How to Do Exposed Aggregate Concrete

best how to do exposed aggregate concrete

How to Do Exposed Aggregate Concrete

If you’re tired of standard concrete and you’re looking to jazz up your outdoor space, it’s time to consider exposed aggregate concrete. This aesthetic finish is obtained by stripping away an ordinary and uninteresting surface to unveil the exemplary beauty that lies beneath. In the case of concrete, the beauty is provided by the decorative aggregate, which is typically combined into the concrete mix or seeded onto the surface.

4 Ways You Can Get Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Can you achieve exposed aggregate finishes on your own? To a certain extent, yes. But if you have never done any kind of concrete work in the past, it might cost you some time and money with trial and error. If you want it done the first time correctly, it’s best to call a pro. Here are four of the most common methods contractors use.

Brushing and Washing

This is the cheapest way to get exposed aggregate concrete, and you will need nothing more than a broom, a water spray, and a trowel. Once you’ve laid your concrete, and it’s firm enough not to sink the pebbles, seed your aggregates onto the surface, then use a trowel to push down the pebbles gently. 

Proceed to spray the surface mortar with water and brush a thin layer away using a broom until you see that the aggregates are exposed at an acceptable depth. The final step is staining the surface after it has completely hardened. Keep in mind that because timing is so crucial with this approach, it is typically applicable for smaller areas.

Abrasive Pressure Washing

Abrasive pressure washing, generally called sandblasting, is the process of forcing a stream of abrasives under high pressure on a hardened concrete surface and cement paste to expose the aggregates underneath. The slight issue with this method is that it can break up aggregates and make them look unappealing. If it’s important for you to keep the form and full colour of the aggregates, this method is not a good choice.

Chemical Surface Retarder

One of the easiest ways to get exposed aggregate concrete is with chemical retarders. These chemicals are applied shortly to new concrete poured, which slows down its setting process so that you can expose the aggregates before the concrete hardens. This gives contractors extra time to scrub or pressure-wash the cement paste off for up to a day if they want to. This versatility can be very helpful on huge surfaces or places with hot weather.

Concrete Grinding

Concrete grinding involves a diamond grinder or other grinding tools to expose aggregate within the concrete. This method yields by far the smoothest result when it comes to exposing aggregates. Additionally, with the proper polishing, concrete can have a mirror-like quality akin to polished marble or terrazzo, making it suitable for indoor application as well. The only downside to this approach is that it will require sophisticated tools, a higher than average level of skill, and plenty of free time on your part.

Which is the best option for me?

The answer to this question depends on the result you want out of this project. If you want to achieve an exposed aggregate concrete simply to satisfy a new DIY curiosity and you’re only planning to do it on a small surface, stick to brushing and washing.
Chemical surface retarders might also be helpful and accessible to you in that case, but be sure to do your research and follow the safety precautions that come with it. 

Abrasive blasting might not be a safe DIY endeavour unless you have the tools and the experience for it. Besides, as mentioned, this method yields the least aesthetic result. 

If you want an exquisite exposed aggregate finish to add some pzazz to your place, concrete grinding might be the best choice for you as it works great for areas that need smoothing or levelling. The additional polishing stage will also produce a shimmering surface that might exceed your expectations. You can do it yourself if you’re handy with a grinder, but otherwise, you can hire a professional contractor to do this. 

Contact Ultra Grind Today

Exposed aggregate concrete is a beautiful finish that could add beauty and interest to any home or business property. This is achievable if you wish to do it on your own, but it might require some special skills and equipment. 

Ultra Grind has been installing exposed aggregate concrete for years, so we know what works and what doesn’t. Our skilled team can help you choose the perfect materials, from decorative concrete to incredible-looking aggregates. We guarantee a stunning surface for driveways, patios, or pool surrounds. If you want to learn more about how exposed aggregate concrete can help beautify your property, contact us today!

Types of Epoxy Concrete Finishes

best epoxy concrete finishes

Types of Epoxy Concrete Finishes

Epoxy is one of the longest-lasting floor finishes, although its durability highly depends on factors including its climate and how well it was done. Epoxy floor coatings in homes may endure for decades with proper maintenance, but in commercial settings, an epoxy floor recoating or touch-up is usually required after 5-10 years.

What Are Epoxy Concrete Finishes?

Because of their high resilience and endurance, epoxy coatings are particularly cost-effective. When it comes to epoxy concrete flooring treatments, Ultra Grind is the go-to company in Melbourne.  

Epoxy floor coatings are an excellent alternative for strong and aesthetically pleasing concrete floors. A chemical bond is produced between concrete surfaces and the substance using polymer resins and hardeners. Furthermore, there are several colours and decorative options to choose from.

Roll Coat Epoxy Flooring

Roll coat epoxy floor coating is a concrete finish made of polymer resins and hardeners, and it comes in a broad range of styles and colours. Incorporating epoxy coating into already-existing concrete surfaces produces a sleek, long-lasting surface that enhances the look of any garage floor. 

Roll-coat epoxy floors are ideal for industrial and heavy traffic areas because of their durability and resistance to regular wear and tear. A coating of polyurethane that is resistant to ultraviolet light has been applied to seal the surface. 

Therefore, epoxy flooring is unaffected by UV rays and never loses its durability. The durability and longevity of roll-coat epoxy coatings applied on existing garage floors are matched only by their low maintenance requirements. 

Flake Epoxy Floors

These days, flake epoxy floors are one of the newest trends in textured ornamental epoxies. This epoxy finish is achieved by applying a base coat to newly poured concrete and scattering coloured vinyl chips across the surface. In the end, you’ll have a thin, visually beautiful texture that sits above your existing surface and offers good resistance.

Industrial Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy floor finishes are a typical option for installing flooring in industrial environments. Epoxy floor coatings designed expressly for industrial applications are routinely placed on concrete floors to provide a high-performance, smooth, long-lasting surface that can resist heavy loads. 

This is done to produce a surface suitable for operation in industrial settings. If industrial floors are not properly finished, they are more prone to chip and get damaged rapidly, and cleaning them is a time- and labour-intensive and expensive process. 

Ultra Grind’s industrial epoxy finished floorings are as strong as nails, easy to clean and meet the criteria necessary for health and safety inspections.

Residential Epoxy Flooring

Epoxy, known for its durability and resistance, is often used as a finishing material. Because of these qualities, it is often used in concrete flooring systems. An epoxy floor finish is a two part solution that, once cured, produces a hardy and robust floor coating that may be used in various residential settings. 

When it comes to your garage, kitchen, or driveway, you may choose from a vast array of colours, patterns, and textures for the epoxy coating, which is one of the many possible benefits of epoxy flooring. Epoxy coating provides non-slip features and is easy to maintain, adding another layer of security. 

Why Get Epoxy Flooring?

Epoxy floor finishes may be applied in almost any hue, but its aesthetic value extends well beyond that. Colours may be used in any pattern, making them ideal for anything from safety floor striping to corporate logos. The colours will remain bright if the coating isn’t overexposed to the sun’s rays.

Hard Wearing and Non-Slip

Epoxy flooring that has been correctly bonded remains intact in the face of high foot traffic and resists abrasion and impact. Epoxy floor finishing is intended to shield the underlying concrete from damage and retains its lustre and functionality even after extensive use. 

Slip resistance is another feature of epoxy floor finishes. Epoxy with additional aggregates for slide resistance applies anywhere, but notably in industrial settings like factories and warehouses, where workers’ safety is of the utmost importance.

Applies Directly Over Concrete

In every situation, epoxy finishes are the best solution for existing concrete. Epoxy-finished flooring has an extremely long lifetime and requires very little care. 

If you want to save time and money throughout the process, apply an epoxy finish directly over your concrete floor. Because there are so many designs, patterns, and colours to pick from, this will make your floor seem new and upgraded.

Moisture and Chemical Resistant

If you finish it with epoxy, your floor will be more resistant to dampness and chemicals. In addition, the concrete floors will be protected, resulting in a longer lifetime for the floors and greater ease in maintaining them. Extreme temperatures are no match for concrete floors that have been finished with epoxy, and these floors are also resistant to stains.

Where Can I Install Epoxy Concrete Floors?

Epoxy concrete floors may be used in indoor and outdoor environments and in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. Epoxy concrete floors are often used in high-traffic areas because they offer a long-lasting, slip-resistant surface and are sturdy enough to handle heavy loads.

Choose Ultra Grind for Epoxy Concrete

Ultra Grind instals epoxy floors and provides additional services. Our professionals offer a selection of epoxy floor finishes. Since Niall and Brett founded the company in 2001, Ultra Grind has provided stunning epoxy finishes to Melbourne residents.

The goal of Ultra Grind is:

  • To attain extraordinary outcomes.
  • To provide customised service.
  • To guarantee that each consumer feels appreciated.
  • To provide low-cost, hassle-free services and solutions.
  • To emphasise customer service.
  • To ensure a smooth procedure with little disturbance and mess.
  • To provide a clear pricing policy: the amount shown on the quotation is the amount you will pay.

By delivering only the best epoxy finish flooring and installation, Ultra Grind epoxy finished floors have become the gold standard in epoxy finishing solutions for companies, industries, and residences in Melbourne.

What is Epoxy Flooring?

what is epoxy flooring

What is Epoxy Flooring?

Epoxy flooring, by its most basic description, is a surface with at least two millimetres of epoxy. Defining the difference between an epoxy floor and an epoxy floor coating is often tricky. Epoxy floors are described as epoxy coating at least two millimetres thick. Therefore this is where the two types of flooring diverge. Any epoxy floor less than two millimetres thick is often called an epoxy coating.

What epoxy floor coatings are available?

You can find an epoxy coating for your floor in any colour.
Besides the standard clear, epoxy resin is available in many colours. Earth tones, such as browns and beiges, are popular choices of garage floor paint because they go well with most other colours. In addition to being natural-looking and easy to match, these shades can also match various paint colours.

Gray and white are popular choices. Gray is a versatile colour that can be used in any house room, while white is charming as an accent colour. 

If you want something unique or specific, some manufacturers can make custom colour blends based on a sample you provide.

Epoxy floor coatings can be glossy, matte, textured or anything in between. 
The glossy finish has a shiny surface that reflects light. The high gloss of glossy epoxy floors is achieved by adding more resin to the floor coating and then polishing it with fine abrasives. This process results in a durable and long-lasting coating that few other types of flooring can match.

The matte finish has texture to avoid slipping, making it ideal for commercial applications such as restaurants or food processing facilities where many people walk around with wet shoes or bare feet on the flooring surfaces.

A recent innovation in textured decorative epoxies is flake floors—a process where coloured vinyl chips are combined with a urethane-based finish coat applied over a concrete surface before it dries completely. The result is an interesting textural effect on top of your existing surface, adding visual interest without being too overwhelming.

How much does epoxy flooring cost?

Epoxy flooring is a great way to add beauty and durability to your home – but just how much does epoxy flooring cost? It depends on the product type and whether you have a professional do the work. 

Professional installation of epoxy floors can cost between $30 and $100, depending on the type of epoxy and style.

Professional installation costs more than do-it-yourself, but it can be worth the extra cost if you don’t have experience laying epoxy or working with harsh chemicals. Professional installers have the right tools and know-how to cut corners on materials that will save you money in the long run.

Advantages of epoxy flooring

  • Epoxy flooring is durable and long-lasting. It can be used in areas with heavy traffic, such as retail stores, malls, airports or other public places.
  • It is slip-resistant and easy to clean because epoxy floors are chemical resistant at high temperatures, so they won’t melt when exposed to chemical cleaners such as bleach or ammonia-based products.
  • Epoxy Flooring is resistant to moisture better than most other types of flooring due to its composition, consisting mainly of polyurethane resin mixed with pigments creating a hard-wearing surface finish that resists scratches while cleaning easier.
  • Concrete stamps are available in many styles. This category includes stone, brick, tile, and other patterned materials.

Disadvantages of epoxy floor coatings

  • Wet epoxy has an unpleasant odour that can be noticed during application. Epoxy workers must cover themselves with masks and safety eyewear since the fumes are not only unpleasant to smell but may also be hazardous.
  • You need to protect yourself and others from potentially harmful epoxy fumes by ensuring adequate ventilation in the area where epoxy is being applied.
  • An epoxy flooring system might take several days to fully cure after installation. The drying and curing time for most applications is around 72 hours.
  • If you live in a humid environment or are installing epoxy flooring in a high-traffic area of your home or business, you may find the curing period a nuisance.
  • The non-porous nature of epoxy makes it dangerously slippery when wet. Epoxy flooring may be particularly hazardous if installed in an area frequented by young children or the elderly.
  • Removing epoxy coatings can be challenging. To remove an old layer from your garage floor, you need to scrape it off with a metal or plastic instrument, use a solvent like acetone or paint thinner, then scrape again, or you can use a floor grinder to remove the old garage floor coating and expose the concrete floors underneath.

How is epoxy flooring applied?

1st Step

Surface preparation

Get the Floor ready. When preparing a surface, these approaches tend to be the most common:

  • Grinding with a diamond grinder
  • Sanding
  • Shot-blasting
  • Milling

2nd Step
Clean the floor

Make use of an industrial vacuum equipped with filters capable of collecting dust of even the smallest particle size.

3rd Step
Prime the floor with epoxy primer

You’ll need to prepare the surface so the epoxy can adhere to it. For this reason, we use an epoxy primer.

4th Step
Epoxy grout should be used to seal any gaps or holes.

All damage to the floor, such as gouges or cracks, must be repaired before the coating can be applied.

5th Step
Apply the first coating of epoxy paint

A squeegee or a roller may be used to apply the base coat. When the first coat of coloured epoxy is applied, the condition of the underlying surface will become apparent. At this point, any residual fissures or holes should be plainly visible.

6th Step
Final Sanding and Filling before applying the final epoxy floor paint

Step 7
Apply the finishing coat.

It’s essential to give the whole area a good cleaning before you get started. Don’t leave any openings since you don’t want somebody to slip on the wet floor and be hurt.

As a result, the coated surface is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Choose Ultra Grind for Epoxy Flooring

Look no further than Ultra Grind for a reliable epoxy flooring contractor to assist you with installing your epoxy floor. To guarantee the appropriate installation and long life of your new high-quality epoxy floor, our team of specialists provides a wide range of services and materials.

10 Types of Concrete Finishes

types of concrete finishes

10 Types of Concrete Finishes

Choosing the proper finish is crucial for successful concrete projects. A wide variety of concrete finishes may be used to achieve a desired aesthetic while improving the material’s durability. Concrete finishes not only improve the aesthetic value of your finished product but also serve an important functional role. Some are sturdy, some are eye-catching, and others are designed to keep people safe. If you’re interested in learning more about concrete finishing for your concrete projects, this list is an excellent resource.

1. Troweled Finish

Once the freshly poured concrete has been smoothed over using a screed, a fine finish may be achieved by using a trowel. The task may be completed manually or mechanically.

The blade of a hand trowel is flat and attached to a handle. A combination of pulling and pushing motions is required to move the blade over the concrete. The worker repeats this action until the surface is even and smooth.

Power trowels are used in more extensive operations, notably industrial and commercial construction. They resemble stationary fans made of blades and are installed on the ground.

2. Broom Finish (Brushed Finish)

A broom finish on concrete is just the next step following a trowel finish. After the concrete surface has been levelled, troweling or another analogous smoothing operation is employed to “seal” it. Following that, the personnel pull a specialised broom over the floor.

The drag roughens the surface more than troweling alone would. This enhances the region’s attractiveness and makes it less slippery in the rain. Both trowel and brush treatments need aggregate sand and rock.

3. Stamped Concrete Finish

There are several attractive concrete finishes to choose from. Stamped concrete is one of the best processes to create fascinating patterns and textures. Laying pattern panels on uncured cement gives it a stamped concrete finish. This imbues the concrete with the design of the panel.

Concrete stamps are available in many styles. This category includes stone, brick, tile, and other patterned materials.

4. Salt Finish Concrete

In moist environments like swimming pools, a salt finish concrete surface is often utilised to protect the concrete from the elements. This finish is achieved by sprinkling coarse rock salt crystals over wet (uncured) concrete. After the rock salt has been rinsed into the ground, it will create a highly textured, slip-resistant surface in the concrete.

5. Exposed Aggregate Finished Concrete

The aggregates used to form the concrete are ground back and become visible in an exposed aggregate finish. Unlike other finishes where the stones are hardly discernible, the aggregates used in this one are often chosen for their aesthetic appeal.

Washing away the top layer of cement exposes the aggregate underneath, resulting in an exposed aggregate finished concrete floor. Aggregates may be made from stones, seashells, glass, granite, and other hard materials.

Concrete mix is poured, levelled, and then troweled to achieve this distinct look. The next day, a chemical is employed to postpone the setting of the surface cement. The surface is then thoroughly cleaned with water to remove the top layer and show the aggregate underneath.

The polishing technique for exposed aggregate concrete ensures a non-slip surface. This makes it both visually beautiful and functional. It is an excellent material for walkways, porches, and breezeways.

6. Polished Finish

Cured concrete may be given a polished appearance for increased durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. To achieve a shiny, professional finish, concrete floors are often ground down using specialised floor grinders to attain a smooth surface.

These floor grinders use a grinding disc studded with tough diamond abrasives. The abrasives on the various discs range in grit size from fine to coarse. While coarse abrasives leave a rougher finish, fine abrasives leave smoother concrete surfaces.

At this stage, chemical hardeners are occasionally used in concrete to prevent water damage. After grinding, the product may be sealed on the inside or outside to protect it against chemicals, oil, and stains.

7. Epoxy Finish

Epoxy finish is a versatile solution that is practical, long-lasting, exceptionally impact-resistant, and adaptable to any environment. There’s an epoxy coating for your restaurant’s entrance or your factory’s heavy foot traffic.

Epoxy, the most durable concrete finish, may be poured into surface irregularities to smooth them out and produce a uniform surface. However, you may make a concrete floor more appealing by applying epoxy, which comes in various colours and can be readily customised.

8. Colored Finish

Concrete may be given a coloured finish using various methods, including integral colouration, colour hardeners, and dyes.

Integral Colouration

Only fresh pours may use integrally coloured concrete. Pigments are added to the mix to ensure uniform colour across the concrete just before it is poured.

Colour Hardener

Colour hardeners reinforce and give intense colour to the surface of concrete and are often used in conjunction with stamped concrete. Using colour hardeners results in a more durable product and is resistant to moisture and de-icing chemicals than regular concrete.

Dyeing

The colours achieved by using concrete dyes are the brightest of all approaches. Choose from five colours: red, orange, yellow, purple, and blue. Because dyes generate such vibrant hues, a mock-up from your contractor is a must to ensure satisfaction with the final product.

9. Swirl Finish

With an evenly overlapping circular pattern, the concrete surface is smeared to create a swirl finish, one of the most distinctive styles of concrete finish. It makes the concrete surface seem likable and is a great architectural accent.

This sort of finish is prefered for outdoor concrete projects since it not only improves the aesthetics of the surface but also makes it more slip-resistant when wet, making it safer to walk and stand on.

10. Stained Concrete Finish

Stained concrete is concrete that has had its surface smoothed and curing processes completed. Colour is then applied to the top, staining the concrete. However, although most concrete stains are muted or earthy tones, a wide variety of hues are available.

With the right stain, even plain concrete may seem elegant and sophisticated. Although these stains are suitable for use on older concrete, their rich colours and durability are best experienced when applied to freshly poured or resurfaced slabs.

Contact Ultragrind

Our UltraGrind team works from two convenient office locations. In Melbourne, our base in Bayside offers polished concrete flooring solutions in Hampton, Brighton and all the way along the Peninsula. In Bendigo, our family-run business services properties across regional Victoria.

For the finest polished concrete services your premium property deserves, contact our UltraGrind office today.