Aggregate Driveway vs. Solid Driveway – Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to concrete, both aggregate and solid driveways are good options. Both these concrete driveways are not only long-lasting but also very durable. Aggregate driveways are also known by the name exposed aggregate. The reason behind this name is the stone chips or the gravel used in the concrete mix are partly visible. In simpler words, you will be able to see the material in the finished surface, proving your driveway with a texture. If you choose the aggregate driveway for your house, you will also have the option of adding color to it. the color you choose can be designed to complement your landscaping and make it more eye-catching.

While an aggregate driveway is more artistic, a standard solid driveway is smoother. It comes with a broom finish to provide you with slip-resistance.

Decorative Differences

When it comes to the looks, standard concrete and exposed aggregate are very different from each other. There are multiple colors in the exposed aggregate driveways because it has different colored materials. Not to mention the fact that aggregate driveways are highly textured.

A solid concrete driveway has a flat and smooth surface. The color of solid driveway is usually grey unless you get some different color added. It is possible to get different colors added.   You can also get it some pattern on it with the stamping technique. Ask your contractor to provide you with options on stamped concrete driveway designs.

Installation Procedures

Aggregate driveways have a longer installation time as compared to solid driveways. After pouring and smoothing your new aggregate driveway, your contractor will spray it with some specially formulated chemicals while the surface of the driveway is still wet. The chemicals are sprayed so that the layer that surrounds the rocks and pebbles does not get hard. Once the spraying is finished, your contractor will cover the finished driveway with a plastic sheet for 24 hours approx. when the sheet is removed, your contractor will power-wash the surface of the aggregate driveway, which will help remove the paste-like and soft layer of concrete. The end result will be aggregate driveway surface with small rocks and pebbles for texture.

Deterioration Factors

The material concrete is known to be highly durable, and that is why the first choice of many homeowners when it comes to designing driveways. However, any surface can deteriorate with time. You can get your contractor to seal the surface of your driveway to increase its lifespan.

The textured surface of the aggregate driveway makes it more susceptible to deterioration. The small stones and pebbles can get dislodged from the surface over time, which can’t be fixed.  Concrete driveways are also vulnerable to cracks. You can seal the cracks using sealant, making your concrete driveway as good as new.

Maintenance Considerations

Concrete driveways need minimal maintenance. Just make sure that the surface remains clean and remove all the stains right away. Aggregate driveways should not be power-washed as it can cause the pebbles and stones to dislodge. You can power-wash your solid concrete driveway if there are no cracks on the surface.

Both solid driveways and aggregate driveways have their plus points. Choosing which one is best for you is a personal preference.  If you are interested in learning more about exposed aggregate driveways or solid driveways, give Flat Rock Concrete Construction a call.  We can be reached  at (248) 379-0250 or (586) 726-6091.

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