If I lay a concrete footpath and roll decorative gravel in the surface, will it hold?

I do not recall seeing many examples of this and I’m wondering if there is a reason why it’s not that commonly done. I’ve seen plenty of tarmac, paving and loose-gravel paths.
The multi-coloured decorative gravel I would like to use will be Six 12mm diameter grade.
Are decorative toppings prone to falling out after hardening?
If you’ve tried this yourself, have you got any tips? Does it have to be rolled in until it is flush with the surrounding concrete?
Do I need to make the concrete with a finer grade of builders gravel in order to allow the decorative gravel to sink sufficiently?

9 Comments on “If I lay a concrete footpath and roll decorative gravel in the surface, will it hold?

  1. Gravel should be mixed in with the concrete,then the surface is polished when hard.

  2. Yes you can, but rolling is not a good idea as it might make the underlying concrete uneven, it would be a better to scatter the chips as evenly as possible and ‘tamp’ them into surface with a long board about 4X4 and long enough to reach each side of the path with a helper on the other side, you should not need to make the concrete any finer, tamp the chips down enough to suit your own taste. Cover the concrete with plastic sheets to retain the moisture as quick drying does not give the concrete time to cure, and is the most common mistake made by inexperienced DIYer’s and the concrete will be weak and will crack within a very short time.
    You will get some concrete on to the chips but a good brush over with a broom after the concrete has set, about 2/3 days later will restore their appearance

  3. John L has a good answer, once the stones are patted into the concrete, I thought they took a hose and flushed some of the concrete away to make the stones stand out just a very little and to rinse the concrete off. I have an aggerate sidewalk and that is what they did.

  4. If you sprinkle it on top like sugar it will look awful and bumpy, u gotta mix it in. but concrete looks rubbish on drives anyway, why not slabs of stones?

  5. Not tried myself, but i would use pva adhesive on the gravel, then spread it over, then pat the stones into the surface. Will it stay i hear you ask???/Ok, I had a capstone on a pillar in front of my place ..on a hardstand. Some inconsiderate ***** hit it with a car, knocked it off. Put it back with PVA as a quick fix….. winter/summer/snow/ice….. someone hit it again, whole wall went. But, the capstone was solid with brickwork under it. Since rebuilt (used 50% pva in water for 3:1 Sharp sand mix) picked up bits of car bumpers! no damage to wall!!!!

  6. ford man is right on the hose thing ..these concrete sectional garages are done that way ..the concrete is put into moulds under pressure ..this queses most of the water out …then they hose off the top layer to give a decorative ..your way will soon get very dirty and it won’t last a long time …you can buy paving slabs with this effect

  7. i dont like this idea of tamping the gravel into the concrete as the concrete all ready has gravel in it all ur going to do is leave the top surface weeker and prone to cracking.

  8. yes, should hold. just use extra sand in the concrete

  9. That type of surface can get slippery.

    You can put stone down and press into the wet concrete. Then wait till the concrete hardens a very little and use a wet broom to remove the surface concrete from the stones.