An exposed aggregate concrete is created when the top layer of the cement paste of the concrete is removed resulting in the appearance of the underlying aggregate. Thus, exposed aggregate concrete is nothing but concrete devoid of the topmost layer. This kind of concrete has various advantages over conventional concrete and has many applications.
How is it Created?
The exposed aggregate concrete is made by pouring fresh concrete over the surface followed by the application of a chemical on the surface. This chemical prevents the cement paste on the surface from drying and keeps it soft while the underlying concrete hardens and sets. This is an essential step in manufacturing exposed aggregate concrete.
After the underlying concrete has hardened, the surface paste is removed with the help of brush or pressure washer to expose the gravel in the underlying concrete. The surface is then treated with an acid solution of mild strength. This is done to eliminate any residual cement left on the surface. After drying, the concrete is sealed using a high gloss sealer. The aggregates used in the concrete can be pea-sized or full-sized gravel and even the special aggregates are incorporated into the surface before the concrete sets completely.
How are The Aggregates Incorporated into The Concrete?
One method is to seed the decorative aggregates over the surface of the concrete slab by using darby or bull floats. This is done until the aggregates are covered by a thin layer of cement paste. Another method involves adding the aggregates into the concrete mix during the process of batching. This method requires a number of aggregates.
Yet another method is the placement of a thin topping of concrete on the slab of normal concrete. This topping contains the decorative aggregates. The thickness of the topping can range between 1 and 2 inches.
Kinds of Aggregates Available in The Market
The widely used type decorative aggregates used in exposed aggregate concrete are natural stones made of granite, basalt, limestone, and quartz. These stones are available in a plethora of colors such as pink, dark blue, black, sandy brown, gray and various other hues. The colors of the stones depend upon their geological origin. Seashells and various other natural objects are also often used as aggregates.
- The most important advantageous feature of the exposed aggregate concrete is its decorative appearance. In fact, it is also called decorative concrete. Exposed aggregate concrete comes in a multitude of colors and textures in various sizes. The type of decorative stone used in the exposed aggregate concrete determines its color palette.
- The coarse surface of exposed aggregate concrete prevents slipping during rains and other conditions when the surface becomes wet. It also prevents skidding of tires.
- Exposed aggregate concrete is highly durable for decades. It is highly resistant against extreme weather conditions such as heavy rainfall.
- It blends well with any other kind of decorative concrete.
- Requires less maintenance. It needs to be cleaned occasionally with water and must be resealed after every few years.
These are some of the uses of exposed aggregate concrete.
- The patio is an outdoor living area for families. Different varieties of exposed aggregate concrete are used in patios to impart decorative looks to them. Marble chips and colored stones are often used as aggregates.
- Exposed aggregate concrete is widely used for constructing driveways. This is because such a type of concrete is skid proof and is known for high resilience. It is also highly resistant to wear and tear.
- Exposed aggregate concrete is also used in walkways.
A retaining wall is generally built with a special strength that also makes its base stronger, for which this type of wall can be made only from stones or concrete, due to the immense strength of these materials. But the use of retaining wall stone is more popular for supporting the domestic gardens and artificially created landscapes. These stone retaining walls keep the soil of the garden and you can also decorate your garden areas with these walls in a proper way. With this retaining wall, you can make some boundary on your garden area and these walls can also block debris, soil, and water from outside. So, these walls can help you to keep your garden clean and you can also do some architectural designs on these walls.
Steps to Be Followed While Building a Stone Retaining Wall
- First, the stones for building a certain wall should be selected carefully, which strictly depends on the size of the proposed wall and its exact location type. Usually, the large stones or rocks with numbers of angular faces are preferred for this purpose, where all the sides need to be flat for easy construction. Though the contractors hugely desire the rocks in the shape of bricks, it may not be always possible to get so many similar types of rocks and generally, one has to be content with a lesser number of flat faces in angular rocks.
- The numbers of required rocks depend on the dimensions of the walls to be constructed, for which the contractor should make an approximate calculation of your stone yard. If you hire some local contractor for this work then you can save the transportation cost of these materials.
- Next, the base should be prepared for starting the wall construction, for which a wide trench needs to be dug out with straight spades. The minimum depth of any such trench should be 4 inches, while its least width needs to be 2 feet. If the height of the wall needs to be more than 3 feet, then it is better to take prior permission from the local civic authority for such construction.
- Then the base rocks should be carefully chosen and usually, the largest ones are used for placing at the basic layer of the stone retaining wall. It is best all same sized rectangular rocks are available for this specific layer. Else the irregularly shaped rocks need to be carefully placed to leave a triangular shaped gap between each pair of rocks, over which the next layer of rocks needs to be fitted firmly.
Retaining Wall Stone
The Layering of Stones and Arrangement of The Stone Retaining Wall Is to Be Done Properly:
- Some earth and dirt should be put randomly over the first layer of stones and even behind it, to make this base layer strong enough to carry the weight of rest of the wall. The dirt and earth over the rocks act as the mortar to cement the next layer of stones; while the dirt and pebbles dumped behind the wall strengthen the base. The base layer can be strengthened even more, by placing large rocks at a gap of certain distance behind the basic stone layer.
- Likewise, the stones for the further layers of the wall should be chosen according to the angular joints that will fit into the available gaps in the previous layer of rocks, till the desired height of the wall is finally reached. The contractors working on this type of wall need to be very patient while working on the retaining wall stone, to bring the desired appearance and functionality of the created wall.
So, this blog helps you to learn about retaining wall stone. If you would like to know more then click here and get some more useful information.
The exterior of your home is a space for you to create an ambiance that reflects your personality. This does not mean that only people who spend lavishly on a given space will be able to transform their gardens into beautiful landscapes and those with a budget in hand will not.
There are various ways in which you can transform your yard into a beautiful garden without breaking the bank. It takes strategic planning and few clever tricks that will turn your yard into your serene haven.
Your needs and wants of what you want from the garden will differ from person to person, so you need to ask yourself, “How do I want to feel in my garden?” this is your key consideration and your inspiration right there. With this, you will start planning the theme and style of your garden designing. The only thing you need to keep in mind along with these is your budget.
Creating a beautiful backyard or a garden does not have to cost much. Thanks to some creative designers nowadays, who believe in using creative materials which are low-maintenance, plants that require less care than others.
Certain Things that You Must Make a Note of When Transforming Your Garden on a Budget are Given Below:
- Setting the Budget – It all depends on how much you want to and can afford to spend on your garden. You need to have a word with the experts who will guide you in such a way that will maximize your budget for best results. There are various methods to work out a budget and set limits, you will need to decide a design, the state of a plot when you begin and the elements you wish to include.
- Plan an Elaborate Design – Planning and designing a garden is the first crucial step after deciding your budget. The budget will reflect what kind of elements you will want to include in your garden. Wanting a small garden filled with hard landscaping, bespoke water features, and expensive garden lights will cost more than a large garden with a stunning lawn accommodating beautiful plants which will keep the costs down. With a tight budget on hand, always look for traditional and typical suburban gardens. materials like flint and woven hazel will enhance the raw beauty and the place will ooze natural beauty with some imperfections as a part of its charm.
- Plot Inspection – Check if your garden is sloped, needs removal of some structural elements such as old paving, walls etc., or has insufficient drainage. These factors will lead to cost more as you will have to redesign the entire floor plan according to the needs. Even small changes in the level of the land will make your garden look much bigger but all these removals of soil and retaining walls will be expensive.
- Get the Overall Cost – Designing a totally new garden might cost more than re-designing the previously existing one. There are many factors like designing fees, materials, plants and employing contractors that add to the list.
- Low Cost, High Impact – A budget friendly garden that creates a soothing visual impact is what you need then you must get creative. Plants are inexpensive and even ‘instant” hedges would be much cheaper than constructing a wall. Recycled materials shall be given utmost importance as these will cost less than new. Fencing and constructing walls can be pricey, therefore if security is not an issue then you can get creative with boundaries.
- Get Professional Help – Since you haven’t undertaken any huge garden projects before you might need expert assistance so that you know you are doing it right. Many times, remodeling a garden or a garden makeover would require professional and architects.
Professional Garden Makeover
So, it is advised that you not be skeptical about them but rather take opinions and ask friends and family to plan your strategy.
Garden paving plays a very crucial role in the way your garden looks and feels in the eyes of the beholder. Apart from the big things like bespoke features and plants, these are one of the most expensive parts of having a good garden. Being this so important, you cannot compromise on it. Hence, it is essential for you to select right garden pavers to enhance the overall look of the garden. To get the right garden pavers here are some of the guidelines that will help you out:
Ask for samples from the company:
Most companies are willing to offer samples as far as paving is concerned. Try to avail as many samples as possible and dedicate some time to analyze all the options available. There are many companies that will also display some areas where they have supplied and installed the pavers. This can prove to be very helpful for you. When you get samples, you might get it in the form of broken slabs or larger pieces which can be taken home. Once you get the garden pavers sample keep it in your garden one by one and notice how it looks. Make sure that you consider whether it suits the shade of the wall and other aspects of the garden. One more thing you need to be careful about is that when the stone is wet it can look a bit different and when dried it will look different.
Know the choices of materials available:
When it comes to garden pavers there are normally three choices of materials available that is concrete, clay and slate.
- Concrete material is available in a large range of patterns and in big sizes. This material is not a natural one and so it is possible to dye so that you can get the right color you want. This can prove to be useful in case you would like the specific color with your garden or house. In order to maintain this material in the best condition sealing is necessary.
- Clay tiles are available in medium size and have brick type color. There are some styles available for this. These are the ones that offer inviting looks and most suitable to the brick kind of ambiance. The best part of these tiles is that it is stain resistant and sustainable to huge traffic areas.
- Normally slate pavers are in grey-blue color with smooth texture. These are made out of natural stone there is the greater scope for creativity as far as shapes and sizes of tiles are concerned. A good thing about these garden pavers is that they are non-slippery and so can be most suitable for the outdoor pool garden area.
Never select the cheapest:
When you select the garden pavers make sure that you never select the one that is the cheapest alternative. The main reason behind this is that in a long period of time, selecting the cheapest material can prove to be very expensive. Make sure that you select the high-quality material that too from the reputable supplier. It is only then you will be able to get long lasting pavers for your garden. This means that you will not have to re-lay the complete driveway or path of your garden for long years to come.
These are some of the guidelines you need to keep in mind when you looking forward to garden pavers. This will guide you in the right direction and help you to get the best pavers for your needs.