When it comes to enhancing the aesthetics and functionality of your outdoor space, choosing the right paving material is crucial. 

Two popular options include:

  • Pebblecrete
  • Exposed aggregate

Both of these materials have their unique characteristics and benefits, making them suitable for different applications. 

So, what’s right for you?

In this article, we’ll aim to answer that question by exploring the differences between pebblecrete and exposed aggregate for your next outdoor project.

Whether you’re looking to create a welcoming pathway, a stunning patio, or a safe and slip-resistant pool deck, read on for everything you need to know about pebblecrete and exposed aggregate concrete.

Pebblecrete: Classic Elegance with a Textured Finish

Pebblecrete is a classic choice when you’re looking to add an elegant touch to your outdoor spaces. 

Pebblecrete consists of small, rounded pebbles mixed with concrete, creating a textured finish that is both visually appealing and slip-resistant. Here are some of the key advantages of choosing this striking, durable finish:

Aesthetic Appeal: Pebblecrete offers a timeless look that can complement a wide range of architectural styles, from traditional to contemporary. The natural stone appearance of the pebbles adds a touch of sophistication to any outdoor area.

Durability: Melbourne’s ever-changing weather conditions, including rain and extreme temperatures, can take a toll on outdoor surfaces. Pebblecrete is known for its durability, as it can withstand these elements and retain its visual appeal over time.

Non-slip Surface: Safety is a top priority for outdoor areas, especially around pools or in wet conditions. Pebblecrete’s textured surface provides excellent traction, reducing the risk of slips and falls.

Low Maintenance: Unlike some other paving materials, pebblecrete requires minimal maintenance. Occasional pressure washing and sealing can keep it looking great for years to come.

However, it’s important to note that pebblecrete may not be the ideal choice for everyone. Its textured surface can be harder to clean, and the installation process can be more labor-intensive compared to other options.

Exposed Aggregate: Modern Elegance with Customisation

It is known for its modern and customisable appearance. This material is created by exposing the decorative aggregates (such as stones, pebbles, or even glass) within the concrete surface. 

Here are the advantages of choosing this type of concrete finish:

Customisation: One of its standout features is the ability to customise the appearance. You can choose from a variety of aggregate types, colors, and sizes to create a unique look that matches your personal style and the aesthetic of your property or driveway.

Visual Appeal: It delivers a visually stunning surface with a textured, multi-dimensional appearance. It can create a natural and appealing look that can elevate the overall design of your outdoor space.

Durability: Like pebblecrete, this type of concrete is durable and can withstand Melbourne’s diverse weather conditions. It is resistant to cracking and fading, ensuring a long-lasting investment.

Low Maintenance: With minimal maintenance requirements, it is easy to care for. Regular cleaning and sealing can help maintain its beauty for years.

While this type of concrete offers numerous benefits, it may come at a slightly higher cost compared to pebblecrete. Additionally, customisation options may require more planning and decision-making during the installation process.

Maintenance Considerations: Pebblecrete vs. Exposed Aggregate

Maintenance is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing between pebblecrete and exposed aggregate for your outdoor space. The level of maintenance required can impact the long-term cost and satisfaction with your choice.

Pebblecrete Maintenance

Pebblecrete, with its textured surface and small pebble aggregates, is generally low maintenance. However, it does require some care to preserve its appearance and durability over the years.

Regular Cleaning: To keep your pebblecrete looking its best, periodic cleaning is necessary. You can use a pressure washer to remove dirt, algae, and other debris that can accumulate on the surface. Be sure to use a gentle nozzle setting to avoid damaging the pebblecrete.

Sealing: Sealing is an essential step in pebblecrete maintenance. It helps protect the surface from stains and moisture penetration. Re-sealing is typically required every few years, depending on the wear and tear your outdoor space experiences.

Repairs: Over time, minor cracks or chips may develop in the pebblecrete surface. These should be repaired promptly to prevent them from worsening. Fortunately, small repairs can often be done without the need for extensive restoration.

Weed Control: Weeds and grass can grow between the pebbles, so it’s essential to keep them under control. Regularly inspect the surface and remove any unwanted vegetation.

Exposed Aggregate Maintenance

It also offers relatively low maintenance, making it an attractive option for many homeowners. Here’s how to care for your surface:

Regular Cleaning: Like pebblecrete, this type of concrete benefits from routine cleaning. A mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush can help remove dirt and stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the surface.

Sealing: Sealing is crucial for maintaining its appearance and durability. It enhances the color and protects against stains and moisture infiltration. The frequency of re-sealing depends on the level of foot traffic and weather exposure.

Can You Use Exposed Aggregate Concrete Around a Pool?

Weed Control: Just like with pebblecrete, this type of concrete can develop weed growth between the aggregates. Regularly inspect and remove weeds to prevent them from undermining the surface.

Avoiding Heavy Loads: While it is durable as a driveway option, it’s essential to avoid heavy machinery on the surface, as this can cause damage. Place protective mats or boards under heavy equipment to distribute the weight.

Cost Comparison: Pebblecrete vs. Exposed Aggregate

Cost is a significant factor when deciding between pebblecrete and exposed aggregate for your outdoor space. Both materials have their price points, which can impact your budget for the project.

Pebblecrete Costs

Pebblecrete is often considered a cost-effective choice for outdoor paving. The primary cost factors include the type of pebbles used, labour costs, and the size of the area to be paved. Generally, pebblecrete is more affordable compared to some high-end materials like natural stone or custom exposed aggregate mixes.

Exposed Aggregate Costs

It can be slightly more expensive than pebblecrete, primarily due to the customisation options it offers. The cost depends on factors such as the type and size of aggregates, color choices, and the complexity of the design. 

How Much Does an Exposed Aggregate Driveway Cost?

However, it’s essential to consider the long-term value and aesthetic appeal that this type of concrete can bring to your outdoor space.

When comparing costs, it’s also crucial to factor in the maintenance requirements of each material. While pebblecrete may have a lower upfront cost, it may require more frequent re-sealing and repairs over time, which can increase the overall cost of ownership.

Final Thoughts: Making Your Decision

Choosing between pebblecrete and exposed aggregate for your Melbourne outdoor space ultimately comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and specific project requirements. 

Both materials offer durability, aesthetic appeal, and relatively low maintenance, making them suitable options for various applications.

Consider your desired look, the location of the paving, and the long-term maintenance commitment when making your decision. 

Whether you opt for the classic elegance of pebblecrete or the customizable modern beauty of exposed aggregate, both materials have their merits and can transform your outdoor area into a stunning and functional space that you can enjoy for years to come.

Call on Concept Concrete for Your Concrete Solution

Concept Concrete is a family-run business that places the emphasis on high quality, professional projects that stick to timelines and budgets throughout the process. We are also proud members of the Master Builder Association and are a registered building practitioner.

We offer free, no obligation quotes and can come check out your outdoor space, the grading, and the waterflow to ensure that you choose the best option for you. 

Just call us on 1300 366 343 or request an obligation-free quote online today.