A concrete driveway will give you years of service while withstanding the elements. Rather than opting for smooth concrete, you could choose to pave with a subtle broom or brushed finish. If you're not sure what this concrete is, here is some information to help you decide.
Textured concrete is safer than smooth paving, which can be slippery in the rain. However, you may not want to go to the expense of options such as stamped concrete or exposed aggregate. You don't need to if you want some simple texture, which a broom finish will supply.
To create the surface, contractors will run a specially designed broom over the concrete after it's poured. They need to allow the cement to dry to some extent to hold the texture while not letting it harden too much. At the right point in time, they apply the broom strokes.
You may think that sounds pretty straightforward, but it's more involved than it may first appear. Firstly, the brooms can use different materials such as nylon, polypropylene, or horsehair, creating distinct brush strokes. Some brush materials, such as wire, are stiffer than others and form deeper grooves. Some brooms have variable-length bristles, giving the concrete a unique look.
The broom strokes typically run horizontally on a sloping driveway to improve traction and safety. Or, the lines may run in a specific direction to encourage drainage. Sometimes the pattern is curved. Applying the brush strokes is open to interpretation. The brooms can be pushed or pulled, and the angle of the bristles will also play a role in creating the texture. You can discuss the possibilities with your contractor and whether you want a more pronounced or subtle surface.
You can leave a brushed concrete driveway a simple and elegant grey. But that is not your only choice, as stains and dyes can be applied to the paving. You could opt for dark charcoal to give an elegant look. Or else, treat the driveway with earthy colours that meld with the natural environment. For example, choose terracotta to mimic red clay earth. You'll need to consider the colour of your house's walls, roof and trim. Plus, factor in other paving in the front yard.
The driveway's colour will affect how it handles heat. Pale colours are more heat reflective than darker shades. Thus, lighter-coloured concrete won't absorb and radiate as much warmth on a summer day. However, darker colours hide dirt and stains more effectively, helping to keep a driveway fresh-looking for longer.