Last Modified: February 8, 2024

Resin Bound Gravel Kits

Planning a DIY Outdoor Epoxy Flooring

Gravel mulch bound around a tree trunk

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist

Overview

With sustainability at the forefront of regulations in the construction industry, building a resin-bound gravel driveway or parking area has become a practical alternative to asphalt or concrete for homeowners across the UK. A relatively recent entrant to the market, resin-bound gravel kits provide a cost-effective, low-maintenance option that combines natural aggregates, such as fine pea gravels, with a binding resin to create a durable, all-weather surface that sports a difference. There are two primary systems: 'bonded' or 'scattercoat' and 'bound' or 'trowelled'. This article is focused on the trowelled system.

Facts

  1. 1
    Gravel-bound resin is a type of surfacing material used for driveways, pathways and landscaping.
  2. 2
    Resin-bound gravel surfaces consist of a layer of natural gravel aggregates bound together with a resin binder.
  3. 3
    Resin binder is a strong adhesive that keeps the gravel in place, creating a highly durable surface.
  4. 4
    The resins are available in various colours, allowing for customisation to suit different preferences.
  5. 5
    Resin-bound gravel texture is very smooth and permeable, which helps prevent flooding and helps to conform with SUDs regulations.

This is not a 'how to lay resin-bound gravel' article, but a resource to provide you with the information needed for planning to re-surface a drive, or other type of outdoor flooring, with a permeable resin-bound gravel. It includes tips on installation and maintenance to help you in the design and preparation stages of your project, and it's bound to please!

Resin bound gnome laying gravel.

Key Takeaways

Gravel resin bonded close up. Jpg

What is Gravel-Bound Resin?

Resin-bound gravel is a composite material used in landscaping, combining natural stone aggregates with a clear surfacing resin. This method utilises advanced polymer and epoxy resins to bind aggregates before laying them over a base. The resin is single-use and results in a smooth texture when mixed with specialised pea gravel between 1-3mm in diameter. Together, they create a decorative, durable, permeable, and attractive surface that is suitable for wheelchairs and mobility devices. This blend is a step away from the traditional loose fill gravel surface, providing added strength and stability. The key lies in its formulation - the resin binds the gravel yet leaves tiny gaps to allow water to permeate, aligning with Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDs) regulations in the UK.

The easiest way to install a resin bound gravel surface is to purchase a DIY resin bound gravel kit, which we cover, next.

Bonded resin driveway

Exploring Resin Bound Gravel DIY Kits

  1. 1
    Easy and convenient.
  2. 2
    No experience required.
  3. 3
    Check product reviews for quality.
  1. 4
    1-3mm or 2-5mm sized pea gravel. 
  2. 5
    Glass aggregates can also be used.
  3. 6
    Customisation is an advantage. 

In the UK, there is an extensive range of resin-bound gravel products each offering unique features. The kits are designed for convenience and make it simple for DIY-inclined people to renovate their outdoors. They usually include the aggregate, hardener, resin and occasionally some tools. The good news is that you don't need prior experience or training, just some astute advice from well-written articles and a bit of research into reviews left by previous customers about the products you are considering. 😉

The typical gravel included can vary in size (ranging from 1-3mm to 2-5mm), colour palettes (from natural earth tones to vibrant hues) and textures (smooth, glossy, or matte finishes). Some of the popular options include Anthracite, Ocean Grey, Gunmetal Grey, and Golden Pearl, each offering a look to suit different landscaping themes and colour schemes. Samples of the stones are usually available for a small cost.

Bound Resin Gravel Colour Selection

From a range of blends combining very small stones to high-quality single-origin quartz pea gravel or white spar gravel, they create a stunning and durable surface for your garden paths. Blending various colours and sizes of stones, gravel-bound resin not only creates a visually pleasing garden path but also offers flexibility in design and a strong, long-lasting surface. The option to incorporate glass chippings allows for endless creative possibilities, as the soft shimmering effect of the glass particles enhances the overall attractiveness of gardens in an altogether different way whilst using recycled aggregates.

Artificial plant with resin bound pebbles. Jpg

Ideal Applications for Gravel-Bound Resin

  1. 1
    Resin bound gravel paths.
  2. 2
    Resin bound gravel patio.
  3. 3
    Resin bound gravel driveway.
  1. 4
    Commercial and residential.
  2. 5
    Extremely durable and weather resistant.
  3. 6
    Compliant with SUDs regulations, UK.

The versatility of resin-bound gravel makes it suited to both residential and commercial properties; for driveways, walkways, patios and public parks construction, the combination of durability and practicality make it a solid and cost-effective choice for both foot and vehicular traffic.

Advantages of Resin Binding

Some of the standout benefits of using resin-bound gravel is that high-quality systems are resistant to oil or petrol spillage, do not fade in UV sunlight, and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Also, they are compliant with the latest Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDs) regulations in the UK. This means that you probably won't need planning permission, and coupled with its long-lasting nature, this makes it a sound choice for outdoor areas over 5㎡. Additionally, resin-bound surfaces come in a range of colours and textures to suit different tastes. These surface are extremely low maintenance, requiring little more than sweeping and power washing to keep its appearance.

Need to work out how much gravel your project needs? Try our free gravel calculator.

An Overview of Installation

  1. 1
    Wear safety protection.
  2. 2
    Prepare the hard surface properly.
  3. 3
    Use a primer where deemed necessary.
  1. 4
    Mix the resin with gravel.
  2. 5
    Trowel to a 15-40mm depth.

The kits usually come with manufacturer instructions which you should follow closely to achieve a lasting result, but with basic skills and a resin-bound gravel kit, the installation process is straightforward. First and foremost, it's important to always wear safety gear in order to avoid injuries. Proper preparation is key to a successful DIY resin bound gravel installation.

To begin with, a stable foundation is required, which is usually a preexisting hard surface, such as concrete pathways or drives. The surface must be clean, dry and free of loose material. Edging strips may be fixed and polymer primer may be applied before the surface layer.

A catalyst is included in the kit to start the chemical reaction of the gravel-bound resin, creating a durable bond between the aggregates. The resin and gravel are mixed and trowelled onto the surface in a single layer, usually 15-40mm deep, or to the height of about one grain, with the aim to achieve a smooth and flat finish. Sand can be added to enhance the stability and permeability of the mixture.

Close up of resin bound quartz

Base Requirements

  • Existing Bases: Must be in good condition without major cracks, potholes, or contamination. Bitmac, concrete or asphalt are usually adequate.
  • New Bases: Best constructed from mass or reinforced concrete, or bitmac/asphalt, depending on the end use and local conditions.
  • Other Bases: Some systems can be applied over wood, flags/slabs, or block paving, but these need verification from the supplier or contractor.

Considerations

There are some considerations worth bearing in mind which we cover below:

  • Professional Installation: Due to the quick setting of resin, professional installation is recommended for larger areas.
  • Quality of Installation: Problems often arise due to poor workmanship, such as thinning the resin or inadequate base preparation.
  • Structural Failures: These can occur due to frost heave or base movement, leading to voids under the surfacing layer.

All in all, the size of the job and your level of skill need to be taken into account when embarking on any type of landscaping job, and resin bound gravel surfaces are no different. If you have any doubts then it's worth taking an opinion from somebody with more experience.

Ornamental grass with gravel blend

List of Kits and Resins

Here is a list of gravel binding resin products available in the UK:

  1. 1
    Easihold Pour on Resin Gravel Binder: Easihold offers a water-based, non-harmful binder that is easy to use and leaves stones permeable with a protective sheen. It is designed to coat and protect stones. More information
  2. 2
    Resin Bound Gravel Kits: These kits are BBA Approved and come in a comprehensive range of colours and shapes, available for delivery across the UK. More information
  3. 3
    Gravel Bonding Resin 7.5 kg Kit: This is a two-part epoxy resin specifically formulated for use as an aggregate bonding material for driveways and paths. More information
  4. 4
    Pour On Gravel Resin – GravelHold: GravelHold is a pour-on resin that can be applied to both new and existing gravel to create a solid, UV-stable, durable surface. More information
  5. 5
    SUDwell™ Pour on Gravel Resin: This resin binder is designed to be poured over loose gravel to hold it in place, offering a simpler method of application for driveways and parking areas. More information
  6. 6
    Easihold - Pour on Resin Gravel Binder: Easihold's resin-bound products are market-leading with incredible strength and are available in various colours. More information
Bonded panda gravel driveway 1

Cost Considerations

When it comes to planning, calculating the resin-bound gravel cost is important. When buying as a kit, the resin-bound gravel price will vary depending on the quality of materials. As a guideline, the resin-bound gravel cost per m2 can range from £6 to £12 per square metre at about 15mm depth. It's also wise to budget for a little more than your calculations suggest to allow some room for error such as the resin drying out prematurely, for example.

Nordic chips and resin around a tree trunk

Summary

Resin bound gravel kits are a cost-effective and do-it-yourself friendly option for upgrading hard surfaces and flooring around your gardens, front and back. With the additional benefit of limitless customisations to boot, resin-bound gravel could be just the ticket for renovating your tired old outdoor hard spaces into something shiny and new and for a lot less than you would think. Can you think of a better resin than this to get started on your next garden project, today? 😉

Path with brick edging and bound stones

FAQs

What is gravel-bound resin?

Gravel-bound resin is a composite material used in landscaping, combining natural stone aggregates with an epoxy resin to create a durable, permeable and attractive surface.

What usually comes in a gravel-binding resin kit?

A gravel-binding resin kit typically includes a measure of pea gravel aggregates, catalyst and resin. Most kits may also contain some tools and instructions for installation.

How long before you can park on resin driveway?

It's best to wait 24 to 48 hours before parking your car on your resin driveway. It has to be judged according to the weather and temperature, but to be safe two days is advisable.

Is gravel-binding resin suitable for driveways?

Yes, gravel-binding resin is suitable for driveways due to its durability, permeability, and ability to withstand both foot and vehicular traffic.

How long does resin bound gravel take to dry?

The curing time for gravel-binding resin varies depending on temperature and humidity but generally ranges from 6 to 48 hours, with it drying fastest in warm conditions and slowest in the cold.

Can I mix different sizes of gravel with the resin?

Yes, different sizes of 1-3mm or 2-5mm gravel can be mixed to create unique textures and finishes.

Can I apply resin-bound gravel myself, or do I need professional help?

Resin-bound gravel can be applied as a DIY project, provided you have basic DIY skills and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

We have every type of gravel available to choose from in the UK. Check them out!

About the author 

Ben Parrot is a landscape gardener and amateur geologist. He is the founder of Outdoor Aggregates, with the mission to create the first encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates. From natural stone through to decorative bark, these aggregates are critical to garden and landscape design, universally.

The problem: There isn't any place where all the different types of decorative landscaping materials and construction aggregates can be found, nor are the specifications of each type readily available. So, enriched by his extensive experience, and inspired by the timeless elegance and raw beauty of stone and rock, etched by nature's artistry over millennia, Outdoor Aggregates was born.