What Are Some Popular Concrete Finishes?

Concrete finishes can transform ordinary surfaces into visually appealing, durable, and functional spaces. Builders and designers often use a range of concrete finishes, from smooth and sophisticated trowel finishes to textured surfaces with an enhanced grip. General contractors in the Delaware Valley note that there are concrete finish types to suit every application, including:

  • Stamped concrete
  • Broom finish
  • Exposed aggregate
  • Smooth trowel
  • Salt concrete
  • Integral color concrete finish
  • Polished concrete finish
  • Sandblasted concrete finish

All these finishes can improve concrete’s aesthetics, longevity, and maintenance. Two popular choices among residential property owners are the broom finish and the exposed aggregate finish. Skilled concrete contractors in the Delaware Valley compare the two types.

What is Exposed Aggregate Concrete Finish?

The exposed aggregate finish is a popular concrete finish among many residential contractors. They achieve the look by ridding the surface of the top layer of freshly poured cement to bring out a coarse decorative aggregate. In addition to adding aesthetic value to the surface, exposed aggregate provides added traction useful for outdoor settings.

Concrete contractors in the Delaware Valley may use richly colored stones such as basalts, granite, quartz, and limestone to achieve a decorative look. Other alternatives are seashells or recycled glass. The finish is ideal for driveways, outdoor spaces, swimming pools, parks, and patios.

What Are the Advantages of Exposed Aggregate Finish?

The exposed aggregate concrete finish is one of the most visually appealing concrete finishes available. Contractors use various materials such as shells, decorative stone, or recycled glass as aggregates to achieve a distinct visual and aesthetic appeal in decorative spaces.

The exposed aggregate finish is also:

  • Durable: The surface is highly resistant to wear and tear as the aggregates become stronger in concrete. The concrete finish is suitable for areas with high foot traffic.
  • Slip-resistant: Exposed aggregate finish creates a slip-resistant finish ideal for wet areas.
  • Low maintenance: Taking care of the surface is inexpensive as it conveniently hides minor flaws, stains, and dirt.


Exposed aggregate concrete finish has a significant cost disadvantage. The extra step of exposing the aggregates makes it more expensive than other plain finishes. The cost increases if you use more expense aggregates. Other disadvantages are:

  • Potentially uncomfortable: The aggregates’ size, type, and orientation can make the surface uncomfortable for bare feet.
  • Limited design control: The finish has limited design options based on the selection of aggregates and the patterns they make. However, the choice of aggregates can help you add a personalized touch to your property’s surfaces.
  • Difficult to modify or repair: Once the surface is complete, it can be challenging to alter or repair without creating visible ununiformed patches.

What is Brushed Finish?

Delaware Valley contractors achieve the brushed concrete finish by dragging a broom across the concrete surface after smoothing it to create ridges that provide traction control. The ridges provide a rough and non-slip surface for spaces where safety is a primary concern, such as walkways and swimming pools.

A more advanced broom finish is the swirl concrete finish that adds more finesse to a broom pattern finish. It is achieved by swirling a broom on the surface for uniform arc patterns, swirled imprints, or similar geometric designs. You can change the depth and width of the ridges on concrete broom finish by using brooms with different bristle sizes.

Upon further consultation with your contractors, you can use the finish on patios, swimming pools, walkways, parks, driveways, and other outdoor spaces.

What Are the Advantages of Concrete Broom Finish?

One reason the concrete broom finish is popular among many concrete contractors in the Delaware Valley is that the tiny grooves created on the surface of the concrete give a slip-resistant finish. They provide traction, even in areas with water, making it a safer option in areas where slipping is a safety concern.

Other benefits of broom-finished concrete floors are:

  • Ease of application: A broom finish requires less expertise than other finishes. That means that many general contractors in the Delaware Valley can accomplish it without requiring specialized tools or training.
  • Cost-effective: The finish is easy to achieve, requiring minimal tools and labor. You can use it for large concrete surfaces and make considerable cost savings.
  • Durable: The finish is durable as the grooves efficiently minimize wear and tear and withstand heavy foot traffic.


Despite its many advantages, the concrete broom finish has some disadvantages. Once the finish is complete, it can be challenging to repair or modify without a noticeable difference because the surface is distinct. Given this consideration, you may need to engage expert concrete contractors to ensure they finish correctly the first time.

Additionally, the finish provides slip resistance, but it feels rough underfoot, so it may not be ideal for places where people are barefoot. It also has a practical rather than a decorative visual appeal, so its application is less comprehensive than other concrete finish options.

Choosing Between Concrete Exposed Aggregate and Broom Finish with the Help of a Skilled Concrete Contractor

Given their advantages, choosing between concrete broom and exposed aggregate finish can be challenging. However, if you’re looking for a finish with a more aesthetic look above other considerations, the exposed aggregate finish could be your best choice. On the other hand, choose the broom finish if you want to save on costs.

Weighing between the pros and cons of each to arrive at a decision would be the ideal starting point. Experienced Delaware Valley concrete contractors at Hauser Contractors can also provide more advice based on their skills and expertise. We have provided concrete installation services for many years and can guide you accordingly. Call us at 610-510-6020 for a consultation or FREE estimate.