Resin surfacing is a relatively new form of surface which can be used in a wide range of applications, from public walkways and cycle paths, to driveways and other landscaping schemes.
Resin surfacing systems consist of a resin layer which acts as a glue to bind natural loose aggregates, for an aesthetically pleasing yet hardwearing surface. Resin bonded and resin bound are the two types of resin based surfacing, which use the same materials but differ in the way the aggregate is applied.
Resin bonded surfacing first applies the resin layer, on which the gravel is scattered on top. Resin bound surfacing combines the gravel and resin before the mixture is applied to the desired surface.
Both resin bonded and resin bound systems present a cost effective alternative to the more traditional surfacing materials and take on a number of other benefits for residential and commercial projects alike:
Resin surfacing vs. gravel
Although gravel surfaces have a very pleasing aesthetic appeal, the fact that the aggregates are loosely scattered means that they are prone to constant displacement when walked or driven over. Unfortunately this makes pristine gravel surfaces short-lived and brings about higher maintenance and replacement costs. Gravel surfaces are also prone to weed growth.
Resin surfacing can be more expensive to install however it provides the same attractiveness as loose gravel and can last for years with little maintenance. Resin bonded and bound systems can utilise a wide variety of coloured aggregates, however it’s a more flexible option since it won’t move around or wear down as gravel would through heavy usage.
Resin surfacing vs. concrete
Concrete and imprinted concrete surfaces like resin bonded and bound, are easily applied and convenient for a range of purposes. However there are issues that arise with functionality, safety and maintenance.
Resin surfacing systems are equipped with anti-slip finishes and prevent rapid water run-off, making them more weather resistant than other traditional surfaces. Concrete on the other hand can become slippery when wet and isn’t so resistant to winter conditions. The surface is prone to cracking and staining, demanding ongoing re-covering to restore its smoothness.
Resin based surfacing offers a much more attractive, and weather and stain resistant solution, without the need for the same level of refurbishment.
Resin surfacing vs. block paving
Block paving does allow for a more versatile design than traditional concrete surfaces, however it takes time to lay out the individual blocks whereas resin surfacing can be applied and sets simple and quickly. In fact, resin surfacing can be laid over any existing surface if in good condition, removing the need for excavation and the pre-laying additional costs.
Because block paving is bedded on a layer of sharp sand, it can be easily displaced over time and like gravel is prone to weed growth in between the surface joints. Although there are diverse colour choices, the blocks used in the surfacing are essentially pigmented concrete, meaning that they may suffer from fading over time and the same maintenance issues as concrete.
Resin surfacing vs. asphalt
Asphalt and tarmac surfaces can be applied and set quickly, however they aren’t best suited to landscaping projects where aesthetics are important. Asphalt and tarmac gives an industrial appearance which resin based surfacing trumps. In resin based systems, multiple colours can be used to create pleasing patterns and imagery in spaces large and small.
Another benefit of resin surfacing is that it is highly porous, allowing water to permeate through the surface to the underlying substrate. This makes it a much more environmentally friendly choice than asphalt, meeting the SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems) regulations.
Like concrete asphalt and tarmac have a poor resistance to weathering and require more maintenance than resin bonded and resin bound surfaces.
For anyone considering resin bonded or bound surfacing for their project, the Midland Decorative Surfaces team would be happy to advise you and run through your particular requirements. Simply call us on 0121 766 8705 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.