This guide will highlight the key steps for laying a Resin Bound driveway. The method shown here can also be used for other applications, such as resin paths, patios and more.
A Resin Bound system is a versatile, hard-wearing, and low-maintenance surface solution that brings a huge range of benefits compared to other surfaces. In order for a new Resin Bound surface to deliver on each of its benefits, it must be installed correctly from start to finish.
What is resin bound?
A Resin Bound system is a surface solution that involves a hard-wearing course of resin mixed with dried aggregates. This is laid onto a new or existing macadam or concrete base.
Unlike a Resin Bonded system, in which the dried aggregates are scattered over a full layer of resin, a Resin Bound system is permeable and can be used as part of a SUDS-compliant installation.
What can Resin Bound be used for?
Resin Bound systems are highly versatile, and can be used for a wide range of surfaces, including…
- Parks & Gardens
- Car Parks
- Cycle Paths
Recommended Resin Bound Mix Specification
At Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates, we provide two useful sizes of DALTEX UVR Resin. Through research and experience, we believe that having the correct ratio of resin to aggregates is critical to achieving a lasting, durable surface and we recommend the following amounts of aggregates.
DALTEX Bound plus UVR 7.5kg
- 75kg (3 bags) 2-5mm aggregates
- 25kg (1 bag) 1-3mm aggregates
- 6.25kg (¹/₄ bag) of C52 sand
- Total 106.25kgs - % resin 7.05%
- Coverage approx. 3.55m² at 18mm and 4.0m² at 15mm.
DALTEX Bound UVR 6.5kg
- 75kg (3 bags) 2-5mm aggregates
- 12.5kg (¹/₂ bag) 1-3mm aggregates
- 6.25kg (¹/₄ bag) of C52 sand
- Total 93.75kgs - % resin 6.9%
- Coverage approx. 3.13m² at 18mm and 3.6m² at 15mm.
We recommend that a minimum 18mm depth be used. This is so the surface achieves the required tensile strength for the application. Sand increases the strength of the Resin Bound surface by approximately 15-25% and will contribute to the anti-slip properties of the finished surface.
Due to the variability of aggregate type and size, we believe that a minimum of 7% ratio is the best content and acts as a “cover-all”. For pathways with foot traffic only, a depth of 15mm may be used.
In the past, a mix of 6.5kg kits with 100kg of stone was used. Tests have shown this resin/aggregate ratio does not contain enough resin and may have resulted in poor performance with some aggregates.
How to calculate the amount of dried aggregates you need
Getting the correct quantity of aggregates is important to prevent waste or the need for additional orders. Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates has a Resin Bound calculator that is free to use. All calculations are approximations; however, they will give you a reliable starting point.
Before you start installing a resin driveway
You must also consider the following before you begin
- Is the surface suitable?
- Is the base stable?
- Is there any cracking in the surface?
- Is there any damage?
The surface must be free from contamination or water prior to application, as such cleaning/drying may be required. The ambient temperature, relative humidity and ground temperature should be tested and recorded prior to and during application.
All substrates to be coated should have a surface temperature at least 3°C above the dew point and rising to reduce the risk of delamination due to condensation or surface foaming of the system.
What bases are suitable for a resin driveway?
A Resin Bound system base must be stable and suitable for the load it is expected to take once completed. A suitable Resin Bound base could be tarmac, asphalt or concrete. Suitable bases for a Resin Bound system include the following:
You can find more detailed information about what bases can be used for Resin Bound Systems in our Knowledge Centre.
To find out the correct base course requirements, please try our Knowledge Centre guide.
Final checks before installing a resin driveway
Before getting started with the mixing process, it is important that you make the following checks:
- Rain: Do not attempt an installation if rain is forecast during or within 4 hours of completion. We recommend having a reliable weather app on your smartphone.
- Surface moisture: Use an outdoor hygrometer to check for humidity. If the humidity level is below 80%, it is okay for working. If any higher, you may need to delay the project.
- Surface checks: Make sure the base surface has been primed and dried.
- Materials: Check your aggregates and other materials for quantity, batch and colour.
- Check area: Re-measure the work area to ensure you have all the materials you need to complete the project.
- Clean and prepare equipment: You will need to make sure all your equipment is clean and ready for use.
- Edging tape: Make sure all edges of your work area have been protected with tape to avoid resin staining.
The process of mixing and laying a Resin Bound driveway is simple but requires absolute accuracy at every stage to ensure success. Do not try and make shortcuts.
Step 1. How to mix the resin
It is very important that the specific blends outlined here are not varied; this is because the precise formulation of resins, when mixed with dried aggregates, has been designed to fit the specific requirements for the site. It is a simple process, but for a successful installation, accuracy is essential at every stage.
Do not take any shortcuts when mixing resin. You should generally only use one batch on a project – if more than one is required, take extra care to use the same batch in one area in case of slight batch-to-batch variation.
You should mix the resin in the container on a plasterer’s board or some other protective surface to guard against splashes.
- Make sure the resin container is secure (between your feet) before you start mixing.
- The Part A component of the resin should be mixed for 10-20 seconds at a slow speed, using a high-torque, helical-bladed mixer. An accelerator should be added at this stage if required – see the next section for more details.
- The Part B component should then be added. Mix thoroughly at a slow speed for around 60 seconds until it is uniform.
How to change the curing speed
You should allow the surface to cure for around 8 hours, but we do not recommend foot traffic for at least 24 hours. If you wish to maintain curing speed, you may add an accelerator (also called a catalyst).
You must use an accelerator for temperatures below 15°C, especially when curing will take place overnight. Your accelerator should be used with each mix to make sure there is uniformity of curing. The only exception is for higher consistent temperatures of 25°C.
How much accelerator (catalyst) do I need?
Part A should already be mixed before the accelerator is added. The resin comes with a syringe, which can be used to dispense accurately into the Part A component. Mix for approximately 15-20 seconds before the Part B component is added.
|Air Temperature (°C)||Accelerator (Catalyst) Addition level (per 7.5kg kit)|
|Air Temperature (°C)||Accelerator (Catalyst) Addition level (per 6.5kg kit)|
Step 2. Mixing resin, dried aggregates and sand
The following should be carried out by the Mixer of your three-person team.
- Place one 25kg bag of 2-5mm aggregates and one 25kg bag of 1-3mm aggregates into your Forced Action Mixer.
- Add the pre-mixed resin to the mix and start your stopwatch.
- Add the two remaining 25kg bags of 2-5mm aggregates.
- Slowly add the bag of C52 sand
Steps 2-4 of the above instructions must be carried out for the same duration for every mix. Failure to do this will cause colour variation in the mix.
The mixing should take no longer than 4 minutes. Make sure the sand has been distributed evenly throughout the mix.
- When ready, empty the mix into your plastic-lined wheelbarrow.
- Switch the mixer off and ensure all of the mix is scraped from the mixer. The forced action mixer must be cleaned thoroughly after every mix to avoid contamination.
Important points to remember
- Make sure your aggregates are not damp prior to mixing
- You must mix for sufficient time to avoid any material being left uncoated
- Ensure every mix is the exact same duration
- Make sure the correct blend of aggregates is used
- Keep aggregates in the shade
Step 3. Transfer material to the work area
The following must be carried out by the Luter of your team, in tandem with the Mixer.
- The luter must take the mix over to where the troweller will work.
- Tip manageable quantities of the material, ensuring the mix is spread as evenly as possible. Too much material means more trowelling and working on the mix.
- Look at the surface that has been previously trowelled, checking for inconsistencies at every possible angle. Marks and anomalies can be easily fixed at this stage, but not later on after the mix has cured.
Step 4. Trowelling the material
The following must be completed by the Troweller of your three-person team.
- Plan the laying route and grid the area out in squares with chalk.
- Lay batons to indicate where the luter should tip the mix
- You may use a screed bar to even out the mix further, prior to trowelling
- Make sure the trowel is cleaned thoroughly with white spirit prior to trowelling. It should be cleaned regularly throughout the trowelling process. We recommend this be done approximately every six strokes. A dirty trowel will become sticky and will drag aggregates out of place.
- Pack aggregates into every edge to ensure there are no gaps
- Knit the mix together, making sure the aggregates form a closely compacted, level surface. Use the trowel with the edge slightly raised away from the stroke, applying consistent pressure to prevent the trowel from digging into the mix.
- The mix should be trowelled until the aggregates stop moving in a fluid movement and become solid. This must be done in as few strokes as possible.
- Once levelled and compacted, the surface can be smoothed (polished). This will help to leave an attractive sheen on the surface.
- Ensure the edge of each trowelled section is rough and unworked so the next batch of aggregate can seamlessly and easily be blended into it.
- Add light and even sprinkling of crushed glass to provide additional slip resistance.
To test whether the mix is compact and knitted. Cut a section into the edge of the surface being trowelled. It should remain intact. This is also a good way to check your trowelling depth is correct and consistent.
Once completed, mark the area clearly with cones and tape to prevent anybody from accidentally walking on the surface before it is ready.
Your customer’s finished Resin Bound driveway
It is very important that you adhere to these steps rigidly to prevent any variation in the installation. Consistency and accuracy are key to success in Resin Bound. The completed surface should be smooth, flat and, of course, stunning to look at!
Materials and equipment
You can choose from a wide range of stunning aggregates in multiple sizes and colours. Your aggregates will determine the overall appearance of your customer’s Resin Bound driveway, so it is important to choose well! If in doubt, you can order a sample before committing to a large order.
We recommend using UV-resistant resins for external applications, such as Resin Bound driveways. This will help prevent the breakdown and discolouration of the surface over time.
Forced Action Mixer
In order to mix your resin and aggregates, you will require a forced action mixer. We recommend the Baron F110 forced action mixer because it is strong and durable; with 110 litres of mixing capacity, it can accommodate the recommended DALTEX UVR system mix design.
Other equipment you will need
- Forced Action Pan Mixer
- Generator or power supply
- 110v transformer and lead
- Drill with slow start facility
- Whisk paddle
- Gaffer tape
- Resin trowel
- 5L /10L buckets, scrapers and a small paint brush for keeping the mixer clean
- Plenty of cleaning rags
- Wooden lute
- Knit wrist and latex gloves
- Clean wheelbarrow – polythene liners recommended
- Clean shovel
- Stanley knife
- WD 40
- Gas burner and bottle
- Stiff brush
- Knee pads
- Disposable trousers
- Hard Barriers, Cones and Warning Tape
- Beading if required
- Reflective Blankets (to cover stone and resin in hot weather)
Resin Bound training and assistance
If you would like to learn more about Resin Bound installations for driveways and other applications, Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates offers free text and video resources to assist you in these steps. For more information on Resin Bound systems, please see our comprehensive training notes.
We run highly-rated in-depth one-day Resin Bound training courses, presented by experienced independent contractors and a free online training course covering all the theories needed to install a resin driveway. Our training courses are informal, informative and practical. You can find out more and enquire on our Resin Bound Training page.