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What's the Difference Between Exposed Polished Aggregate and Honed Aggregate?

Although both types of decorative concrete begin as exposed aggregate, there are a few differences between exposed polished aggregate and honed aggregate.

The most noticeable difference between the two types of exposed aggregate is in the finishes:

  1. The finish of honed aggregate is a smooth finish, similar to a paver once it has had a slip resistant sealer applied
  2. The finish of the polished aggregate has a glossy and lustrous look

Polished aggregate can be polished to your level of shine (i.e. matte, satin or gloss). The method our installation team uses to finish the surface dictates the shine of the product. It first needs to be mechanically ground; the same process as honed aggregate.

Once all the stone is revealed and our team has done the finer honing cuts, it’s time to start polishing. Depending on what level of shine you require, our team will complete between 4-12 polishing passes, before added the sealer and buffing for the final shine.

The beauty of decorative mixes, whether they are exposed (washed), honed or polished, is that they can be brought back to life. A washed aggregate alfresco or footpath that was poured 10+years ago can look like a totally different slab with a mechanical grind to remove that dirty top layer.

Polished Aggregate
Exposed polished aggregate

Not Suitable for All Floors

While the finish of polished aggregate is both beautiful and durable, there are a few areas where this finish is not a good option for a decorative concrete floor. These include:

  • Bathroom and wet areas – In bathrooms and around pools or spas, the refined polishing creates a slippery finish (which could lead to falls)
  • High traffic areas – While the surface of polished aggregate is durable, it is more susceptible to visible scratching and signs of wear than honed aggregate
  • Pet areas – Constant scratching of the polished aggregate surface by your pet’s toenails may eventually become visible. Additionally, the increased slipperiness of the finish could cause injury to your pet if its paws are wet

Want More Info or Obligation Free Quote?

Contact the Decorative Concrete WA team by filling out the contact form below or by calling (08) 6244 4241.

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    Is Exposed Polished Aggregate the Right Choice?


    • Environmentally friendly
    • Resistant to allergens
    • Durable
    • Moisture resistant
    • Easy care


    • May show scratches and other signs of wear over time
    • Slippery and not suitable for wet areas
    • Costly to repair

    Why choose concrete for your home or business?
    It’s a beautiful, cost effective material that will last for decades to come.

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