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Decorative Concrete Finish

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Old 02-02-2008, 08:18 PM   #1
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Decorative Concrete Finish

How do you pour a patio with the pea gravel look?
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:38 PM   #2
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Re: Decorative Concrete Finish

with pea gravel



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Old 02-05-2008, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: Decorative Concrete Finish

exposed aggregate finish? If that is what you mean the place you order your cement through will double the amount of aggregate in the mix. Finish it like a normal pad and when it is set up to a point you rinse it with a garden hose, it rinses the slurry off the top and leaves the rocks showing.
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:21 PM   #4
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Re: Decorative Concrete Finish

To do an exposed aggregate finish properly - 1)order a specific exposed aggregate mix. It will have a specific type and gradation of aggregate, water reducers, and probably some retarder. Specifics will change based on location. 2)Place and bowl float finish only. 3) Spray a surface retardant on the surface and cover with black plastic, 4) Let sit for 6-12 hrs based on temp. 5)remove plastic and power wash.

Most failure of exposed aggregate finished conrete is caused by people just washing the surface without a surface retardant. You lower the water/cement ratio and you don't have a good bond on the bottom of the aggregate. The surface retarder ectches in the surface 3/16" to 3/8" (depending on the type you buy) and allows a good bond on the bottom before you wash it off.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:24 AM   #5
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Re: Decorative Concrete Finish

I’m doing an exposed Driveway next week, customer is asking for a sandy finish. I’ve looked into chemicals that do 3/16” instead of 3/8” and also added manufactured sand/also known as Polamaric Sand into the mix. Any other suggestions?
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:08 AM   #6
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Re: Decorative Concrete Finish

Originally Posted by CaliDesigns View Post

Most failure of exposed aggregate finished conrete is caused by people just washing the surface without a surface retardant. You lower the water/cement ratio and you don't have a good bond on the bottom of the aggregate. The surface retarder ectches in the surface 3/16" to 3/8" (depending on the type you buy) and allows a good bond on the bottom before you wash it off.
What are talking about, Leroy?

What is this surface retardant?
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:16 AM   #7
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Re: Decorative Concrete Finish

With exposed aggragate, I like to order the concrete colored black, it just lookes nicer when done.

Also, power washing is not a good idea for a newbie. You can very easily blow out rocks, then you are screwed.

Order the special mix with black coloring, make sure you order enough mud, do not accidentally push any rocks down while floating. Those marks will show later if filled up with cream.

Spray on the surface retarder. Usually diluted molasses or sugar water. Wait a while depending on conditions, then wash off the cream with a low pressure garden hose and a helper pulling off the excess cream with a concrete broom.

Then the fun part, wait until totally dry, then spray or roll glossy cure-seal. Or wait one month, and just glossy sealer.

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Old 05-02-2019, 08:03 AM   #8
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Re: Decorative Concrete Finish

I've poured a bunch of exposed aggregate concrete and prefer to "seed" my aggregate into the surface, rather than having it in the entire mix. With this method you use a retarder as mentioned to slow the cure, spread an inch or two of your special aggregate on the surface of wet concrete, then float it in. When slab hardens most of the way, you broom and wash the surface to get the aggregate nicely exposed. After if hardens completely you continue to wash and clean the surface to get the pretty rocks clean, then apply a good sealer such as Agribrite.

Exposed aggregate is not something a rookie concrete guy should take on, you will have a very strong chance of failure. Even the pros screw one up now and then and have to jackhammer it out and replace. Never a bad idea to do a little sample area 4' x 4' first to see what it takes to get the appearance you want.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:46 PM   #9
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Re: Decorative Concrete Finish

Here's a bit of info

O'dell Concrete - best guy on YT...and a super nice guy.

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Old 05-03-2019, 12:01 PM   #10
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Re: Decorative Concrete Finish

Here we just wait until winter then salt it and run the plow over it a few times.


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