What’s the Best Base to Use for Resin Driveways?

What are Resin Driveways?

Resin-bound driveways are a popular alternative to standard brick or tarmac driveways. Mixing a clear or coloured resin with loose stones, and spreading it over bases creates a smooth, consistent and robust driveway surfaceResin driveways make a beautiful addition to almost any home or commercial space, no matter the location.

Using a variety of aggregates, colours and stones, you can bring almost any of your resin driveway ideas to life. There are numerous other benefits of installing them, which you can read about here. Before you do anything, however, you should ensure that you have an appropriate base for resin installation.

Resin Driveway Bases

The base refers to the binding structure that sits underneath a resin driveway. It creates a smooth surface for the resin to sit on. It’s also supported by a sub-base, which also helps to increase the stability of a fully permeable surface.

Without a stable base already present in the driveway space, resin-bound paving won’t work. When deciding on the base to use for your resin-bound surface, it’s important to establish whether your existing base can be utilised. Generally speaking, it’s possible to lay one over concrete or tarmac, but you need to ensure that certain criteria are met before you speak to resin driveway installers.

One thing is for sure; the base should be suitable for withstanding the expected collective load of vehicles, and how regularly they will be parked on the drive.

Another vital thing to remember is that your current base may not be permeable. If a new base needs to be installed, your resin driveway expert can ensure it’s porous and SuDS compliant.

What Surfaces Can I Lay Resin on?

  • Tarmac Bases

As long as it is in good condition, a tarmac base makes a suitable one for resin driveway installation. Resin-bound materials can be laid over a tarmac surface provided there are no distinct cracks, and is able to withstand hot and cold temperatures. Limestone-based tarmac is preferable, as it is less likely to expand and crack during warmer weather.

Due to its permeability, an MOT type 3 sub-base is recommended.

  • Concrete Bases

Existing concrete bases should ideally be cleaned and primed with polymer primer before any installation work begins. The primer acts as an adhesive between the base and the resin materials, but also prevents de-lamination. Primers help form a barrier of sorts too, so that the concrete doesn’t soak the resin out of the stone in the mixture.

Budget concrete is, typically, impermeable and does not allow water to flow through it like tarmac. Special permeable concrete must be installed to ensure SuDS compliance.

An MOT type 1 sub-base should is recommended to sit underneath any concrete bases.

  • Grid Bases

Grid systems can also be used to support a resin-bound driveway. They create locked, grid-style structures laid on top of membranes, which sit on top of an (ideally) type 3 sub-base. However, they often require substantially more materials and supplies, but it does depend on the size of the driveway.

For newly laid surfaces, they should be given a decent amount of time to cure before a resin driveway is installed.

Bases to Avoid

There are some bases which will not accommodate a resin-bonded system. Any surface which consists of cracks or lines does not provide a consistent, smooth base for the resin to be laid on top of. The resin would crack and the system would fail due to the heavy loads not being adequately supported.

Below are a few examples of what is not suitable for resin materials:

  • Block paving
  • Flag 
  • Concrete pavers
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Other granular sub-bases

However, if you want to move over from, say, a block paving driveway to a resin one, many driveway contractors can make that happen, and DPM Design & Build are no exception.


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