Resin based surfacing is a fairly new solution on the paving market, though it has become increasingly popular for homeowners wishing to renovate their driveways. Resin bonded or resin bound surfaces combine natural gravel aggregates with a durable resin. Forming an extremely low-maintenance surface, resin bonded and bound systems offer a long-lasting and cost-effective alternative to a decorative driveway.
Here we’ll look at how to successfully install a resin based surface to maximise its lifespan and usage. Although each specification will be different depending on the products used, here’s what you might expect when installing resin surfacing in your driveway:
1 – Preparing your existing surface
One of the great things about resin surfacing is that it can be applied directly over your existing driveway surface or layered onto a sub-base if required.
For those of you laying the resin system directly onto an existing surface, ensure that the surface is dry and free of weeds or algae. Any cracks should be widened into the shape of a ‘v’ with a stone saw.
If you’ll be applying the system onto a sub-base it’s advisable to make sure that your edgings are fixed in place (you can use sharp sand and cement for this), and that they rise 15-20mm above the sub-base to allow for the resin surface. This will create a more stable foundation for a longer-lasting resin surface.
2 – Choosing the best materials
- Sub-base: for your sub-base you may want to use 150mm of MOT type1, which is made from a range of easily-compacted aggregates. This would need to be rolled down with a vibrating roller until the aggregates have bonded. Concrete or tarmac can then be layered as a base-coat to provide stability before laying the resin mixture on top.
- Aggregates: we provide a range of aggregates to suit your driveway, in various colours and sizes. You can browse our resin bonded and resin bound aggregates, which offer a high-quality and natural appearance.
- Resin: you can choose from a standard or UV stable resin depending on the aggregates you’re using. UV stable resin will prevent certain coloured aggregates fading in the sunlight over time – choose UV stable resin for black, beige and silver aggregates.
3 – Mixing the aggregates and the resin
Tools you need to mix your materials include a forced action mixer, a plasterer’s paddle and drill. Other equipment you’ll need includes white spirit, a wheelbarrow, a plasterer’s float a bucket and gloves.
Every resin kit would need 100kg of aggregate – 75kg of 2-5mm stone and 25kg 1-3mm stone.
With standard resin kits, you simply mix part A and B in your bucket until there is a creamy consistency. The same goes for the UV stable resin, apart from adding the catalyst in with part A before whisking with B.
Then you can put the aggregates in the forced action mixer and mix it dry for about 30 seconds to remove excess dust. Add in the resin and mix until all the stones are covered in the resin. You can also use around 2kg of kiln dried sand into the mixture for added strength.
6 – Laying down the resin surfacing
Working your way from one end to the exit, rake out the mixture on the surface then use a trowel to flatten it evenly. Each new part of the mixture added should be overlapped with the last, which will slightly elevate the dry edges.
Cleaning your trowel every now and then with white spirit will stop the mixture sticking to the trowel and make it easier to flatten down the surface smoothly.
Each mix should cover roughly 4 square metres at a 15mm thickness. The mixture can begin to set quite rapidly depending on the temperature outside, sometimes in 10 minutes in hot weather. However, you won’t be able to walk on the surface until around 4 hours after laying it down, or use a vehicle on the surface until 24 hours after.
Hiring a professional resin surface contractor
If you’re looking for a professional quality for your driveway or would like a more complex decorative surface, it might be best to use a resin based surfacing specialist. We have years of experience dealing with surfaces of all shapes and sizes, and have the most effective tools and methods for a high-quality finish. To discuss your project with us, you can give us a call on 0121 766 8705.