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Exposed Aggregate Concrete System

Exposed aggregate concrete is accomplished by pouring then removing the top layer, uncovering the coarse aggregate beneath. The aggregate can be either a natural material or manmade. Exposed aggregate is one of the best ways to add beauty without subtracting usability or functionality. Concrete with an exposed aggregate finish can withstand high foot and vehicle traffic. It can also handle freeze-thaw climates, moisture, and other environmental threats just as well as regular concrete.


What products does Brickform have for installing an exposed aggregate surface?

If you plan to create an exposed aggregate surface, we recommend using Brickform products throughout the entire process. Doing so will make for a seamless experience. Here’s what’s required to install an exposed aggregate surface. Below, you will find more information about the products available for each step.

  • Surface retarders
  • Coloring systems
  • Sprayers
  • Reusable urethane stencils (optional)
  • Sealers for surface protection
  • Complementary products

Surface Retarders

A surface retarder is used to expose the aggregate on a freshly poured slab of concrete. Surface retarders are safer and reliable option than sandblasting (which can be very abrasive) or acid etching. Brickform offers Select-Etch, which allows you to achieve a more controlled exposed aggregate finish than other retarders.

Decorative Exposed Aggregate

Coloring Systems

Here are the coloring options that can be applied when installing an exposed aggregate surface.

  • Powdered Integral Color is an easy way to mix the color right in with the concrete before it’s poured.
  • Stains offer a variety of different colors that permeate the concrete’s surface for long-lasting color.


A high-performance sprayer ensures that your product is distributed evenly. All our Swissmex sprayers feature impact and UV-resistant poly tanks, leak-resistant internals, and adjustable nozzles. Here are two sprayers we recommend for exposed aggregate projects.

  • DS-8042 is a .4 gallon hand sprayer that works well with E-Etch and acid stains.
  • DS-8182 is a 2-gallon compression sprayer that is best for E-Etch, acid stains, muratic acids, and phosphoric acids.

Stencils (Optional)

An optional addition to your exposed aggregate surface is stenciling. At Brickform, we offer Concrete Dimensions. These reusable urethane stencils are a simple and easy way to add intricate designs to your surface.

Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Sealers for Surface Protection

After completing the exposed aggregate surface, it is critical to protect it with a sealer. A high-quality sealer will protect the surface from wear and tear, contaminants, and more. It will provide long-term protection and visual enhancement.

Here are the sealers we recommend for exposed aggregate surfaces:

  • Gem-Guard SB is a penetrating, solvent-based sealer that enhances the color and provides a low sheen without adding the gloss and plastic look associated with traditional film-forming sealers.
  • Stealth-Seal WB is a water-based sealer that protects and preserves with an invisible finish that does not alter the appearance of the surface.

Complementary products

Here are some additional Brickform products you may find useful during the process of installing an exposed aggregate surface.

  • E-Etch is a cleaning and etching agent that removes efflorescence from the surface.
  • Neutra Clean cleans and neutralizes a surface before sealing. It also serves to remove efflorescence.
  • DAY1 Finishing Aid extends your work time by slowing surface evaporation, making finishing your concrete work easier by reducing the risk of your slab prematurely setting.

Additional supplies you may need when installing an exposed aggregate surface

During the process of installing the exposed aggregate surface, you’ll need to purchase the following supplies if you don’t already have them on hand.

  • Hose
  • Push broom
  • Pressure washer
  • Rotary buffer
  • Decorative aggregates

Why use Brickform products?

  • High performance. Customers choose Brickform time and time again because our high-quality products provide consistent results.
  • Easy to find. Brickform has the largest distribution network in the industry.
  • Simplicity. Our products have a reputation for being easy to use while also being high quality.
  • Great support. Brickform’s team of experts are ready and able to answer questions, provide technical support, and troubleshoot issues while you’re on the job.
  • Compatibility. Our system of products makes for a seamless process.