Common questions around resin bound surfacing

Resin bound paving has quickly become the surfacing of choice for many commercial and residential projects. Not only does it look great, its porous, low maintenance and hard-wearing properties have made it the fastest-growing surfacing solution.
DecraSet Outdoor Resin Bound Surfacing - Leomansley Manor Driveway & Paths

Resin bound paving basically ticks all boxes from satisfying the designer, installer and the customer.

HMS has put together this guide to answer the most common questions we hear around resin bound surfacing. From general questions around what it is to installation, maintenance and cost.

 

What is resin bound paving?

Resin bound paving is a permeable paving solution with a modern twist. It has the strength of concrete and the elegant, stylish look of loose gravel or stone … but without the stone migration! This creates a surface that is extremely hard-wearing, low maintenance and will look great for years to come.

On top of this, resin bound paving is a permeable, SUDS compliance paving system, which replicates the natural landscape by allowing water to permeate the ground. Consequently, standing water is reduced and there is a lesser risk of flooding in built-up urban areas. Furthermore, other environmental benefits include the reduction of water pollution through natural filtration and decreasing surface water runoff.

Therefore, resin bound paving is quickly overtaking the more traditional paving solutions such as concrete, tarmac or block paving and is the perfect surfacing solution for:

  • Roads
    The strength of resin bound paving is only as good as its subbase, so if the subbase can handle heavy traffic, resin bound paving then becomes the perfect paving solution for access roads, bus lanes and slip/service roads.
    HMS Anti skid surfacing
  • Footpaths
    Although resin bound paving leaves a smooth finish, it’s also non-slip. Mix these two qualities with its low maintenance and porous properties, resin bound paving becomes the ideal surfacing choice for public footpaths and walkways.
    Decra®Stone resin bonded footpath
  • Heritage Sites
    At HMS, we have laid many a resin bound surfacing to the gardens and driveways of some of the most famous heritage sites in the UK. With our variety of colour options, we provide surfacing solutions that blend and harmonise with its surroundings. Coupled with its low maintenance, hard-wearing characteristics, resin bound surfacing becomes the perfect solution for any garden landscaping team.
    Resin Bond Surfacing
  • Car Parks
    Resin bound paving significantly reduces the upkeep costs that come with maintaining a public car park. It’s not only cost-effective and looks great but being non-slip it means it’s safe for pedestrians and cars. Similarly, during the winter months, there is little or no standing water so there isn’t any opportunity for ice to build up and cause accidents.
    Decra®Stone resin bonded amber gold pathway
  • Driveways
    Driveways are the most common applications of resin bound surfacing. With it being a beautiful alternative to gravel and concrete and is also durable, easy to look after and will last longer …  it also adds value to homes or at the very least increases their saleability.
  • Gardens
    Resin bound surfacing is also used by many homeowners to create unique gardens that not only look great but also increase the value and saleability of your home at the same time. With our wide range of textures and colours, resin bound paving will complement any design to create a unique and beautiful landscape.
    Decra®Stone resin bonded path

 

Is resin bound permeable?

As already mentioned, resin bound paving is a permeable, SUDS-compliant surfacing solution that replicates the natural landscape and allows water to effortlessly drain into groundwater and watercourses making it the likely choice for:

  • Built-up areas prone to flooding
  • Landscaped areas that include trees
  • Swimming pool surfaces and areas around water features
  • Areas prone to standing water.

Read our guide, ‘At one with nature … the way forward in British housing developments’ for more information on the benefits of resin bound permeable paving.

 

What’s the difference between resin bonded and resin bound?

So far, we have explained resin bound paving, but what is resin bonded? Many people get the two confused.

In a nutshell, resin bound paving is created by using a forced action mixer to combine resin and aggregates or gravel together. This then produces a mixture that can be trowelled onto a surface to produce a smooth, aesthetically pleasing finish. Resin bound is completely permeable, letting water drain through to the ground.

Whereas resin bonded surfacing is the application of resin to a surface and then aggregates or gravel are scattered to completely cover the resin.  This produces a non-permeable paving solution, that is still low maintenance and hard-wearing, but doesn’t have the life expectancy of resin bound paving.

Resin bonded paving is mainly used for surfaces that need to look good as well as offer increased slip resistance.

 

Resin bound vs resin bonded

We wouldn’t like to say which is better as both resin bound and resin bonded surfaces have their benefits and it depends on your surfacing requirements as to which one you would choose. Both offer their benefits, but here’s a quick table so you can easily compare the two.

 

Resin BoundResin Bonded
Permeable
SUDS compliant
Long-lasting
Little/no stone migration
High friction
Slip-resistant
Looks great
Non-fade
Frost resistant
Seamless
Environmentally friendly

 

Resin bound colours

Resin bound gravel or aggregates are provided in a variety of colours to suit your project … and if you can’t find the colour you want, at HMS we provide a bespoke blending service or will guarantee to match any colour combinations seen elsewhere.

If you’re struggling to find a colour for your project, why not choose three free samples from our website. This will enable you to test the samples against your building, project background and surroundings.

Top tip: make sure you look at your sample in natural daylight, including a nice sunny day!

 

How long does resin bound surfacing last?

Resin bound paving is a durable, long-lasting surfacing solution that can last between 10 – 20 years. However, when installed correctly and with an appropriate subbase, it can last anything up to 25 years.

To make sure you receive the most cost-effective, lasting resin bound surface, always seek advice from your resin bound installer or supplier. Make sure you download the specifications and understand what preparations are needed prior to installation.

 

Maintenance

To keep your resin bound surfacing looking great for longer, regular sweeping and washing is normally the only maintenance required. Pressure washing can remove the most stubborn stains.

 

What to consider when laying resin bound paving?

 

Always complete your pre-site preparations

  • Surface base
    When completing your initial site survey, check that the subbase is stable and there isn’t any cracking. Ultimately, resin bound paving will only be as good as the surface it’s applied to. If there’s cracking or the surface base isn’t stable, then this can cause cracking and the resin bound paving system will fail. Similarly, check for any damage or joints and make sure any repairs to the subbase are completed in plenty of time prior to installation.
  • Edging
    Make sure your area has permanent edging. Temporary edging such as fence posts that get changed every five years or so, can damage your newly laid surfacing. If there isn’t an appropriate edging, install one.
    Top tip: always make sure your edging is taped so avoid damage or decolourisation from the resin
  • Manholes
    Check for manholes or drain covers? If there are any located within the surface area, make sure you’ve ordered screed trays or recessed manholes.
  • Cleaning
    Make sure your surface area is free from contaminants such as leaves and vegetation as this will also cause the system to fail.
  • Surface area
    Double-check the length, width, and depth of the working area to make sure you’re 100% sure you have enough material to complete the job. We strongly recommend a 10% contingency in case of depth or porosity anomalies. Failure to prepare at this stage of the project may result in unnecessary joints in your new surfacing. If you’re unsure about the amount of material to order, Resin Sales Direct (HMS’s sister company) developed a resin bound calculator to help.
  • Weather conditions
    Never, ever lay resin bound in the rain or to a wet surface. Water will get into the mixture and the surfacing system will fail. It can become a very costly mistake!
    Top tip: always make sure the surface is dry before you start laying. If it’s rained for four days incessantly prior to installation day, you can pretty much determine the surface is still wet. Optimal temperatures to lay resin bound surfacing are between 5oC and 35oC.
  • Free site survey
    If you’re unsure and would prefer to ask your local resin bound installer, then HMS provide free site surveys. We will complete a vigorous site survey and then provide you with a list of recommendations for preparing the site for installation.

 

Material

So, you’re excited, the time has come to lay your resin surfacing! Whatever you do, make sure you have enough material to complete the job. Fill out our resin bound calculator to help. Our kits contain the part A and B resin and aggregate to cover between 3 – 4m2 at between 15mm – 20mm installation depth.

Top tip: Wanting a slip-resistant surface? Then we recommend ordering crushed glass to scatter over the top of the resin bound surfacing while it’s curing.

 

Equipment

Make sure you have all the relevant equipment and that it is clean and dry before you start your project. Here’s a list of equipment you will need:

  • A forced action mixer (never mix in a concrete mixer. The result will NOT be good!)
  • A drill with an helical whisk attachment
  • Wheelbarrow with polythene liner to help with clean-up
  • Floor trowel
  • Flat-head squeegee
  • White spirits and cloths
  • Masking tape
  • Tape measure
  • Disposable gloves
  • Yard brush.

 

Training

If you have never laid resin bound paving before, why not consider one of our training courses. Our training courses are run by experienced industry professionals who can answer all the practical and theory-based questions which you may have.

As one of the most comprehensive courses available, this one-day course has been designed to be practical, informative and hands-on. Typically run with groups of 5 – 12, questions are actively encouraged and you will have the opportunity to try out some of the techniques you have learned.

 

Videos

If you haven’t got the time to attend one of our training days, then we’ve put together some video tutorials and application guides to show you how to lay resin bound paving.

 

How much is a resin bound surface?

The cost of laying resin bound paving can vary, which is dependent on the surface area, thickness and the condition of the subbase. At HMS, we provide a free site survey to enable us to provide you with an accurate price for installing resin bound paving.

However, we don’t quote for any work that may be needed to prepare the subbase prior to installation.  If there is any work required, we will outline what’s needed, but this work will be completed prior to use starting the installation.

Our resin bound surfacing costs can start from as little as £40m2, based on average base construction and installation thickness. If you’re thinking about laying your resin bound surfacing yourself, then we sell resin bound kits starting from £70.50 per kit.

Each kit contains, parts A and B resin and 100kg of decorative aggregate to cover approximately 3 – 4m2 surface (dependent on surface requirements). If you are looking to lay resin bound surfacing yourself, then we always recommend purchasing 10% contingency to ensure you don’t fall short and are also not wasting money on excess products.

Our resin bound calculator can help you buy with confidence and determine exactly how many kits you will need for your project.

 

Looking for further advice?

We are happy to help and advise if you have any questions or you’re looking for a site survey or quote. Simply contact us through our website or call 01858 881111.

About HMS

HMS has more than 25 years’ unrivalled trading history in providing high quality resin based surfacing treatments for Highways England, Main Contractors, Local Authorities, National Home Builders and private individuals.

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