Concrete is a combination of aggregates and paste, with aggregates being sand and gravel or crushed stone, and paste being water and portland cement. The main difference between stamped concrete and aggregate concrete is that the latter involves a more selective process. Many people without experience can place stamped concrete, but aggregate concrete should be left to professionals. Concrete with exposed aggregates requires more maintenance than regular concrete due to its uneven surface, which allows dirt, debris, grime, and mud to accumulate.
The size distribution of fine to coarse-grained aggregates plays an important role in the workability and performance of concrete. Using aggregate concrete is cheaper than stamped concrete, especially for larger projects. You can also combine smooth concrete with decorative finishes to create exposed aggregate concrete. Recycled concrete will have a higher absorption and a lower specific gravity than conventional aggregates.
Exposed aggregate is more prone to damage than standard concrete and needs to be sealed more frequently. This range means that the concrete surface can be multicolored due to the natural color variation of the added materials, and used to complement your home or landscaping designs. If you want to use aggregate concrete for your project, make sure your concrete producer purchases good quality aggregates as verified by regular aggregate test results in accordance with ASTM C 33, Standard Specifications for Concrete Aggregates. It's also important to note that while stamped concrete isn't expensive, it does have limitations that a professional can explain.