Concrete is a durable and cost-effective material for walkways, patios, and drives. While plain concrete is not particularly attractive, there are many ways to improve its looks: You can color it with pigment, texture it to look like something else, or cover it with brick or stone. One of the oldest — and best — methods for creating visually appealing concrete surfaces is to expose the aggregate.

Aggregate is present in every concrete slab, but because it's encased in a matrix of sand and cement it's not usually visible. Removing the top layer of sand and cement to expose some of the aggregate makes the surface of the concrete look a lot better, and the process is not much more expensive than plain gray flatwork.

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