Finishing Concrete Driveways: Do You Know Your Options?

Worker finishing concrete road

Several material alternatives exist for driveways nowadays, but concrete remains the leading choice. Its popularity is based on the ability of concrete to withstand even the harshest weather elements and considerable foot and vehicle traffic. Unfortunately, some property owners only visualize the traditional concrete driveway with a dull grayish color. With a focus on exceptional exterior looks these days, this is not an enticing option.

However, choosing concrete as your driveway and parking lot paving material need not be synonymous with drab anymore. There are now different finishes a contractor will recommend for the transformation of your driveway. Here are a few popular finishes that not only boost the look of your driveway but its durability as well.

Slick Troweled Finish

This finish alternative makes use of a steel trowel for the closing of your exposed concrete surface. The slick troweled finish will also be appropriate for your covered front porch and garage, basement, and warehouse floors. The finish is easy to clean but unfortunately has minimal traction when wet and might contribute to slips and falls.

Broom Finish

This is comprised of similar components as those used in the slick troweled finish. However, in addition, it also involves a broom attachment for the creation of a distinct rough and consistent texture on the concrete. Some patterning can be included during your broom finishing to generate some texture in your driveway. The broom finish remains one of the most popular ones for driveways since it has a non-slip surface even when wet and will hide minor irregularities. Note, though, that this finish is not as easy to clean as other finishes.

Exposed Aggregate Finish

This will reveal the aggregates blended into your concrete. The aggregates that will be exposed in this case include seashells, attractive stones, colored glass, and granite, among other sturdy materials. The concrete will be poured then leveled before it is trowelled and treated with an overnight chemical to harden the driveway’s surface. Afterwards, the surface is washed to remove the top layer and expose the aggregate. Exposed aggregate finishes are non-slip and safe, making them both attractive and functional alternatives.

Stamped Finish

Two men fixing concrete road

Stamping is a method for adding some visual interest and texture to your driveway. The finish is made by placing different panels with your desired design onto an uncured concrete surface. This will transfer the panels’ design onto your surface. The standard stamping designs used on driveways are tile, wood, brick, and cobblestone, though there are numerous options. Most property owners pick stamped finishes when aiming to mimic a look different from concrete for their curbs. The designs will generate a convincing look when further finished using a color stain.
Picking the ideal finish for your budget and desired property look, along with its functionality, is only the first step. Your driveway will fail to look its pristine best if you do not invest in the right contractor. While most will tout their skill in handling the above finishes, pick a company with a proven track record of handling. After all, you would not want to spend so much on a contractor using your property like their experiment in concrete work.