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Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 13 Mar 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Resin Bound Resin Surface Design Drive

Resin bound surfaces for driveways are a relatively new product on the UK market. They aren't used domestically a great deal because they are fairly expensive and not that well known. But resin bound surfaces are very flexible, particular in terms of colour, and can be laid on top of an existing surface if it's in good enough condition.

Often where you see colour being used on the streets, that will be done with a resin bound or resin bonded surface. Red bus lanes, green cycle paths and other designs marked out on existing roads are likely to be resin based.

How Resin Based Products Work

The resin acts as a top surface layer to which Gravel, or another aggregate, can be laid. Being effectively a glue, the aggregate will stick to that layer. There are two main categories of resin drive systems, resin bonded and resin bound, and the difference is in the method of applying the aggregate.

In resin bonded systems, the gravel is scattered onto a pre-applied resin layer before it sets. In resin bound systems, the aggregate and resin are mixed together and then applied to the surface together. Either way, the drive or path will set pretty quickly and be able to accept light traffic in an hour or two. Of course, this also means that the job needs to be planned properly so that everything goes smoothly and the surface can be completed before the resin dries out.

Domestic Usage

The main reason why resin based driveways are more expensive than other drive coverings is that it has to be laid on a solid base like Concrete or Tarmac. So you have to lay a driveway and then lay the resin product on top of it, which for many people is a waste of time. But if you want the look, which can be very professional and smooth, then that's what you have to do.

Of course, if you have an ugly concrete or tarmac drive but it has no cracks or other structural defects, than you can lay resin on top of it. This is where resin bonded or resin bound products really do score. Not only can you cover up the old surface, but you can mix colours, create patterns and other designs. Application is a specialist job but can be done by someone who's a dab hand at DIY, as long as health and safety warnings are heeded, as the fumes from the resins are not toxic.

Laying a Resin-Bonded Drive

Resin bonded products are easier to lay and cheaper as the resin layer is thinner. Assuming the base is in good condition and has been prepared, the resin, which comes in two or three parts, is mixed thoroughly then poured on to the base and spread out evenly. Many manufacturers provide specialist tools for applying and spreading the resin.

The aggregate can then be spread over the resin. Some manufacturers supply spreaders but it can also be scattered on by hand from scoops. Aim to put on more than you think you need, as you can always sweep off the excess once the resin has set. Applying more if there's a bald patch is not so easy. After an hour or so, depending on the weather, the loose aggregate can be swept off, and then it's ready for use, although some systems then require a sealing layer.

Resin-Bound Drive Laying

Resin bound products have a deeper resin layer, at least a centimetre, so there is a need to put an edging course around the area of the drive. This can really be anything you fancy, so refer to our Edging Article in the Block Paving section of this site for details. Once this has been prepared, empty the various parts of the resin mix and the chosen aggregate into a mixer using the proportions dictated by the manufacturer's instructions. After mixing for the prescribed amount of time, the mix can be turned out into a wheelbarrow and poured over the drive site.

The mix is then spread over the site, working side to side and backwards and forwards to ensure even distribution, using a spreader known as a 'lute' (also used in tarmac laying). It is then rubbed smooth with a float trowel and dries in about an hour.

Be Careful when Selecting Contractors

Finally, if you decide on a resin based drive and want to get contractors to do it for you, make sure they have done this type of work before. Many of them have training and accreditation schemes so you will know that the staff are not complete newcomers to the method.

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[Add a Comment]
Wanting to replace grass with resin in boggy garden. Clay soil underneath, would this be ok or should we just go for paving?.
Dt - 13-Mar-18 @ 7:59 PM
Hi, I have a concrete drive, there are a few cracks in the concrete slab, can the resin be laid straight on that or does it need to be prepped first, if so what prep work is needed?? Thanks.
Adz - 11-Mar-18 @ 5:31 PM
JV - Your Question:
How durable are resin bonded surfaces? We need to replace a gravel drive that was not properly laid by the previous owners, so during winter months the drive is covered with puddles and mud. Part of the problem is that our drive provides access to our wood pellet hopper and foul water treatment plant. In the former case the wood pellets are delivered by a 40tonne truck. So the drive needs to be robust enough to handle a vehicle of this size. If a resin bonded surface is not appropriate, what would you recommend?ThanksJ&V

Our Response:
We can't make specific recommendation sorry. Resin bound driveways can be durable but must be properly installed on the right surface - so get information from an engineer etc.
DrivewayExpert - 2-Mar-18 @ 12:29 PM
How durable are resin bonded surfaces? We need to replace a gravel drive that was not properly laid by the previous owners, so during winter months the drive is covered with puddles and mud. Part of the problem is that our drive provides access to our wood pellet hopper and foul water treatment plant. In the former case the wood pellets are delivered by a 40tonne truck. So the drive needs to be robust enough to handle a vehicle of this size. If a resin bonded surface is not appropriate, what would you recommend? Thanks J&V
JV - 28-Feb-18 @ 7:46 AM
We have had our driveway laid and it also has faded white patches. Does anyone know how I can get this rectified? And what has caused it?
Katy - 1-Feb-18 @ 6:28 PM
Raf - Your Question:
Hi we had a resin driveway completed in Dec and have found the colour has faded from a gold to nearly white, when it rains the colour then goes back to gold.it looks very patchy in colour when it starts drying out again. Any advice on what we can do would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
This is quite common with natural "yellow/gold" coloured stone. If you are concerned ask your supplier.
DrivewayExpert - 19-Jan-18 @ 11:23 AM
Hi Raf, we also had our drive done in December and have experienced the exact same white appearance. I have been told it is because of being laid when the base wasn’t completely dry. Seemingly it is advised that it is installed during the summer months. I have also been told that it cannot be rectified. The only solution is to replace it!
Lizzy - 18-Jan-18 @ 3:47 PM
Hi we had a resin driveway completed in Dec and have found the colour has faded from a gold to nearly white, when it rains the colour then goes back to gold.it looks very patchy in colour when it starts drying out again. Any advice on what we can do would be greatly appreciated.
Raf - 16-Jan-18 @ 3:41 PM
pmetcalfe83 - Your Question:
I laid a drive in 2015 and the customer got in touch with me early on this year saying there are rust stains in it.I have tried to clean it for her and got in touch with the company that supplied the resin to me and they don’t want anything to do with and now she wants to sue me and get it re done what’s your advise as it’s a natural product meaning the stone and they know this can happen but never told me or I would have told the customer and gone with a different colour

Our Response:
"Rust staining" is most often the natural result of the iron rich compounds in the aggregate oxidizing. We don't really know whether you can be sued for not knowing or not telling the customer about this. You may need to seek the opinion of a legal professional.
DrivewayExpert - 12-Dec-17 @ 2:31 PM
I laid a drive in 2015 and the customer got in touch with me early on this year saying there are rust stains in it. I have tried to clean it for her and got in touch with the company that supplied the resin to me and they don’t want anything to do with and now she wants to sue me and get it re done what’s your advise as it’s a natural product meaning the stone and they know this can happen but never told me or I would have told the customer and gone with a different colour
pmetcalfe83 - 11-Dec-17 @ 1:26 AM
Hi, had a resin bound drive layed last May, and we were very pleased with it until now.What we didn't know then was that someone had walked down the edge of the drive and left a few deep footprints near the front door which only stand out when the Winter sun shines down the drive. We did not notice these foot prints till now because of the low light at this time of year. My question is could I use a DIY kit and just fill the prints in with a small amount of resin & gravel. Thanks Phil.
Saxa - 30-Oct-17 @ 7:59 PM
Hi. Can bound aggregate be laid on an established concrete drive which is damp or wet? My contractor says it can though the adhesive manufacturer will not provide me with a data sheet. Thanks
Colin - 20-Oct-17 @ 10:59 AM
@Safetyfirst Without going in to the drainage, planning and use of a flexible system details, as a manufacturer we would not advise you use a resin bound surface for this application. From a technical point of view this is dependent on the PEN value of the blacktop surface, the type of traffic the surface will receive and the quality/depth of the installation. As a general rule of thumb, if the surfaces are over 4 years old and show no signs of movement or cracking then in theory you could lay a resin bound surface over this however as stated, we would not advise the use of a resin surface.
Helper - 15-Oct-17 @ 11:27 AM
@Thomo5949 Resin bound or bonded surfaces are not suitable for this application. Whilst they can be installed directly onto a completed decking system they are not waterproofing products. You require a tanking membrane. These can be liquid applied systems (like a thick paint) but each manufacturers products can vary considerably in ease of application and cost. I would advise the use of a single component polyurethane or polyurea tanking membrane or a two component polyaspartic sealer.
Helper - 15-Oct-17 @ 11:16 AM
@jock No this is not normal. Trowel marks are either the result of an unskilled installer, the over use of solvents to lubricate the trowel or untimed variable mixing. As far as a solution goes you should of course inform the installer of the issue and give them a chance to rectify the problem by using a aliphatic polyurethane refresh/restore product.This method of repair is dependent on the severity of the trowel marks.
Helper - 15-Oct-17 @ 11:08 AM
had resin drie done last week when you look at it all you can see is a lot of trowel marks?? any help welcome is this normal@@
jock - 19-Sep-17 @ 6:03 PM
I have a garage build into a hill and then a parking space on top finished with tarmac.THe roof is leaking so I was considering resin bonding it.Many companies promote the resin bound / bonded drives as being permeable so being an advantage for draining reasons.I need it impermeable and waterproof, is there a product out there that will do this for me?
Thomo5949 - 10-Aug-17 @ 12:19 PM
Can I lay resin over a base half concrete and half tarmac
Safetyfirst - 11-Jul-17 @ 7:23 PM
Had a resin drive laid on top of the original concrete drive about2 years ago, but now have a problem with grass & moss growing in the resin base. What product can I use to "kill off" the grass & moss?
The Duke! - 4-Mar-17 @ 4:47 PM
Always checkout your contractor .ask if you can have a look at their last two jobs.its your own fault if you get ripped off. Do your homework Mark Ideal paving
Flagger - 11-Feb-17 @ 2:41 PM
Hi, just to share my story. our house in Suffolk is 9 years old. The drive was installed by a contractor who has since disappeared. It is a resin bound drive and is several hundred square metres. The surface was prepared correctly and there is no sign of any subsidence or cracking of the sub base. Initially the drive appeared superb ands everyone commented how good it looked and I believe that several other drives have been done in the same manner after seeing ours. However over the last few years the drive has been deteriorating. The first thing we noticed was the areas where cars turned , started to break up, then at the joins. Yes you do have to have joins, on the very big areas and where it joins the road etc. The drive has become covered in moss which is very unsightly and there is nothing at all can be done about it, no matter what materials are sprayed on as it is right into the surface itself. The surface is a poor surface to sweep, the best way to clean it is power washing but beware, you are liable to damage it, if you do, with too powerful a machine. Due to its nature once any mud gets on the drive, this works it way into the surface and then impedes the drainage. When we first had the house the drainage was amazing , you could turn a hose on it and the water would just disappear, now it just runs off as if it were concrete. This means that the drive is full of water and this means in frost it breaks up. Be prepared for everyone working into your house, bringing in large quantities of small stone on their soles, especially trainers or other deep cleated shoes. This stone is excellent at damaging any type of stone or wooden floor ensuring a nice pattern of scratches. We are currently looking at a very expensive resurfacing operation and have not got a clue as to what to go for. however I do know one surface I would not go for, not in the next million years! I would not recommend a resin bound drive to anyone, ever. DO NOT BUY!!!
Ex. - 7-Feb-17 @ 12:24 PM
I have a short path, 3 m x1 m which are large slate slabs, very slippery when wet. Can a bonded resin be laid direct on to this or will they need to come up. Its very stable, no movement or rocking
Sharky - 28-Jan-17 @ 10:34 AM
We have had resin bound paths laid two weeks ago which are showing increasing evidence of white patches which we understand is due to atmospheric moisture content when laying the material.Is there anything we can apply/ do to get rid of these patches please? Any ideas or advice would be very welcome!
JJ - 14-Dec-16 @ 1:52 PM
I had resin bound gravel laid yesterday and the postman has walked over it! Is it possible to heat up the surface with a blow lamp and re level?
therb - 26-Nov-16 @ 9:50 AM
Can a resin drive/ path be laid in low temperature. Also in rainy conditions?
cautious - 21-Nov-16 @ 10:12 AM
Just looked out my window, and was taken aback by my beautiful resindriveway done by avon manor landscapes. A big thank you to Gary and all his team. Highly recommended Avon Manor Landscapes
Bb - 17-Oct-16 @ 8:07 AM
Reverse Sloping Driveway I am about to convert my front garden to accommodate parking for two cars. The front left hand corner is approximately 4 brickcourse depths above the rear right hand corner near the house. The house shows 2 1/2 courses of brickwork at this point. Recently, water pooled to a depth of seven inches. Area is Six metres Road to House and 9 metres side to side. I intend to use a resin bond finish over this area with hard standing where cars park. Across the front near the house will be a 100mm step with an ECO drain before it. My questions are as follows: 1. What depth should the Sub-grade be. 2. What depth should the porous concrete be. 3. What depth should the Resin material be. 4. Would you recommend creating French drains in addition to the above to act as soakaways.
Ray - 12-Oct-16 @ 11:20 AM
Had a resin drive laid kept car off it for 3 days despite this I now have tyre marks (not depressions) from the road into the garage. What is causing this please? Is it because the resin is not fully dry?
Prb - 11-Oct-16 @ 10:18 PM
Ive had a resin driveway recently and we are over the moon the the product. Its made such a big change to our property.
LB - 29-Sep-16 @ 8:02 PM
We had a large resin bound driveway laid by a company from Louth Lincolnshire but guess not allowed to name them They were adamant that you should never lay a resin bound surface over block pavement or slabsdue to movement so we excavated ours and laid a concrete base before.We are totally satisfied as it looks brilliant and been down now for a couple of years .I would highly recommended Resin Bound Surfacing
Blacky - 27-Sep-16 @ 12:07 PM
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