Resin Drives vs Concrete Drives
Resin Drives VS Concrete Drives
Resin drives vs Concrete drives – Strength, duribility and price. Completely different looks and installation.
Concrete drives, and in particular pattern imprinted driveways have been very popular since the 1990s. The range of decorative patterns and choice of colour blends had a big impact on outdoor design and home improvement efforts.
Resin drives haven’t been around as long and their popularity is becasue of advancements in resin technologies which have made resin an increasingly popular choice in recent years.
There are two types of resin driveways.
They both use the same products – resin and aggregate (stone), but the key difference is how the stone attaches to the resin.
Resin Bound Driveways:
Resin is mixed with the aggregates and trowelled onto the sub base. This is by far the most popular choice of resin installation.
Resin Bonded Driveways:
A layer of resin is brushed onto the sub base and aggregates are thrown on top which will then stick to the resin.
We will compare resin drives with concrete drives and give you the pros and cons of each.
Resin Drives Look Great!
Resin Drives vs Concrete Drives – Pros and Cons
Maintenance is minimal for both resin and concrete driveways.
Using a hose and a broom will keep most areas clean and tidy.
Light Pressure washing is also an option but taking care to only use low pressure is important.
The surface of resin drives prevents weed growth which means the driveway is easy to maintain.
And low maintenance is an all important factor when choosing an outdoor paving surface!
Areas that are in the shade may develop moss growth but this is easily removed with a brush and water.
In comparision decorative concrete driveways have joints cut into the concrete surface. And due to this, weed growth is more likely to develop along these joint lines.
This can be reduced by applying a suitable mastic jointing but this will need to be reapplied every couple of years.
Resin bound driveways are the only potentially permeable driveway surface.
And you will often hear permeability touted as a unique benefit of resin.
Keep in mind the sub base beneath must be permeable.
This is usually achieved with ‘open grade’ tarmacadam/ashphalt as a sub base.
Both pattern imprinted concrete and resin bonded driveways may need drainage installation if no natural drainage to bedding/garden areas is present.
Pattern imprinted concrete surfaces need to be resealed (minimum every two years).
This is to ensure they do not fade. Over time the Ultra Violet (UV) radiation from the sun impacts the colour pigmentation.
As such sealing is very very important!
You can contact a driveway installer to have your driveway cleaned, have mastic jointing reapplied and the whole driveway resealed.
It’s also possible to reseal your imprinted driveway yourself by purchasing sealant, Find out about the best sealant for your driveway here
A 25 litre application will cover between 100 sqm2 and 150 sqm2 depending on the condition of the driveway.
Black cobble pattern imprinted concrete driveway
Resin Drives VS Concrete Drives – DIY?
Resin drives are an option for a DIY-er to attempt as long as they are no more than 10-20 m².
DIY resin kits are availble from resin suppliers.
For those that are ambitious and handy an overlay of an existing driveway can be attempted as long as a good sub base layer such as a permeable tarmacadam or concrete (with adequate drainage) is in place.
Resin Bound Driveway:
Simply mix resin with stone of your choice and trowel it onto the base layer.
Resin Bonded Driveway:
Brush resin onto the base layer and gently distribute stone onto the resin. Remove any loose stone.
Of course, when factoring in the immense time pressure (this is glue and stone afterall) a DIY attempt at resin really is for you if you’re handy.
Pattern Imprinted Concrete Drives:
Not recommended to attempt as a DIY project!
Resin Drives VS Concrete Drives
For resin there are different types, colours and sizes of gravel to choose from.
These combinations can be mixed to give a unique looking driveway or patio that stands apart.
For pattern imprinted concrete driveways there are many colour options to choose from.
Colours range from traditional looking dark charcoal to blends of grey and lighter options include sandstone colours.
Resin drive patterns can be added to a driveway.
One of the main attractions is the aesthetics from creating curves around central features such as fountains and edging of garden bedding areas.
Keep in mind that any type of feature pattern looks best on a large driveway (more than 100 m²) and when kept to a minimal.
Concrete drives have a variety of patterns from Ashlar slate, Cobble (standard and deep joint), Basket Weave, European Fan and Slate.
Circle features can look awesome in wide drive areas.
Large Italian Slate Design – Pattern Imprinted Concrete
For resin drives you can have bricks, block paving, slate or aluminium if curves to the driveway are required.
Pattern imprinted driveways can have different designs and even a different colour edge, to provide contrast.
In terms of durability concrete has a much longer history. There are many decorative concrete driveway and patio areas that have been around for 30 years or so.
As mentioned earlier sealing is crucial to protecting a stamped concrete area. Not only does this protect from fading but it can make an installation look as though it’s a new installation.
So, well worth it.
Resin hasn’t been around as long and the domestic use stems from its use in commercial projects which were (and still are) pathways, communal landscaping and beachfront promenades.
As such, careful consideration should be given to resin installations if an area is highly trafficked or on a steeper gradient with vehicles turning.
Resin Drives vs Concrete Drives – Cost
Resin driveway costs can be as inexpensive as a simple (small area) overlay which will cost approx £80 per square metre.
But paving costs rise to approx £150++ per square metre, if extensive preparation (ground works) are required.
NOTE: An Overlay will save money but only if the existing surface is suitable. This is very important.
Stamped concrete prices are in the range of £100 to £150 per square metre.
With both installations there are a number of factors or variable that impact the end price including:
- Overall size of the area;
- Level of preparation is necessary;
- Drainage requirements;
- Landscaping and garden desing;
- Security and lighting.
Resin Drives vs Concrete Drives – Conclusion
Both resin drives and concrete drives are great driveway surfacing products.
And don’t forget your patio areas!
They’ll enhance the look of your home and will add value in more ways than one. Both provide strong support and require little ongoing maintenance.
Both look great with traditional and contemporary looking homes.
Visually concrete driveways look closer to stone while resin driveways can look more warm and natural, so it depends very much on the style and look of your home and of course your personal taste.
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