Beautiful, Strong and Compelling Concrete: Ideas, Tips and More

2 Design Elements That Will Make The Exposed Aggregate In Your Outdoor Concrete Feature Steps Pop

Exposed aggregate is a popular choice to use when creating concrete feature steps in your outdoor dining area. It's not hard to see why; as well as looking amazing, concrete that contains exposed aggregate is hardy and provides excellent non-slip properties to outdoor areas that are often exposed to water. If you're looking for ideas to really make your exposed aggregate pop, then here are two simple yet stunning design elements that you might like to include in your feature outdoor steps.

1. Lighting

Including lighting in your steps will not only provide your outdoor dining area with ambient lighting while entertaining during the evening, it will also illuminate the colours in the exposed aggregate to provide a striking glistening effect. Lights can be solar powered or you can have them connected to the mains electricity supply from your house.

Lighting can be installed in the rise of the step, at each end of the step on the side borders or you can even run a strip of LED lights right along the length of the steps' treads. Whichever option you choose, be sure to let your concrete contractor know before they begin work. This way, housing for the lighting feature can be included in the moulding for the steps when it's built. They may also need to work with your electrical contractor if you're planning on connecting the lights to your mains electricity.

2. Coloured concrete

Although exposed aggregate looks great when incorporated into regular concrete, for a really eye-catching look you can ask your concrete contractor to add a colour mix to the concrete before it's poured. This will help to create a striking contrast between the concrete and the aggregate.

You can choose virtually any colour that you like to add to the concrete. Black makes a great choice if you've chosen brightly coloured stone or glass aggregate while white is excellent for showcasing more sedate aggregate colours, such as the natural tones of river pebbles or blue stone. Another bold but visually impressive look is to use polished white stone aggregate with a bright colour such as turquoise or red mixed with the concrete.

Creating steps that become a standout feature in your outdoor dining area is easy using concrete with exposed aggregate. If you're still unsure which type of aggregate, which type of lighting or whether or not you should use a colour mix with your concrete, then contact your chosen concrete contractor who will be able to help you make the best selection.