Decorative Concrete Finishes

Different types of Decorative Concrete Finishes

With many new home builders and renovators engaging in different and unique trends to get the ‘perfect’ house look, having the right concrete finish to your home might be the key to adding that special little touch that will wow your guests. As a home builder, choosing a suitable decorative concrete finish can be a lot simpler if you know what type of finish you want.

Whether it’s for your driveway, pool area or alfresco, Terrastone is here to give you the insights of the different types of decorative concrete finishes and how it will benefit your home.

Honed concrete outdoor patio surrounding modern garden

A timeless finish that everyone loves

Exposed aggregate is a widely used decorative finish by many homes for its classy look and durability on outdoor areas. It is the type of decorative concrete finish produced by combining a mix of coloured and varied stone sizes within the concrete mix. It is then left exposed after pouring with a retardant added in to prevent the surface from setting. The top layer is then removed through a special process to leave a natural look of the stones. Exposed aggregate can come in 2 different finishes.

Exposed aggregate can come in 2 different finishes.

  1. Standard Aggregate – The most common finish where the aggregate is mixed in the cement before it is laid down. This provides a more organic, natural look to your concrete area. However, this requires a good balance between cement and aggregate to sustain the durability of the components.
  2. Seeded Aggregate – For those meticulous about how you want your aggregate to look, opting for a seeding aggregate application might be the best choice for you. The seeding process requires adding the aggregate to the wet concrete after it has been laid. This can provide you with the options of adding feature stones or glowing stones to further improve the décor of your chosen area.
Residential pool with minimal honed concrete pool edge

Quick, flexible and attractive

Honed concrete is a decorative finish most commonly used as flooring material for driveways and pool areas. The aggregate is a concoction of various materials mixed together within a concrete matrix. The honing process involves grinding the aggregate surface down with machines and polishing it with abrasives to achieve a smooth and flat surface.

This gives the honed concrete a stunning mosaic-like design that consist of countless stones and colours. What makes honed concrete so popular for home builders is its versatility to be used for outdoor areas and indoor areas such as bench tops, feature walls and internal home flooring.

Outdoor alfresco kitchen and dining area with honed concrete floor

Versatility at its best

Low-cost life cycle and sustainable, polished concrete is a decorative concrete finish that has risen in popularity among new home builders and renovators. It provides a refined and elegant look that gives it that luxurious appeal similar to granite or marble. Polished concrete can come in a variety of designs upon its polished look making it a popular choice to be used for internal flooring, kitchen and bathroom benchtops and outdoor areas.

Swatch of liquid limestone in natural colour

Your solution to a cooler outdoor living

Natural, affordable and the ability to stay cool in the hottest conditions, Liquid limestone is one of the decorative concrete finishes that Western Australian’s are setting their sights on for their driveways, outdoor living areas and pool surround.

Made of concrete, crushed limestone and additives, liquid limestone does not boast the standard dull grey colour seen in most concrete applications but has a more natural ‘Mediterranean’ colour that allows it to complement most areas. It can be further coloured, textured and refined to reinforce its natural paving look without the worry of weeds getting between the gaps.

Honed concrete alfresco area overlooking concrete pool edge

Your solution to a cooler outdoor living

Unlike other decorative concrete finishes, coloured concrete is simply a standard concrete application with a pigment added to the mix to achieve a unique pattern or colour. With it simplicity, coloured concrete tends to be used on pool areas, internal flooring, commercial spaces and alfresco areas.

This can be attained in a few ways.

  • Integral colouring – This is achieved by pre-mixing iron oxides to help infuse the colour within the concrete mix. When poured, the colour is evenly distributed throughout the concrete and prevents the infusions stops the colour from deteriorating from surface erosion.
  • Shake-on colour – A method of application where a colour hardener is ‘dusted’ on top of the concrete application.
  • Water-based dyes – Water-based dyes can be infused with the concrete mix to create a unique pattern or design suited to your style to leave an eye-catching finish on your concrete.
  • It is important to note that with coloured concrete, its finishes are not UV resistant. Using a quality concrete sealer will help ensure that the colour will not deteriorate from sunlight exposure.
  • Easy to clean – Coloured concrete can be cleaned very easily. Using either a pressurized washer, mop or sealer every so often ensures that dust and stains are removed to keep your concrete surface smooth and brand-new.

Why choose decorative concrete finishes for your home?

Now that we know what the different decorative concrete finishes are, how can choosing a finish help benefit you and give you the ideal décor to your home?

Exposed Aggregate

  • Durable and Resilient – Normally meant to endure heavy foot traffic. The combined materials make the application sturdy and resistant to weather conditions that gives it a life-time performance for your home.
  • Low maintenance – There is almost little to do when maintaining your exposed aggregate application. Simply using pressurized water to clean it twice a year and you will have a stunning, brand new look to your area.
  • Brings value to your property – Adding a decorative concrete style to your property gives your driveway, walkway or front yard a more aesthetically appealing look. This raises the market value of your property that will attract potential buyers.
  • Limitless customization – With the option to choose the colours, shape and stones of your aggregate, no application will look the same. Giving you the ability to create the ‘ideal’ concrete finish for your project.
  • Safe and affordable – The exposed stones of the aggregate act as a skid-resistant finish (concrete coating). Making it the ideal option for outdoor flooring areas such as poolside’s, driveways and patios. It also is 80% cheaper compared to other stone surfaces, making your project much more affordable.

Honed Aggregate

  • Low Maintenance, long life – Honed aggregate requires little cleaning and can be easy maintained with an occasional pressure washing or mopping. It also has natural longevity, lasting up to 50 years if maintained properly.
  • Stunning and resilient – Honed aggregate combines all kinds of shapes, stones and colours that gives it a clean, shiny look. Setting the scene of your home to have a modern, bountiful appeal that captivates visitors.
  • Safety first – While having a smooth finish on its surface, a honed aggregate application can have a concreate coating applied to it to give it a non-slip surface. This is perfect for improving the safety of your home by preventing pool accidents, falls and slips.

Polished Concrete

  • Cost effective – While being a bit costlier, this investment will start to outshine its cost as its long-life performance and low-maintenance means that will add value to your home in the future if you decide to sell.
  • Sustainable – If you are more eco-conscious about your home, choosing a polished concrete finish is the ideal choice for you. Polished concrete makes used of existing house materials when applied, saving on costs and consumption of new materials.
  • Easy to clean – Polished concrete attracts little dust and allergens. Making it easy to clean with little equipment while improving the air quality of your home.
  • Versatile in its look – Be in control. Polished concrete applications allow you to use your ability to choose your design, polish level and colour on your application to create a unique look that will complement the appeal of your home.

Liquid Limestone

  • Cost effective – The materials used, and the time taken to apply liquid limestone requires much less compared to other decorative concrete finishes. Liquid limestone is also highly durable and has a long-life cycle making it an affordable choice for new home builders and renovators.
  • Heat-Resistant – What makes it a popular choice for Western Australians is the natural ability to stay cool underfoot during Perth’s hottest days. Say goodbye to burnt feet!
  • Easy to maintain – With liquid limestone, its application leaves a smooth finish with minimal gaps that eliminates weed growth potential. Cleaning is also easy requiring an occasional pressure wash. To ensure its peak performance, a concrete sealer should be added to help maintain its natural appearance and to protect it from stains and potential cracks.

Coloured Concrete

Why settle for a dull grey when you can have a vibrant look at a reasonable cost?

  • Customisable – You can control and design the appearance of your coloured concrete to best suit your personal sense of style with your home.
  • Durable – As with other decorative concretes, coloured concretes provide a robust and sturdy structure. Along with adding the right sealant and proper maintenance, you are almost guaranteed that the decorative concrete will last a lifetime.
  • Affordable – Coloured concrete presents itself as an efficient and affordable option for those seeking a creative concrete appeal. While it does cost slightly more than standard concrete, it is premixed off-side and arrives to you ready to be used.

Now that you understand what types of decorative concrete finishes are available and how it will benefit your home. Why stop there? Driven and committed in giving you the best. Terrastone helps build your dream space using only the best quality decorative concrete manufacturers, concrete finishers and contractors to ensure you get the quality you deserve.

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