Pebble finished concrete, or exposed aggregate concrete, is one of many decorative finishes you can consider for your upcoming projects. Exposed aggregate is one of the oldest forms of decorative concrete, dating back to the early 1900’s. There are several reasons for its long tenure in the cannon of decorative concrete, including its versatility in applications, durability over time, and subsequently it’s cost-effectiveness versus other types of decorative finishes. Exposed aggregate concrete can be used for plazas, driveways, pool decks, retaining walls, and building facades, to name a few. The pebbled surface provides slip resistance and naturally circumvents the appearance of erosion that a smooth concrete surface reveals with wear and tear. Additionally, its initial cost is like that of unfinished concrete and requires less upkeep over time than other decorative concrete options. If exposed aggregate concrete is your choice for your next project, a skilled concrete contractor such as The Conco Companies can help you bring out the natural aesthetics of aggregate for a classic, lasting concrete finish.
How it is achieved
Exposed aggregate concrete can be achieved in three primary ways. One method is using a chemical retarder on the surface of the placed concrete or batching it with the concrete mixture to slow the hardening of the cement, and then washing the surface layer of cement from the concrete slab, leaving intact the layers of cement below and revealing the aggregate on the surface. Another method is to simply wash and brush the surface of the concrete before it is fully hardened to expose the desired amount of aggregate. Alternatively, abrasive blasting can be used on the surface of the concrete after it has hardened.
Once the surface layer of cement is removed, the natural characteristics of the aggregate are revealed. Luminous natural aggregate such as quartz can be incorporated, or even manufactured aggregate such as polished glass or stones. The final step in exposed aggregate is to apply a sealant, which only needs to be reapplied every two years.
Types of enhancements
If you are looking to take the aesthetic of exposed aggregate concrete even further, there are additional concrete finishing techniques that can be applied to the process. Pigment can be added through dyes or stains, either topically or as a part of the concrete mixture in order to create a complimentary color in the cement or alter the hue of certain aggregates. Other simple enhancement options are to remove only some portions of the surface cement when exposing the aggregate, creating a decorative border or stamped walkways or patterns.
Conco’s mission is to be the best supplier of concrete services in the Western United States and to bring expertise, experience, and quality of each project. We continue to upgrade and expand facilities to better serve the growing market for commercial, educational, public works, and parking structure projects as well as other construction development. Please call or email for more information on how Conco can assist your next project with Confoam™, our cost-saving cellular concrete.
Reinforcing concrete with steel is the main innovation that allowed concrete structures to bring buildings to greater heights over the last century and a half. It strengthens concrete to be able to withstand the bending and stresses that every building experiences. That is why a trusted concrete contractor with reinforcement expertise is important for any construction project. The Conco Companies, a leading concrete contractor in Portland, provides many concrete services, including reinforcement to concrete in Portland and throughout the Western United States. Conco provides a wide range of superior reinforcement services, demonstrated by its rebar production capacity and track record of successfully completing complex reinforcement projects.
Conco fabricates its own rebar, and its experienced crew is highly trained on the specialized tools that fabricate, assemble, and install rebar at project sites. The precision-engineered rebar is fabricated using the most modern shear lines, benders, and post-tension cable manufacturing equipment to increase accuracy and productivity. This production capability allows Conco to identify improvements in design and make the appropriate changes to rebar for specific projects and ensures rebar supply for even the largest and most complex projects in a timely manner.
As an example of Conco’s reinforcement service capabilities, the Milpitas 750 project, developed by the Anton Development Company is a 7-level parking garage that totals nearly 190,000 sq. ft. and 508 parking spaces. For this large parking structure, Conco provided several concrete services including pumping, formwork, finishing, and shotcrete as well as reinforcement. To complete the project, Conco included 1,600,000 pounds of rebar and post tensioning reinforcement in the project’s concrete.
Another project that Conco provided reinforcement services is the Stanford University two-story concrete and steel fitness center. This building, on the 35 acre Redwood City campus, is located between Broadway and Bay Road. Conco provided concrete pumping, formwork, finishing, and shotcrete in addition to reinforcement services. Conco shipped 330,000 pounds of rebar and post tensioning reinforcement to the project.
Conco’s mission is to be the best supplier of concrete services in the Western United States and to bring experience, expertise and quality to each project. We continue to upgrade and expand facilities to better serve the growing market for public works projects, commercial, educational, parking structures, and other construction development. Please contact us to learn more about our high-performance, precision-engineered fabricated rebar in the Portland area.