How To Cover Old Aggregate Concrete: 11 Ideas


As a building owner, you may be faced with the decision of what to do about your old concrete. Most contractors will tell you that it needs to be removed and replaced – but is this really necessary? I’m going to cover three different ways of covering exposed aggregate concrete in this blog post!

Option One:

Use a surface coating. This may be the best option if you have small cracks or holes in your concrete because it will keep water off of them and prevent major damage to occur from freezing temperatures (although this is not 100% guaranteed). It’s also an inexpensive way, although I still recommend using one that has sealant properties for more effectiveness.

Option Two:

Use a matting system and sealant to create the look of concrete without removing it all first, then adding fresh aggregate in just those places where you need them (typically around doorways or other walkable areas). The mats are durable enough that they won’t blow away from windy days – but they won’t work for large areas, and they have to be replaced or repaired when you need more aggregate.

Option Three:

Use a cover system that is designed with the idea of using smaller amounts at time – this means it’s not as expensive up front because there are no delivery fees (also good if your area doesn’t allow aggregate delivery).

Option Four:

Add a mulch top layer – you can use shredded bark, ground up wood chips or other materials to create this look. You need one of these options in order for the aggregate not only be covered but also protected from erosion and damage (it will last longer than if it’s just sitting out there unprotected), and it’s a great way to add some color and texture.

Option Five:

Add pavers or stone on top of the existing aggregate. While most contractors say remove and start again, others say that as long as the structural integrity of the current slab is ok, you can use the exposed aggregate as the base to add on dry-laid or mortared stone or pavers. With this approach, an important element to remember is that the original exposed aggregate is probably already at the height required, so make sure you account for as much as a 3 and 1/2 inch increase in height or the area. This is important to consider for existing stairs and doors etc.

Option Six:

Cover with thin brick strips. This is a great option if you want to cover exposed aggregate concrete, but also like the look of an old style (or just don’t have much budget). With this approach though keep in mind that it will take time for moisture under and around bricks or blocks on top can seep into the exposed aggregate below, so you’ll need to make sure that the moisture can escape.

Option Seven:

Create a dry stack retaining wall with bricks or blocks on one side and cover it in stucco for an old world look (or just don’t have much budget). The downside is again how long this will take before any of these options can be completed. If it’s a short-term project, this may not work for you and the expense will typically outweigh any cost savings from using less concrete to fix up your exposed aggregate surface or stairs etc..

Option Eight:

Cover with thin brick strips again but then cover them in stucco on top.

Option Nine:

Cover with flagstone or other similarly shaped stones on top but again cover them in stucco to give it that luxurious Italian floor finish.

Option Ten:

Cover with artificial turf and then cover it in a layer of concrete pavers, large flagstone or other similarly shaped stones to add texture for an even more natural look that will last long-term without any maintenance required.. Your best bet is Option Eight here since the brick covers are less expensive than concrete.

Option Eleven:

Cover with a layer of concrete pavers, large flagstone or other similarly shaped stones to add texture for an even more natural look that will last long-term without any maintenance required.. This is your best bet since it’s the least expensive option and most realistic looking in terms if you want something temporary.

Finally if you don’t want any of the above, at least make sure that your aggregate is clean so people can see where they’re walking – this will help them avoid slips or falls on rainy days as well!

Additional Considerations

Patching An Option?

If the issue with your surface is that it has become patchy with some parts of the aggregate lifting off in patches, one option worth considering is to patch a problematic area instead of covering it with something new or removing it all together. You can patch damaged areas by using epoxy mixed with new replacement aggregate to restore an even uniform surface.

Adding Pavers Or Stone On Top Of Existing Aggregate

While most contractors say remove and start again, others say that as long as the structural integrity of the current slab is ok, you can use the exposed aggregate as the base to add on dry-laid or mortared stone or pavers. With this approach, an important element to remember is that the original exposed aggregate is probably already at the height required, so make sure you account for as much as a 3 and 1/2 inch increase in height or the area. This is important to consider for existing stairs and doors etc.

Bonding New Cementitious Layer Over Existing Aggregate 

This can work, but it is non-trivial and involves some steps. The existing aggregate must be adequately bonded into the existing cement to allow the steps involved (check by applying pressure wash to a test area at 3500psi to see if the existing aggregate holds up enough). If the existing surface is robust enough, it needs to be cleaned and acid-etched before applying the new cementitious layer. Check out this forum post for more details.

Additional YouTube Resources

How to Resurface Concrete – YouTube

How to Resurface Concrete QUIKRETE. Loading . QUIKRETE Concrete Resurfacer will renew and your old, worn concrete driveways.

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