Concrete Path in Exposed Aggregate Concrete

3 Best Concrete Path Construction Techniques

Concrete Path Construction Techniques

Concrete Path Construction makes use of one of the world's most versatile materials.

Concrete is world’s second most consumed product for a reason. Concrete and construction come hand in hand. It is used not only in buildings, irrigation projects, artificial reefs, energy production projects but in pathways too.

Exposed Aggregate Concrete - Reds Landscaping & Design
Concrete Path Construction - Exposed Aggregate Concrete - Reds Landscaping & Design has a long standing experience in the field of exposed aggregate concrete and concrete landscaping within both the commercial and domestic market.

Concrete – due to its simplicity – is one of the most used construction product for residential pathways and patios. Concrete pathway can be made with different techniques. They can include large size stones with concrete used as a cementing material to give them a simple yet artistic look. Or, can be as easy as pouring mixed concrete and levelling them. A simple google search about concrete path would result in a plethora of images which we can use for concrete pathways design ideas. Similarly, if you are looking for commercial concreters in a certain place, ‘Commercial Concreters Melbourne’ or ‘Concrete Paths Melbourne’ are the keywords you’d probably want to type on search engines.

3 Best Concrete Paths and their Construction Techniques and Features

Although we are generally talking about concrete path construction for a small section, this can applied to laying concrete path around the house or even a concrete backyard patio. Concrete pathways for residential projects usually don’t experience high loads and therefore reinforcement wouldn’t be necessary. This is also a good application for the use of permeable concrete.

Following are the three best types of Concrete Paths based on their simplicity of construction and their aesthetics.

1.   The poured Concrete Path

This type of construction is pretty simple and requires almost zero technicality and could be concrete path DIY project for you and family. A mix for concrete path can be obtained ready made from market or can be prepared at home.

Pouring a Concrete Path - Reds Landscaping & Design
Pouring a Concrete Path from a Mixer

Generally, a mix of 1:1.5:2.5 @ 0.5 water-to-cement ratio – this translates to 1 part of Cement, 1.5 parts of Sand and 2.5 parts of aggregate with water half the amount of cement – works fine and gives more or less a strength of 20 MPa ( M20 Grade/ 3000 psi). Concrete path thickness is usually from 75 mm to 100 mm (3 in to 4 in).

Pouring Concrete in the Framework - Reds Landscaping & Design
Pouring Concrete in the Framework

In case one wants to get a readymade concrete path mix from market, it can be selected based on Concrete Grades/ Strengths that are usually mentioned on the bag along with the amount of water to be used.


Commercial Concreting is also a viable option which is easily available through commercial landscaping companies. In this case, one just has to mention the desired Concrete Grade/Strength and the usage of concrete – such as concrete for path construction – and leave the rest on the company. They have all the equipment and technology used for concrete.

Concrete Path Construction steps

  1. Scrape off the loose soil
  2. Compact the layer of soil using a Plate Compacter or using other means.
  3. Lay a layer of aggregate/ crushed stones – around 20 mm in size.
  4. Pour the Concrete
  5. Screed the Surface
  6. Provide the expansion joints*.
  7. Let it harden. Concrete hardens by chemical reaction known as curing and not simply by drying out.

*Concrete tends to expand during hot days. Allowing it to expand freely by providing joints at suitable intervals would allow it to avoid concrete cracks.


Screeding the surface of the concrete - Reds Landscaping & Design
Screeding the surface of the concrete

2.   Concrete Mould Pathways

Concrete Mould pathways, although a little demanding as compared to concrete poured pathways, are aesthetically the most pleasing ones. Concrete Blocks are easily available from different companies online. Or, concrete path mould can also be purchased after which it is as easy as pouring concrete and levelling the surface.

Concrete Mold - Reds Landscaping & Design
Building Walks and Patios With a Concrete Mold

Concrete path cost does increase by a little amount in case you’d want to spend extra for the molds, but the results justify the extra cost. A similar effect can be created by concrete stencilling, which will create a much more durable path.


DIY Construction of the concrete path

  1. Scrape off the loose soil
  2. Compact the layer of soil using a Plate Compacter or using other means.
  3. Lay a layer of aggregate/ crushed stones – around 20 mm in size.
  4. Place the mold
  5. Pour the Concrete
  6. Screed the Surface
  7. Remove the mold and place it nearby for the neighboring patch
  8. Let it harden

3.   Exposed Aggregate Concrete Path

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Path or simply called Aggregate Concrete Path is very similar to the Poured Concrete Path only with the difference of mix ratio and aggregate used. The mix ratio is designed in a manner that the aggregate is exposed to the surface. The texture is an important consideration here. The exposed aggregate renders a rough finish which increases the friction and is much easier to walk on. This makes it an ideal surface for commercial concreting or for landscaping around swimming pools.


Exposed Aggregate Concrete Path - Reds Landscaping & Design
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Path

This friction reduces the chances of people slipping while walking or moving things with wheels specially when the surface is wet This is a very practical consideration in Melbourne commercial concreting. Since the aggregate is exposed here, it is not recommended to use crushed stones. Natural Stones of different colours with decorative uses are preferred in this type of construction which can increase the cost.

Another method of making exposed aggregate is simply mixing the conventional concrete, pouring it then seeding the decorative natural stones on top of the surface. This reduces the cost of the pathway and is much simpler and therefore easier for DIY path construction.


DIY Exposed Aggregate Concrete Path Construction

  1. Scrape off the loose soil
  2. Compact the layer of soil using a Plate Compacter or using other means.
  3. Lay a layer of aggregate/crushed stones – around 20 mm in size.
  4. Pour the Concrete
  5. Screed the Surface
  6. Seed the decorative stones
  7. Provide the joints
  8. Let it harden

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces

In Commercial concreting steel reinforcement and high quality concrete is always used. The steel reinforcement minimises the risk of micro-cracks appearing and increases the path's strength. To achieve this the steel reinforcement must be in the top 1/3 of the concrete. The reinforcement is held in position be plastic saddles during the concrete pour.

If there is any possibility of vehicular traffic on your path, then it needs to be designed and built to the standards of a driveway. If you have any doubts, consider using a commercial concreting contractor for the important parts of the concrete path construction.

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Exposed Aggregate

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References and Further Reading on Concrete Path Construction.

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