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What Is the Difference Between Resin Bound and Resin Bonded?

Are you looking for a new, elegant, slip-resistant surface for your driveway, patio, or back garden? The two most popular surfaces that combine both functionality and aesthetics are resin bound and resin bonded surfaces. While the two have similar names, there are certain differences between them. You are probably wondering what they are, what the main differences are and when to choose one over the other. To find the answers you are looking for, read on!

Table of Contents:

So if you

  • Want to find out what the difference between resin bound and resin bonded are
  • Don’t know what resin bound is and what it’s used for
  • Want to learn how resin-bonded is used and applied

Then this post is for you!

What is resin bound?

Resin bound surfaces, which are also known as stone blends, are created through a process including mixing together both the aggregates and the resin and then pouring the mixture over the base layer. The mixture is levelled out by trowelling to create a smooth, flat finish. Because of their porous structure, resin bound surfaces are water-permeable and slip-resistant, so you do not really need to plan any drainage solutions for the specific area.

Not surprisingly, resin bound is among, if not the fastest-growing surfacing material in the UK, with many landscapers and developers adopting it because of its slip, weed, and frost resistance. 

What is resin bonded?

The technique used to create resin bonded gravel, or as it is also commonly known – stone top, is distinct to the one used to create resin bound surfaces. Instead of mixing the resin with the aggregates, it is distributed over the base and then the aggregates are scattered on top. Because not all of the aggregate will adhere to the resin, the surface will appear similar to loose gravel. Of course, once the process is finished, all the stones that did not stick to the resin are removed from the surface.

Since resin bonded surfaces have a complete resin layer, they are not water-permeable. Unfortunately, they are not a sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS), so proper runoff and drainage solutions need to be planned ahead of laying down the surface.

Resin Bound vs Resin Bonded

The key differences between resin bound and resin bonded surfaces come from the two dissimilar ways they are created. The main ones are the following:

  • In relation to water, the two hold opposite characteristics: resin bound surfaces are water-permeable and resin bonded gravel is not. This results in diverse applications, as well.
  • The surfaces are also different in the way they feel: resin bound, or stone blend, is flat and smooth, in contrast to resin bonded, or stone top, surfaces, which are more textured and rugged. This, of course, is also reflected in when each one is used. 
  • When it comes to durability, resin bound surfaces perform better, because of the technique used to create them.

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Resin-bound uses and applications

Because of its smooth, permeable, and decorative properties, resin bound surfaces are perfect for driveways, gardens, and pathways. In fact, they are SUDS compliant and weather-resistant, meaning they won’t freeze in the winter, become soft in the summer, or fade in colour in sunlight. 

Stone blend is also suitable for areas around swimming pools, ponds, and outdoor sport surfaces.

When used around trees, resin bound surfaces are mixed by using more aggregate in order to create a more porous, therefore permeable, mixture. This way the tree pit looks nice and tidy while providing the needed water and moisture to sustain the tree.

If you are looking for a surfacing solution that is elegant, but also low-maintenance, then resin bound is the best choice for you. There are different finish options available to suit even the most delicate of tastes. 

Resin bound surfaces are extremely durable and long-lasting with guarantees ranging from 10 to 20 years.

Resin-bonded uses and applications

Resin bonded surfaces are ideal for situations where more friction is needed, such as driveways, car parks, and footpaths. They are also used in some cases for high traffic roads and junctions. In any case, runoff and drainage solutions need to be planned ahead to avoid floods and standing water, because of their impermeability. For this same reason, resin bonded surfaces are not frost resistant.

Stone top looks similar to loose gravel, but doesn’t come with the trouble involved in maintaining it, be it removing leaves or just keeping the stones in one place. Much like resin bound, resin bonded surfaces come in a variety of finishes to best suit your house or garden.

It is important to keep in mind that resin bonded surfaces are less durable than their resin bound counterparts. This is due to the fact that the former are created by bonding the aggregates only on one side with resin, rather than mixing them in it. That does not mean that your resin bonded surface will only last you a few months. Quite the opposite, in fact, it will serve you well for years to come, even more so if it doesn’t endure heavy car traffic.

Takeaways:

Resin bound and resin bonded are ideal for any driveway, carpark, pathway, patio or back garden. Make the best decision by comparing them both and finding what works best for you.

Similarities (other than the names):

  • Decorative
  • Stylish
  • Functional

Differences:

  • Water permeability
  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • Texture
  • Frost resistance

Image source: Shutterstock / Cheng Wei

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