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What Are the Differences Between Resin Bonded and Bound Driveways?

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Nov 06, 2022
8 minutes read
  • Why resin driveways are so popular
  • Key differences between resin bonded and resin bound
  • Associated costs and maintenance

Resin driveways come in two main types: resin bonded and resin bound. While seemingly identical, there are crucial differences between the two. A resin bonded driveway places stones on top of resin, while the resin bound system mixes them with the resin. They both come with certain benefits, but a resin driveway in general is more versatile than tarmac and comes in a variety of options, giving you the freedom of control over the appearance of your drive.

Simply put, a resin driveway adheres to a base layer with aggregate to create an anti-slip surface. Unlike tarmac, resin driveways tend to stay intact for longer. This article will look at what makes up these resin driveways and how they are so different from one another, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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What Is a Resin Bonded Driveway?

For resin driveways, the resin bonded system is where the resin is laid first with the aggregate then placed on top. Because not all of the aggregate is in contact with the resin, it gives the appearance of loose gravel. The top layer is free, which then gives it a rough surface. Essentially, you get all the benefits of a loose gravel drive without any of the stones being displaced.

As the resin is laid first, it creates an impermeable barrier that water cannot drain through, explained in the diagram below. This means that it is not sustainable drainage system (SuDS) compliant and suitable drainage will need to be applied during the installation process to avoid surface water runoff. Not all resin driveways will need this installed.

Resin driveways offer an anti-slip surface, which gives you a lot of traction. While a resin bonded driveway isn’t permeable, the loose stones give it a rough surface to provide grip. However, because not all of the aggregate is in contact with the resin, stones can come loose over time. It also isn’t frost-proof but it is the cheaper option of the two resin driveways.

What Is a Resin Bound Driveway?

The resin bound system is where both the aggregate and the resin are mixed together before it is laid on the ground. This offers a smooth, level surface that’s uniform throughout, which is what makes bound resin driveways so aesthetically pleasing to look at. As the aggregate is mixed with the resin beforehand, it allows for small holes to be present, which permits water through. A resin bound driveway is SuDS compliant, so long as it is installed over a suitable sub-base.

Bound resin driveways have a little bit of flex to them, which allows them to hold plenty of weight. They are also incredibly expensive, much more so than a resin bonded driveway. A UV stable drive will cost you more than a non-UV stable one, but the reassurance in no colour fading is worth the extra cost.

How Much Do Resin Driveways Cost?

The cost is usually represented as a figure per metre squared because size is the most important factor when it comes to installing a resin driveway. The average cost is around £55/m², but this is to lay the surface only. If your existing drive needs to be removed and suitable groundwork needs to be done, this can leap up to £110/m². The aggregate also has a bearing on price, as some stones are higher quality, which you’ll have to pay more for.

Resin driveways can be around £2,500 for a large 50m² drive or £1,200 for 20m² if no additional groundwork is required. If you don’t have a suitable sub-base, this could easily rise to £5,000 or more for a 50m² drive. As well as this, if your property is difficult to get to, you’ll have to pay the company extra for the trouble. Installation costs are also something to factor in. Resin driveways can cost you £150-£250 in labour a day. This can be region specific as well as dependent on experience.

On top of all this, additional costs will be involved for any edging, if you’re opting for UV stable resin and if you’re applying any coatings to the drive once it’s complete. Resin driveways are so versatile that they can be created in a number of different ways. You can customise the edging to suit the façade as well as opt for individual designs. Naturally, any personalised options will cost you a little bit more.

Things to Consider with Resin Driveways

When resin driveways are initially laid, they need to cure first to allow the resin to set before they can be used. This can range from 4 hours to 72 hours, depending on weather conditions and how it was installed. They also can’t be in contact with water during the curing process as this can damage the quality of the drive. While you can usually walk on a resin driveway a few hours after it has been laid, it should cure first before it can bear the weight of any vehicles.

Planning permission is only required if your resin driveway is non-porous and over 5 metres squared. This is because installing a suitable drainage system will also be required so the existing drainage system isn’t overworked by the increased risk of flooding. A small resin bonded driveway won’t require planning permission, but permeable resin driveways can be installed any size without seeking permission. This is one of the reasons why they’re so popular.

The maintenance required with resin driveways is relatively minimal. Even though they can let water through, they can still be susceptible to moss growth and a build-up of dirt. You can clean resin driveways easily using a pressure washer, but a lower or fan setting should be used so you don’t damage the surface. A resin bonded driveway is more liable to damage from a pressure washer because stones can be displaced more easily as not all of them are fixed to the resin. A resin bound drive can be swept to keep dirt and grit off its surface as there’s no risk of any of the aggregate coming loose.

Benefits and Drawbacks

To provide a useful summary, we’ve included the pros and cons for resin driveways, whether resin bonded or resin bound.

Resin Bonded Driveway




Not permeable

Weed resistant

Stones can become loose more easily


Thinner layer of protection for your drive

More authentic look

Needs suitable drainage fitted

Cheaper than resin bound

Needs a proper sub-base first

Can be installed yourself

Not frost-proof

Resin Bound Driveway



Able to withstand heavy loads


Permeable and SuDS compliant

Needs a proper sub-base first


Can’t be installed yourself

Weed resistant

Can require up to 72 hours to fully cure

Low maintenance

More expensive than resin bonded drives

Not damaged by frost and thawing

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