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Resin Bound or Resin Bonded Surfacing?

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: May 04, 2023
6 minutes read
  • Key difference between bound and bonded resin driveways
  • Resin bonded driveway cost factors
  • Different aesthetics for resin drives

When it comes to choosing a new drive finish for your home, there are plenty of options to go through. Resin driveways are no different, with resin bound and resin bonded surfaces being the two options available. Understanding their differences is key, especially if there’s one which will suit you better than the other. Bonded resin driveways, for example, might appeal to you more if you prefer a rougher looking finish.

This article will guide you through making a decision about which resin finish you should get for your drive. Depending on budget, features and aesthetics, bound and bonded resin driveways can be drastically different. You can become more resin savvy by digesting this article.

A white house with a wide driveway laid with bonded resin

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Bound or Bonded Resin Driveways - What’s the Budget?

The first obstacle to tackle is your budget. It’s all very well setting your mind on your ideal drive finish, but can you actually afford it? As drives are never uniform sizes and shapes, you need to calculate the area of it first, which will give you a best estimate. Bonded resin driveways and their bound cousins are costed on price per metre squared. The bigger the area, the better economy of scale you can benefit from, but the higher the inevitable cost.

How much do resin driveways cost in 2024?

Resin Bound Driveways

Heaped Gravel Vector

Size and shape affects how much you’ll pay, but this depends on which resin finish you opt for. Resin bound driveways are much more expensive than resin bond driveways as they are permeable surfaces, allowing for surface water to drain through. This doesn’t cause any extra stress to the existing waste water works and overflows, but the process involved is far more labour-intensive.

Bonded Resin Driveways

Bonded resin driveways cost less, on the other hand, as the process is easier on the installation. As the aggregate is only scattered on top of the layer of resin, it doesn’t require labourers to work quickly and tirelessly to create the uniform finish. This gives it the benefit of having the appearance of loose gravel without any of the tiresome upkeep required.

Sub Base

Digger Vector

Even if you think that you’ll just pay extra for the resin drive of your choice, there’s no guarantee that it can be installed straight on top of your existing drive. A suitable sub base needs to be present before either bound or bonded resin driveways can be fitted. These need to be level, be able to drain water effectively and bear heavy loads.

Without a proper foundation, bonded resin driveways will set you back even more. If you don’t have a secure sub base, your existing drive surface will need to be excavated and installed. This will require big machines to dig up your entrance and place suitable aggregate first, even before any work goes into applying the resin finish. This can add an additional £5,000 to the works, even before anything else is laid on top.

Which Features Suit You?

The differences in bound and bonded resin driveways go far beyond the material. In fact, it’s because of the materials that they have different benefits.

Sustainable Drainage

If you need a driveway to not hold standing water or to drain through by itself, you’ll prefer a resin bound system. Despite the materials being mixed together before being laid, tiny air pockets will naturally occur, allowing for surface water to drain through. Bonded resin driveways, on the other hand, create a physical barrier that water cannot penetrate.

If you don’t need a permeable drive, you can opt for bonded resin instead. You can also install bonded resin driveways without sustainable drainage compliance if it naturally spills into your garden. In terms of planning permission, this is only required if you wish to install a non-porous drive over 5m².

Weed Resistance

The good news is, all resin drives are resistant to weeds. The only issue you’ll face is with moss. As moisture can be kept around on these surfaces for longer, bonded resin driveways might need to be pressure washed frequently to prevent this.

Frost Protection

Danger - Frost Sign

Without paying out for the more expensive option, bonded resin driveways are not frost-proof. Grip can be hindered in icy conditions and the structure of bonded resin means surface aggregate can be displaced more easily by frost damage.

Installation Time

Resin bound driveways need a suitable sub base installed first, which can set you back longer in your schedule. Once the works are finished, the resin needs time to cure before you can use it for vehicular traffic. Bonded resin driveways won’t take as long to set because it is not installed in as thick a layer.

Heavy Loads

Bonded resin driveways can’t withstand as much weight as resin bound systems. They aren’t as deep, which means they can’t support extremely heavy loads. Resin bound drives, in comparison, can be supported with much thicker aggregate on a suitable sub base, making them flexible. As a counterpoint, they can be prone to being scratched by heavy and sharp objects.

Which Aesthetic Are You After?

Some people prefer the uniform finish of a resin bound drive as it’s seamless and can be customised with different colours and patterns to suit you. Others simply want the appearance of loose gravel without any stones coming loose, which is what you get with bonded resin driveways.

The unvarying surface of a bound drive can be spoilt if non-UV stable materials are used. Some cheaper resins can be damaged by the sun, becoming lighter and uneven in colour. Naturally, UV stable resin is the more expensive of the two options, but it will remove the headache of discoloured areas that have been in the shade. Bonded resin driveways don’t have this problem.

Even though these surfaces have different features, the benefits and drawbacks of resin driveways speak for themselves and can help you decide on which drive is the best option for you.

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