What is Resin Bound Gravel Paving?

Resin Bound Gravel Paving is a mixture of specially “twice dried” decorative aggregates and eco-friendly natural resin binder which is used to pave footpaths, driveways, patios etc. It is a kind of permeable paving solution. It is a modern fresh and bright, flexible surfacing material which sets harder than concrete is UV stable and is 100% resistant to cracking.

The system is mixed on site and cold applied, using a high quality clear resin binder to coat the aggregate particles prior to laying. Unlike other methods of resin based surfacing i.e. “resin BONDED gravel” where a thin layer of resin is applied to the surface and then the aggregate scattered on top (“scatter coat” – which can then become loose over time and is impermeable), resin and aggregates are thoroughly mixed together prior to laying – ensuring that the aggregate is completely coated and so providing a totally bound surface. As a result, a resin BOUND surface will last 15 years plus, if properly laid, and requires almost zero maintenance.

How is Resin Bound Paving installed?

The first part of the process is to ensure that a suitable base is either present or constructed. If you have an existing base of concrete or tarmac then Resin Bound Paving can be applied directly onto your current surface, if not, then either a concrete or tarmac base must be installed prior to the Resin Bound overlay. The next step is to choose kerbs and edgings and then install them prior to the Resin installation. A wide variety of kerbs and edgings can be utilised, from concrete pin kerbs, to bullnose kerbs, block / brick kerbs to the contemporary looking galvanised steel “invisible kerb” and it is a matter of customer preference. After the groundwork is completed the next step is to wash the surface with a high powered jet wash machine to rid the surface of all debris and algal growth / weeds.

Then we are on to the installation proper

The next step is to prime the surface to be overlaid with a special concrete primer. This ensures an optimum bond and is essential. Tarmacked surfaces may or may not need primed and this depends upon serval factors not least the age and condition of the tarmac. After that it is onto the overlay proper. Our teams of expert installers use an industrial forced action mixing machine to mix the resin/aggregates on site and the cold poured mix is raked and troweled by hand by our experienced installers to guarantee you a perfect finish every time.

100% PERMEABLE. Resin Bound Paving is a fully permeable paving solution which allows water to freely drain through the surface. Meeting the requirements of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) standards, this helps to prevent standing water and largely eliminates surface water runoff. As a result of this Resin Bound Paving installations require NO planning permission. The Environment Agency strongly encourages Resin Bound surfaces to help tackle the growing threat of flooding in many areas. This is why it’s especially ideal for parks, play areas, large drives, paths and playgrounds.


Due to the extreme durability of Resin Bound surfaces NO weeds can grow through it, thus eliminating the perennial summer problem associated with block paved surfaces… the dreaded weeds! NO ant’s nests can penetrate Resin Bound. Resin Bound surfaces are almost zero maintenance, which makes Resin Bound surfaces ideal for the elderly.

Weed problems ended once and for all


Resin Bound installations typically comprise of a mixture of aggregate sizes, from 1 – 3 to 2– 5mm. NJ Metals go one step further to ensure the densest possible mix by adding specially dried silver sand during the mixing process. This serves a dual purpose in that the addition of micro particles ensures an optimum bond as well as providing a slightly rough surface texture to the finished product and therefore an anti-slip surface. Inclined/declined areas can have the rough texture increased as necessary.

Resin Bound installations are suitable for disabled ramps and hospital pathways.

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What does Resin Bound Gravel cost?


The price per square metre will vary depending on the system and areas to be covered. Many contractors have a minimum rate or size but NJ Metals  will quote from 1m2 to 1000m2. If you are obtaining a price for this type of work, make sure the contractor stipulates what is and what isn’t included in the price. The Resin Bound surfacing itself can cost, between £30 and £75 per square metre. This figure will be based on the size of the area to be covered and the type of aggregate chosen along with the necessary surface preparation. If needed, the construction of a suitable base may be necessary, or preparation of an existing base, and the installation of kerbs drains and manhole covers.


Resin Bound surfacing can be up to 50% cheaper than block paved and imprinted concrete surfaces and on a par with paving slabs or tarmac.


Nj Metals  pride ourselves on the competiveness of our pricing structure – we will NOT be beaten on a like-for-like quote. The vast majority of our work is charged within the £30m2 – £45m2 bracket. The main advantage that we have over the competition is the fact that we are an efficient medium size company with no massive staffing overheads i.e. no telesales / sales persons / staffed showroom, our showroom is quote simply our legion of previous happy customers. All site visits are carried out by a senior company director who has 25 years’ experience in driveway construction – NO slick sales patter just down to earth experienced and honest advice and assistance. As well as down to earth affordable prices.



What colours are available?


With over 50 different aggregates available virtually any colour scheme can be catered for. Careful on site blending of different colours can create a unique range of colours. A number of aggregates can also be coloured to allow customers or clients to select standard finishes or any colour that they wish. It should be remembered that aggregates that are Resin Bound will change the appearance of the aggregate creating a brighter ‘wet’ polished look for the stone.


If you arrange a site visit / quote then we will bring a full selection of large “true life” samples of the product which you can compare and select from, as opposed to making the selection online which does not give a true likeness of the finished effect.


“Golden Gravel” based colours prove to be, by far, the most popular choice of colour.

How thick is the resin bound surface required to be?


This will vary depending on how smooth and level the original base is that the products are to be applied to. On average the thickness is 15mm and should not be less than 12mm and could go up to 30mm or more if the base is uneven. Remember the thicker the laying thickness the more resin and aggregate required and this will increase the cost of the application so proper preparation by an experienced professional contractor is essential to maintain the cost effective nature of the product, and is why do-it-yourself installations can be difficult to complete to the required standard.

How Resin Bound Systems stack up against other finishes on the market

V Block Paving: There is no doubt that block paving looks good when it has been implemented. But, as they are made of pigmented blocks of concrete, the colour degrades rapidly and what was once wonderful quickly changes as they lose their original beauty. Block paving is also prone to settlement and movement along with heavy weed growth in the joints. Block paving is not stain resistant, so you are required to use elbow grease to removing most staining. Add all this to the higher costs involved and it is clear to see why Resin Bound installations have over taken block paving as the nation’s no1 exterior surfacing choice.


V Imprinted Concrete: Can look great if done well by a professional, and over the past few years it became popular in the UK. As time has passed, people have come to realise that it requires constant maintenance and an increase in costs over time. To retain the false look, regular coating is required to avoid uneven aesthetics; it is prone to cracking in cold conditions and often lacks anti slip properties so can be dangerous under foot.


V Loose Gravel: Whilst cheap to buy and lay, loose gravel comes with lots of flaws. Unless, of course, you are looking to use it as a short term solution to sell the property / premises to attract buyers. Depending on the materials used, it can be uncomfortable to walk on and can cause damage to vehicles as they pass over, chipping and scratching paint work. If no suitable base has been laid beforehand, weeds will appear in a matter of weeks. Invariably, during wet weather loose gravel is a rain trap and can become “slushy and wet” causing not only wet feet but also dirty carpets.


V Concrete: A particularly unattractive surface, but by its very nature robust, weight bearing and can offer long life. However, it does have some downsides: concrete can be extremely slippery, non-pervious to oil and general staining and, when industrially cleaned, will be weakened if care is not applied. Another consideration is surface spalling, whereby the concrete begins to flake and develop areas of roughness coexisting with the remaining smooth areas.



V Tarmac & Asphalt: Tarmac and Asphalt have been a mainstay over the years on our highways, car parks and industrial premises. The most common issue – as you will have seen driving down the roads – are potholes and discolouration. The life expectancy has decreased somewhat over the years, as often the quality of the materials have been diluted down and it reacts poorly to both hot and cold conditions. Tired looking and not a great option when compared to other modern surfaces on the market.