Homeowners often choose concrete as their driveway paving material because it is usually budget-friendly and highly durable. However, it can sometimes get a rap for being drab and unattractive. While a traditional concrete slab driveway might not win a beauty contest, there are several different types of concrete driveways that do offer a decorative or textured look so you can customize the look of your landscape and still stay on budget.
A stamped concrete driveway is one of the most decorative types of concrete driveways. Before the driveway surface is fully cured, it is imprinted with a pattern to create an attractive design. You can choose a pattern that resembles a variety of natural paving materials, including slate, cobblestone, flagstone or brick. The benefit of a stamped concrete driveway is that you can have the look of one of these more costly paving materials at a fraction of the cost. For the most authentic look, you can have your stamped concrete driveway stained so it has a natural appearance.
Another decorative option for your concrete driveway is an exposed aggregate finish. Before the concrete for the driveway is poured, pebbles in varying sizes and colors are added to the concrete mixture. The tops of the pebbles are exposed by sandblasting, pressure washing or the application of a chemical substance that removes the concrete paste. The finished driveway has a textured surface that provides effective traction during wet or icy weather, and also has a decorative appearance.
Rock Salt Finish
For another type of textured concrete driveway, consider a rock salt finish driveway. While the concrete slab for your driveway is still wet, coarse rock salt is spread across the surface and pressed into the mixture. The concrete sits for 24 hours before the salt is washed away with a power washer. The resulting driveway surface is covered with small indentations where the salt has been removed. The additional texture helps prevent your car from skidding and gives the driveway a more decorative look.
If you don't like the look of a concrete slab driveway, use concrete pavers to build your driveway. Pavers are individual paving stones that lock together to form a solid surface. They are extremely easy to install, so you may be able to build your own driveway and save money. Concrete pavers are also available in a variety of colors, shapes and textures, thus allowing you to create a truly customized look for your driveway. While they are fairly durable, concrete pavers are also easy to repair if your driveway suffers damage, since you can simply remove the damaged paver and replace it with a new one.