When looking at honed concrete alternatives to exposed aggregate, there are several key differences you must look out for. The first major difference is in the level of effort required to get the job done. Exposed aggregate requires thousands of man-hours of grinding and painting to achieve a good quality result. In comparison, honed concrete simply requires a few hundred hours from start to finish and is far more cost-effective.
The second major difference between honed concrete finishes and exposed aggregates is the level of maintenance required. Most honed concrete finishes require very little maintenance while most exposed aggregate driveways require a high level of maintenance. Concerning paved driveways, routine sweeping and general upkeep only needs to occur once or twice annually. About pool decks, routine cleaning of the pool area will most likely only need to be done once or twice a year. For retaining walls, general upkeep only needs to occur once or twice a year.
The third major difference between honed concrete finishes and exposed aggregates is in the level of aesthetic appeal the concrete offers. A honed concrete finish will provide a more polished and less bumpy surface than an aggregate driveway. The result will be a more elegant and smooth finished product that will complement the existing home and landscaping. This provides a perfect opportunity to showcase your home or add extra value to your home.
The fourth difference between honed concrete finishes and polished concrete floors is in the level of maintenance required. As with any type of stone flooring, regular sweeping, lubrication and sealing are required to keep these floors in top condition. Sealing the surfaces of polished concrete floors is not as necessary as it is for honed concrete floors. However, sealing the edges of the polished floors will help to keep dust and dirt from settling into the nooks and crannies of the finished floor and damaging the polished finish.
Fifthly, in terms of appearance, honed concrete grades ahead of many other types of stone flooring. They tend to look like mirror-like floors. This is one of the reasons why homeowners love honed aggregate floors. Because of their mirror-like appearance, sealers are not necessary on the honed concrete driveway and should only be used on a small section of the driveway.
When it comes to the sixth difference between honed concrete finishes and traditional Aggregates, it comes down to one thing the level of stability of the finished floor. In other words, the lack of hard particles in a concrete floor allows the floor to form into different shapes without much effort. Asphalt and other traditional aggregate flooring materials are composed of much larger particles that make them more difficult to form into the various shapes desired. This means that when a concrete surface is sealed, the floor will stay in its new shape for longer periods.
Choosing the Right Option
On top of this, a matte finish of any type will require more sealing to protect the newly stained surface. A honed concrete finish, by comparison, will allow the floor to seal after it has been stained or may even allow the stained surface to be removed before application of a sealer if it is a pre-stamped surface. Since the honed surface is not exposed to as much sealer, it will usually require less sealing to prevent staining from occurring. In the case of a pre-stamped surface, applying a sealer will protect the surface against the elements, such as rain and snow, for longer periods.
There are two main advantages to sealing concrete around vents, either with a honed concrete vs exposed aggregate type or with a textured, non-slippery sealer. The first advantage is that a sealer can prevent moisture from penetrating the floor. The second advantage is that a sealer can make a concrete floor more resistant to oil, water, or chemicals. Both of these can affect the stability of a floor and should be considered when deciding between honed concrete vs exposed aggregate types of flooring. You also need to consider the fact that a floor with a textured, non-slippery sealer will require more maintenance to keep it in good condition than a bare concrete floor.