How To Cover Aggregate Concrete: 11 Resurfacing Ideas

Exposted Aggregate Concrete

Can you cover aggregate concrete? Yes, you can. As a building owner, you may be faced with the decision of what to do about your old concrete, and you need some concrete resurfacing ideas. For example, you might need to refurbish your concrete patio. Most contractors will tell you that it needs to be removed and replaced – but is this really necessary?

While concrete resurfacing can be a great way to revitalize an old concrete surface, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. You may find that a simple surface coating or concrete overlay is the best way to go, or you may find that a more extensive repair job is needed. Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your specific situation and budget.

The problem is there’s not an easy way to remove the old cement once it has hardened, so you are going to need to be creative if you’re going to find a cheaper, less intensive solution. Can exposed aggregate be resurfaced? Yes it can, and I’m going to cover eleven different ways of covering exposed aggregate concrete in this blog post! Just a quick note: we have some other interesting concrete articles here on Orlandi. Check out can you pour concrete in the rain and this one on the importance of getting the correct concrete mix ratio for your specific concrete task.

Make Sure It Will Last

No matter the project, it’s important to select a high-quality concrete resurfacing material that will last for many years to come. Make sure to do your research and find a contractor that has experience in resurfacing concrete. Ask for references and read reviews before making a decision. Speak with the contractor and ask questions about the process, such as the steps involved, the expected timeline, and the cost. With the right contractor and concrete resurfacing material, you can expect a beautiful, high-quality finish that will last for many years.

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. Some pros and cons of this approach are:


  • easy to apply and affordable
  • covers small cracks or holes in the concrete, preventing damage from freezing temperatures if done correctly


  • Surface coating may not be enough for more major repairs.
  • The surface is still vulnerable to water permeating through it and could eventually cause a wreck of your flooring underneath! This will also happen much quicker than you would think because there are variable sealant properties (depending on what you use) included with this type of option.
  • If you have any electrical wiring, plumbing lines, heating ducts under the concrete, then I recommend that you avoid relying on these types of coatings.

Option Two: Use A Matting System And Sealant

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.

The pros of this approach is that it is less expensive than removing the old concrete and installing new aggregate, would require no more time to complete (saving you money) and requires little maintenance.

The cons are that a matting system will not offer the same sound insulation from traffic noise or weather protection as fresh concrete – although there are some newer options in this category so be sure to ask your supplier which ones they recommend for these needs. The other con of using a matting system with sealant is that sometimes applying too thick can leave an uneven surface texture if applied over rough surfaces like brick while other times any imperfection in the base may show through because the mats won’t cover it very well.

Option Three: Use A Cover System

Use a cover system that is designed with the idea of using smaller amounts at a 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). The pros are that it can be installed in a day or two and the surface is usually very smooth. The con would be that this method will only last for about six months before needing to cover again – which could still work out well if you want something temporary while your property undergoes renovations.

Option Four: Add A Mulch Top Layer

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.

The good things about this appraoch is that it will last for a very long time, but the cons would be that you’ll need to maintain the mulch on top of your surface in order for it to look its best.

Option Five: Add Pavers

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.

The pros for this approach is that it’s the most budget conscious and time effective approach. The cons are that because aggregate is below ground level, there will always be a slight problem with water seeping out of seams of the pavers due to surface run-off on the concrete below.

💰 Total cost for building an interlocking patio on old concrete is $130.
🔧 Polymeric sand mixture is used to create a strong bond between the joints of the pavers.
🔨 Use a level and stack tiles underneath pavers to level out the walkway.
🧹 Sweep up any debris and seal cracks in the foundation before applying adhesive.
🛡️ PL3 construction glue is used for applying pavers onto the cement and guarantee durability.
🗜️ Dewalt continuous rim diamond saw blade is used to cut pavers with a hand grinder.
📏 Score edges about an inch deep before snapping the pavers.
🌿 Polymeric sand is used to fill joints and edges to prevent growth of insects and weeds.
💦 Lightly spray water onto the polymeric sand to set it and avoid brushing off the foamy bubbles.

Option Six: Cover With Thin Brick Strips

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: Paint It

Paint: If you’re on a tight budget and don’t need any major repairs done then paint can be the perfect option! It will definitely cover up the aggregate concrete so that your floor looks like new. The downside is if there are any spills or stain marks because they won’t come off easily as compared to other coatings. However, if you do decide to go with this option make sure not to use latex paints – for some reason those have never worked out well at all for me in terms of durability (I always end up stripping them down again within months)!!! So I recommend using oil based painters instead – just remember that these types may contain a lot of chemicals that can be harmful to the environment so make sure you are doing your research and choosing options with good eco-friendly reviews. We have an article here on Orlandi about painting concrete that you may find useful.

💡 Use rapid set concrete mix for quick and strong fixes.
🛡️ Use a concrete bonding adhesive when adhering old concrete to new concrete for better adhesion.
🌪️ Use a grinder with a diamond wheel and shield for dust and debris protection when removing copious amounts of paint and debris off a cement product.
🛡️ Use Dynaflex caulk for clean and crisp edges next to bricks.
🎨 Use a concrete sealer or primer specific to the sole purpose of sealing and priming concrete.
🖌️ Use bare porch and patio paint with anti-skid additive to reduce slipping when wet and make sure to apply two coats for better durability.
🌟 Add a unique touch to a seemingly ordinary area with a cutting edge stencil to make it extraordinary.

Option Eight: Use Tiles

Tiles: Another option for covering aggregate concrete is tiles. You can get them installed overtop, on top of or in front of the old finish.

This could be a great solution if it’s just for an area that needs a quick remodeling job as opposed to something more major like replacing all flooring throughout your entire house (which would require someone who does tile installation professionally).

The downside to any type of tiling is definitely budget because they do cost quite a bit more than other types such as paint but they’re also less expensive compared to new floors which may also be out of reach.

Option Nine: Flagstone

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

Flagstone is a great way to bring a unique and stylish look to a concrete floor. It can be used to create a variety of patterns and designs that can be customized to match the existing decor in the room. Flagstone is also a very durable material, making it perfect for high-traffic areas. After the flagstone is laid, a layer of stucco can be applied over it to protect it and provide a smooth and polished finish. This stucco layer can be tinted to match the color of the flagstone, or it can be painted with a color of your choice. With flagstone and stucco, you can create a unique and beautiful floor that will stand up to years of wear and tear.

Option Ten: Artificial Turf

Cover the concrete 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.

Installing artificial turf over the concrete is an excellent solution for those looking for a low-maintenance solution that still looks great. Artificial turf is resistant to fading and wear and tear, so it will remain looking great over time. Additionally, artificial turf is environmentally friendly, as it requires no watering or mowing. It’s also easy to clean and requires no additional chemicals or fertilizers. After the turf is installed, laying down concrete pavers, large flagstone, or other similarly shaped stones adds texture and a more natural look. The stones also provide a barrier between the turf and the concrete, helping to protect the turf and make it last even longer.

💡 Key takeaway 1: The video teaches viewers how to install artificial turf for beginners.
🛠️ Key takeaway 2: The job involves removing dirt, leveling the base, and cutting and laying the artificial turf.
💰 Key takeaway 3: The video shares money-saving tips, such as finding a landfill that accepts free dirt and using reasonably priced artificial turf from Tiger Turf.
🚿 Key takeaway 4: The job needs to be done before 5 pm to visit places like the dump and material storage, which close early.
🌧️ Key takeaway 5: The video shows how to complete a job when it starts raining, and the importance of getting the infill in before it starts to pour.

Option Eleven:

Cover old tired concrete 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.

This option is also the most versatile, as you can choose from a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to create a unique look. Additionally, you can customize the design to be as simple or as ornate as you would like, making it ideal for any style of home or garden. You can also choose to lay the pavers or stones in a pattern to give the area a more finished look. The best part is that because this option requires no maintenance, you can enjoy your updated space with peace of mind.

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!

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Resurface Over Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Q: Can you resurface exposed aggregate concrete?

A: Concrete that is exposed aggregate is a decorative finish where the top layer of concrete is removed to reveal colorful aggregate beneath it. So if you have an existing concrete structure that is structurally sound, you can use exposed aggregate concrete to resurface it to look just like exposed concrete.

Q: How do you fix bad Exposed aggregate concrete?

A: Acid washing will help to remove the surface marks. First, mix a 1:1 solution of muriatic acid in water. Spray the solution on the surface, then scrub the acid with a stiff-bristled acid-resistant broom.  It may take more than one acid application to get the right look. To avoid damaging other surfaces, grass and/or plants, you may want to consider gelled acid to control runoff.

Q: Should you seal exposed aggregate concrete?

A: Yes. These sealers, usually acrylic resins or resins with film-forming properties, are ideal for protecting against dusting, spalling, freeze-thaw damage, efflorescence, abrasions, and stains. The aggregate will also appear richer and more color-toned with a sealer.

Q: Is Exposed aggregate concrete more expensive?

A: Since exposed aggregate requires more materials and labor than standard aggregate, it is more expensive than the standard aggregate.

Q: What is concrete resurfacing?

A: Concrete resurfacing is the process of applying a thin layer of new concrete or a cement-based overlay onto the existing concrete surface to improve its appearance and restore its functionality.

Q: Why should I consider resurfacing my concrete patio?

A: Resurfacing your concrete patio offers several benefits. It can restore the appearance of your patio, cover up any cracks or imperfections, and provide a fresh new look without the need for costly replacement.

Q: What are some concrete resurfacing ideas for my patio?

A: There are various concrete resurfacing ideas for your patio, such as decorative concrete overlays, stamped concrete, knockdown finishes, and textured coatings. These options can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.

Q: Can I resurface my concrete patio myself?

A: While it is possible to resurface your concrete patio yourself, it is recommended to hire a professional for the best results. They have the expertise and equipment to properly prepare the surface and apply the resurfacing materials.

Q: How long does concrete resurfacing last?

A: The longevity of concrete resurfacing depends on various factors, including the quality of materials used, the condition of the existing concrete, and the level of maintenance. On average, a properly resurfaced concrete patio can last for 10-15 years.

Q: Is resurfaced concrete suitable for high foot traffic areas?

A: Yes, resurfaced concrete can withstand high foot traffic. However, it is important to choose the right resurfacing material and finish that is specifically designed for heavy use.

Q: Can I resurface an uneven concrete surface?

A: Yes, concrete resurfacing is a great solution for uneven concrete surfaces. The thin layer of new concrete or overlay can level out the surface and provide a smooth and even finish.

Q: Can I resurface my pool deck with concrete?

A: Yes, you can resurface your pool deck with concrete. There are specific resurfacing products and techniques available that are designed to withstand the elements and provide a slip-resistant surface around the pool area.

Q: What is decorative concrete resurfacing?

A: Decorative concrete resurfacing involves the application of decorative finishes or overlays onto the concrete surface. This can include stamped patterns, textured coatings, or adding colors and designs to enhance the overall appearance.

Q: How can I improve the look of my patio with concrete resurfacing?

A: Concrete resurfacing offers a wide range of design ideas to improve the look of your patio. You can choose from various patterns, textures, and colors to create a unique and personalized patio surface.

Q: What are some ways to resurface concrete aggregate?

A: Resurfacing options for exposed aggregate concrete include painting, overlays with new concrete or resurfacing material, textured coatings, pebble finishes, stamped concrete, pavers, tile, flagstone, etc.

Q: Pebble concrete resurfacing: Can it be done DIY?

A: Yes, DIY kits are available to apply a new pebble or stone finish over existing concrete. Proper preparation and application techniques are required for good results.

Q: What are some concrete patio resurfacing ideas that are affordable?

A: Affordable concrete patio resurfacing options include painting, staining, pebble/stone finishes, stamped overlays, and textured coatings.

Q: Exposed aggregate driveway resurfacing approaches: What are my options?

A: Driveway resurfacing options include concrete/asphalt overlays, textured or pebble coatings, stamped finishes, asphalt, pavers, and flagstone.

Q: Can an exposed concrete patio be resurfaced?

A: Yes, there are many coating options to resurface an exposed aggregate concrete patio and give it a new look.

Q: Resurface aggregate concrete or paint aggregate concrete: What is the best choice?

A: Painting is cheaper but doesn’t last as long. Resurfacing with a textured overlay or other finish provides more durable results.

Q: Can I pour epoxy over aggregate concrete?

A: Yes, opaque colored epoxy can be poured over aggregate concrete to create a smooth, uniform surface. The aggregate will show through slightly.

Q: How to make exposed aggregate concrete smooth: Can it be done?

A: Yes, applying an epoxy, thin concrete/cement overlay, or textured coating can smooth the profile and texture of exposed aggregate.

Q: How to cover exposed aggregate concrete cheaply: Options?

A: Cheaper exposed concrete resurfacing options are paint, stains, textured roll-on coatings, and aggregate finishes using pea gravel or small stones.

Q: Covering concrete patio with pebbles: Can I DIY?

A: Yes, DIY kits are available to apply a pebble coating finish over existing concrete patios. Proper prep and application are required.

Q: Resurfacing pebblecrete DIY: Doable?

A: Yes, acrylic textured coatings or materials like Sundek can be rolled on by homeowners to resurface pebblecrete finishes.

Q: Resurfacing exposed aggregate concrete patio: What are my options?

A: Patio resurfacing options include concrete overlays, textured coatings, paint, pebble topping, pavers, tile, flagstone, and stamped concrete.

Q: How to fix bad exposed aggregate concrete: Is resurfacing possible?

A: Yes, “bad” exposed aggregate concrete can be resurfaced with coatings like epoxy or concrete. The new surface will hide imperfections.

Q: How can I resurface exposed aggregate concrete driveway?

A: Concrete, asphalt, textured coatings, pebble finishes, pavers, and stamped concrete are good driveway resurfacing options over aggregate concrete.

Q: Resurfacing exposed aggregate concrete without breaking the bank: Possible?

A: Yes, more affordable resurfacing options are paint, stains, textured coatings, and aggregate finishes using inexpensive pea gravel or stones.

Q: How to cover pebble concrete driveway with something new: What are my options?

A: Options for resurfacing a pebble concrete driveway include overlays with concrete, asphalt, textured coatings, pavers, tile, flagstone, and stamped concrete.

Q: How to cover up exposed aggregate concrete cheaply: Possible?

A: Cheap ways to cover exposed aggregate concrete include painting, staining, textured roll-on coatings, and pebble toppings using small, inexpensive stones.

Q: Exposed aggregate overlay: Is there such a thing?

A: Yes, concrete overlays can be applied over exposed aggregate to provide a new surface. Aggregate texture may still partially show through.

Q: Is there an option with exposed aggregate resurfacing for existing concrete?

A: Yes, existing exposed aggregate concrete can be resurfaced using methods like textured coatings, concrete overlays, paint, tile, pavers, etc.

Q: Can you put aggregate over existing concrete?

A: Yes, it is possible to apply a new exposed pebble or stone aggregate finish over existing bare concrete. DIY kits are available.

Q: How to expose aggregate in old concrete: Doable?

A: Not easily for full depth exposure. A concrete overlay with exposed aggregate is simpler for producing a new exposed aggregate surface over existing concrete.

Q: Is painting aggregate concrete a reasonable way to resurface it?

A: Yes, painting or staining provides one of the most affordable ways to resurface aggregate concrete. It doesn’t last as long as other options but is easy.

Q: Pebble concrete patio upgrade added on to existing concrete: Is it possible?

A: Yes, a pebble or stone finish upgrade can be added onto an existing concrete patio surface with preparation and using coating kits or materials.

Q: Can you install epoxy over exposed aggregate concrete?

A: Yes, opaque epoxy can be installed over exposed aggregate. It will provide a colored, uniform surface but some aggregate texture may still show through.

Q: Concrete covering ideas: What are the easiest?

A: Easiest concrete resurfacing options are paint, stains, textured acrylic coatings that can be rolled on, and loose pebble toppings added on top.

Q: Resurfacing over exposed aggregate concrete with epoxy: Is this possible?

A: Yes, opaque colored epoxy can be poured over exposed aggregate concrete to conceal the texture and create a new uniform surface.

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

💡 QUIKRETE Concrete Resurfacer can provide a new, durable, wear-resistant surface on old, worn concrete driveways, sidewalks, and patios that will last the life of the concrete.
🚿 Proper surface preparation is essential for a successful result, and a high-strength, 3500 PSI pressure washer must be used to remove any dirt, oil, grease or deteriorating concrete, prior to the application of concrete resurfacer.
🔄 Section off your work areas to no larger than 144 square feet to allow enough time for placing and finishing the resurfacer, before it begins to set.
🔍 Control joints and expansion joints must be maintained, to allow for slab movement, and weather stripping can be used to prevent concrete resurfacer from spilling into the joints.
🖐️ Deeply spalled areas and large cracks should be repaired using concrete resurfacer that has been mixed to a trowel-able consistency before resurfacing the entire area.
🌡️ Concrete resurfacer has a working time of about 30 minutes at 73 degrees, and temperatures should remain above 50 degrees, for at least 8 hours, and should be protected from freezing for 24 hours after application.
🛣️ One 40 lb. bag of concrete resurfacer covers about 90 square feet at 1/8 of an inch thick, so a typical 16 foot by 24-foot driveway would use about five bags of resurfacer.
Flatten and Seal Exposted Aggregate Concrete Patio

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