Special finishes can add interest in situations where people are at leisure to enjoy their surroundings. Swimming pool borders, showrooms, patios, terraces, decorative driveways and walks can all be enhanced by colors and designs in the surface. This article discusses exposed aggregate surfaces, colored concrete surfaces, colored surface with simulated mortar joints, geometric design, leaf impressions, circle design, pattern stamped surfaces, swirl design, wavy broom design, and travertine finish.
Exposed aggregate surfaces, sometimes called "rustic terrazzo," are commonly used. Achieving maximum effect requires careful selection of the surface aggregate followed by careful placing, embedding and exposing techniques. Colorful, uniform-sized gravel or crushed aggregate is recommended. Such aggregates should not be reactive with cement. Flat or sliver-shaped particles, or aggregate smaller than 3/4 inch do not bond well and easily become dislodged during the operation of exposing the aggregate. It is not satisfactory to expose the aggregate ordinarily used in a concrete mix unless it happens to be sufficiently uniform in size, bright in color, closely packed and properly distributed.
The wavy broom design may be used to add interest to a nonskid textured surface. After conventional slab finishing, including troweling, a broom is drawn across the slab in a wavy motion. Coarse texture is obtained with a stiff broom, finer texture with soft bristles. Care should be taken not to mar the texture by initiating curing before the surface has set sufficiently.