of concrete.
Where is this type of concrete useful?
Is exposed aggregate concrete great for all outdoor spaces?
Put simply – yes.
It’s important to remember that this solution is extremely durable and skid resistant, as well as more suited to heavy traffic (both foot and vehicle) than natural stone. This makes it an ideal choice for a variety of spaces, including:
- Pool decks
This concrete finish can even be used on walls — like retaining walls, building facades, or tilt-up panels. In short, if you have an outdoor space that requires long lasting flooring, with an eye-catching finish, you can use this type of concrete.
Is exposed aggregate concrete more expensive than normal class concrete?
Yes, it is typically more expensive than normal class concrete.
Standard concrete can cost anywhere from $60 to $85 per m2, while exposed aggregate concrete costs between $100 to $150 per m2.
Keep in mind, this is because this type of concrete requires more material and labour expenses to achieve the final product. Right now you’re probably wondering why you’d ever pay for a more expensive concrete, and that’s a logical question.
If you’re after the cheapest concrete surface, consider exploring plain concrete for your Melbourne home or business.
In contrast, this type of concrete offers superior slip-resistance, more design and stylistic choices, and minimal maintenance.
Curious about the cost of a new concrete driveway? Check out our price breakdown here
How is the concrete installed?
Now that you know exposed aggregate concrete is more expensive than plan concrete, let’s unpack why.
With normal class concrete, or a standard poured concrete, the concrete is simply poured and smoothed, and that’s the job done (outside of stopping any curious pets or kids from stepping in the fresh concrete).
With aggregate concrete, there are several more steps:
Step One: Aggregate materials are chosen and mixed into the concrete base.
Step Two: Concrete is poured and smoothed with a trowel.
Step Three: While the surface is still wet, installers spray it with specially formulated chemicals to keep the top layer — which surrounds the rocks and pebbles that you want exposed — from solidifying.
Step Four: The surface is covered with plastic sheeting for approximately 24 hours. This is done to further help that top layer from hardening.
Step Five: Plastic is removed to allow power washing of the surface. This removes the top and reveals the aggregate underneath.
BONUS STEP: It’s recommended you seal your concrete to prevent deterioration over time.
As you can see, there’s a lot more at play when laying and processing the concrete. But that extra cost delivers a surface engineered to last, look great, and maybe even make the neighbours jealous no matter which Melbourne suburb you call home.
Factors that affect the cost of your exposed aggregate concrete
Size of your space
Generally speaking, exposed aggregate concrete is priced by square meter. The larger your space, then, the more you will have to pay for this type of concrete.
Exposed aggregate concrete is much more complicated to install than standard concrete, and requires a very particular technical skill and expertise. For this reason, it is always best to hire a professional to pour your concrete and apply the finishing touches.
This will help you avoid many of the problems that come with inexperienced installation, including:
- Uneven surfaces
- Cracks or breaks in the concrete
- Moisture bleeding to the surface
You should expect to pay no less than $100 to $150 per square meter for Melbourne’s leading concrete flooring experts.
The more detail you add to your concrete, the more expensive it will become. A great thing about exposed aggregate concrete is that there are a variety of colors and textures available. You can choose from:
- Standard concrete or special class concrete mixes
- Different aggregate stones, including pebbles and shells
- Coloured concrete
- Special finishes, like polished or honed concrete
Each of these factors will impact your overall cost.
Living in Melbourne means you’ll typically pay more than someone living in rural Victoria. Although this can feel like a ‘City Tax’, it’s largely due to transportation and machine costs.
Grade of your concrete
Your final price will also vary depending on the grade and strength of concrete you need for your space. Overall, the strength of concrete is rated using a grading system measured in megapascals (MPa). The scale can range from 20-50 MPa.
Normal spaces, like a concrete driveway or a pathway, only require concrete rated from 20-25 MPa, and this will be less expensive. However, if your project requires a higher strength concrete –, for example, if your driveway will experience heavy vehicle traffic — you will need a higher class of concrete, and this will cost more.
How much should you expect to pay?
Overall, you should expect to pay $100 to $150 per m2 per square meter for exposed aggregate concrete. This covers the cost or materials and labour, but make sure you request any quote be priced by inclusions so you can see what you’re paying for.
When it comes to concrete, the above figures are in the higher range. Check out the table below to compare:
|Type of Concrete
|Normal Class Concrete
||$60 to $85 per square meter
||$65 to $90 per square meter
||$100 to $150 per square meter
Can I go down the DIY path on my next concrete project?
We highly recommend you don’t try to DIY your concrete project if you’re not a trained professional.
As we mentioned, laying and setting exposed aggregate concrete is a complicated, multi-step process that requires work with dangerous chemicals. Such chemicals should never be handled without proper training.
What’s more, concrete can be tricky: each type of concrete needs to be mixed with the right amount of water. Too much or too little and you could wind up with concrete that cracks, crumbles, and doesn’t last.
Having to re-do a poor job will require that you end up spending all the money you were trying to save, and that’s not worth it in the long-run!
Looking for Melbourne’s leading experts?
Exposed aggregate can be a durable, beautiful, and cost-effective option for your flooring – and now you can budget for this striking home upgrade at a price that works for you.
As a proud member of the Master Builders Association, we specialise in architectural concrete and formwork design, in both the domestic and commercial sectors, and with decades of experience we have the passion, expertise and commitment to help you on your next project
If you are considering a home renovation or remodel — and you would like to learn more about your options in Melbourne — feel free to reach out to one of our experts for a free quote.