Solid and Aggregate – The Two Types of Concrete Driveways – Differences and Advantages

Those who are leading toward a concrete driveway quickly learn that there are two types to choose from – aggregate or solid. While both have all the features of concrete – impressive durability and longevity – they also have differences that should be acknowledged before making a final decision.

A brief overview of aggregate and solid concrete driveways

Also referred to as exposed aggregate, aggregate driveways live up to their names in that the gravel or stone chips that is part of the concrete mixture is visible to the eye. This means that in the finished surface you will see this material which lends your driveway additional texture. With aggregate concrete, you get the additional option of choosing a color to add to it; this color can be used to complement your landscape colors and style which adds additional curb appeal to yo9ru home.

Solid concrete is exactly what its name implies; it’s textured. This makes it smoother.  Providing you with what is called a broom finish, a concrete driveway is slip-resistant, meaning it’s safer.

What are the distinctive differences between the two?

The Look   As touched upon previously, the appearance of each type of concrete driveway is quite different. This is related to their finishes as described above. The many colors in an exposed aggregate driveway prompted by the variations of the material in color makes it very textured. This gives is an elevated more decorative appearance.

On the other hand, a solid concrete driveway has a surface that is smooth and flat. And, it is basically grey in color. However, it is possible to have a different color added to it to diminish the greyness. Another option to get closer to a more decorative look is to have a stamping process applied that will give the concrete driveway a patterned appearance. This way the solid concrete driveway becomes a stamped concrete driveway.

However, overall, the more natural color options offered by an aggregate driveway is a very common reason for selecting this type of driveway.

Process of Installing   If you’re in a hurry, you might not choose an aggregate driveway; the time to install this type of driveway is rather lengthy compared to a solid concrete driveway. The steps involved require more time. First the concrete is poured and smoothened, and then, while the concrete is wet, the driveway is sprayed with chemicals formulated specifically for this type of driveway’s surface. This spraying process assures that the layer surrounding the pebbles and rocks doesn’t harden.

And, as if this isn’t enough, it must be covered for a full day. Then, upon the removal of the sheet 24 hours later, the aggregate driveway surface is power washed by your contractor. This aids in the removal of the layer of concrete that is pasty and soft.

The process of a solid concrete driveway is much more efficient.

Maintenance and repair   Concrete will crack. This means that, even though they are very durable, both types of concrete driveways are subject to deteriorating so they must be sealed. However, the aggregate driveway is more prone to deteriorate due to the pebbles and small stones; if they get dislodged this can’t be fixed.

Give Flat Rock Concrete Construction, Inc. a call today!  Our office numbers are (248) 379-0250 or (586) 726-6091!

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