When having concrete poured on your property, whether for a driveway, area surrounding a pool, or for a patio, you may want to consider having an exposed aggregate added. This is a material that is put over the surface of the concrete to give it texture and a better appearance. When you are ready to choose an aggregate, note a few details you might be overlooking but which are very important to your choice.
Ease of replacement
Aggregates are meant to last for many years but they may still eventually separate from the concrete or fade and look a bit dull. You then need to consider the ease of replacement, meaning how costly it would be to replace just a damaged portion of the aggregate or the entire exposed surface, and if the aggregate you choose is readily available from suppliers. As an example, if you opt for a soft glass in a color you have made for your property specifically, it may be difficult to find that same aggregate in the future and very costly to have your walkway or patio resurfaced so that it matches the aggregate in the driveway. Consider long-term costs and availability of an aggregate when making your selection.
Shape and size
The shape of an aggregate may not seem important to you but consider how it will look when spread across a large surface. A small aggregate such as pebbles or gravel may suddenly seem very busy and make your patio or walkway look downright cluttered. A larger aggregate may seem too large for a small walkway. The size of an aggregate also needs to be considered as to how much traction it offers. If it's too large, it might be uncomfortable to walk on the aggregate around your pool area, but a larger aggregate can keep your car from skidding and sliding when there is snow on the driveway.
While all aggregates are meant to be tough and durable, some are harder than others and meant for high-traffic areas. Consider carefully the use of buffed glass for an aggregate in a driveway, and especially if you drive a truck or have a heavy caravan that you'll be driving over the aggregate. Do the same for your patio; if the kids ride their bikes over the area or you're always dragging a heavy grill around the space, that glass may not be hard enough to withstand that abuse and you might instead choose gravel or pebbles.