What exactly is a resin bound system?

A resin bound system is a surfacing solution that results from mixing resin and aggregates together in a forced action mixer. This creates a mixture that can be trowelled on to a surface to provide a smooth, flat finish.

A resin bound system is also known as ‘stone carpet’. Its seamless finish provides a decorative surface that is attractive and durable.

Due to the way it is mixed, allowing for small gaps between aggregates, a resin bound system is permeable. This means it is also a SUDS compliant solution.

The Resin Bound system can be overlaid to existing or new concrete or tarmac to create beautiful driveways, paths, car parks or any light traffic surfaces. Thanks to its permeability, a resin bound surface is SUDS compliant.

Resin Bound vs Resin Bonded

Despite having similar names, resin bound systems and resin bonded systems are completely different. Both systems use resin and aggregates to form fixed surfaces, but the differences are numerous. This page will take you through the key differences between resin bound and resin bonded systems.

Resin Bound System

Resin bound is the fastest growing surfacing solution in the UK, and it is being embraced by landscapers, developers and contractors nationwide. It is a system of laying a hardwearing course of mixed resin onto a new or existing tarmac or concrete base.

  • The aggregate is mixed with the resin, the resulting material is trowelled onto the base for a smooth, flat finish with no loose gravel
  • The resin bound is incredibly strong and durable and will remain so for many years thanks to its low maintenance needs
  • The finish you get is smooth and flat, with no loose gravel or aggregates
  • The porous surface of a resin bound system allows water to pass through to the ground beneath
  • Providing it is laid onto a permeable base, a resin bound system is a SUDS compliant solution
  • Huge range of aggregate colours giving you near limitless design possibilities
  • A resin bound system is precise and flexible, allowing you to create stunning designs and shapes that would not be possible with other surface solutions

At IBBco, we believe a resin bound system is the highest quality and most durable aggregate-based surface solution currently available. No other system offers the same range of strengths, resistances, structural and aesthetic benefits as resin bound.

Resin Bonded System

Resin bonded is a system in which the resin is spread across the base, and the aggregate is scattered into it. Most of the aggregate will adhere to the resin, while some will remain loose. This gives the appearance of loose gravel.

  • The aggregates are scattered on to a complete layer of resin, water cannot pass through; this means a resin bonded system is not porous
  • A resin bonded system is not a SUDS compliant solution

There are many hard-surfacing systems available on the market, including tarmac, concrete to block paving and imprinted concrete. However, Resin Bound surfacing is unique. No other surfacing system can offer the same range of strengths, resistances, and structural and aesthetic benefits.

Total Flexibility of Design

You can adapt your Resin Bound system into any shape imaginable on your surface, providing a beautiful alternative to paving, tarmac or concrete. The wide range of colours and blends means you can mix colours and enjoy countless unique design options.

By using the smaller sizes of aggregates (this is the 1-3mm variety) you can fill the voids between the stones in the 2-5mm range to enhance the strength or improve the visual appearance.

Long Lasting Results

The Resin Bound aggregate system is incredibly strong and durable, and will remain so for many years thanks to low maintenance, easy cleaning and high resistance to organic materials and weeds.

Easy to Maintain

The resin binds with the original surface effectively gluing the new surface finish in place. The Resin Bound surface is relatively low maintenance and if applied correctly, resistant to weeds. The higher quality resin systems are also resistant to petrol or oil spills and will not fade or discolour thanks to UV resistance.

SUDS is the Sustainable Urban Drainage System.

Most natural ground surfaces, such as grass and soil, are permeable. Built up areas are very different, featuring predominantly tarmac, asphalt and other kinds of paving.

These are not permeable, and surface water is unable to infiltrate the ground. The resulting surface runoff can cause a number of issues, including water pollution and flooding.

Why is SUDS important?

To tackle this, new driveways and other surfaces have to comply with SUDS regulations. The Environment Agency strongly encourages the application of resin bound driveways and surfaces to help. This is why resin bound is ideal for parks, large drives, paths and playgrounds.

SUDS regulations are one of the reasons resin bound systems have become increasingly popular; they are designed to be permeable and can be used in accordance with SUDS building regulations. Even if you do not live in an urban or built up area, a resin bound driveway is highly encouraged to prevent flooding.

Is a Resin Bound system SUDS compliant?

Yes, your Resin Bound surface will be SUDS compliant providing it is laid onto a porous base. This can be a special concrete or open textured tarmac on top of a type 3 stone. Laying a resin bound system onto an impermeable base will not be SUDS compliant.

Resin bound aggregates include small gaps between each aggregate where water is able to infiltrate the ground beneath. A resin bound surface can handle 850 litres of water per square metre per minute.

The system can also be laid directly on top of old tarmac or concrete, but it will require a suitable soakaway or drainage flow. The existing surface must also be sound and free of cracks. 

Is a Resin Bonded system SUDS compliant?

No, resin bonded systems are not SUDS compliant. This is because resin is applied directly onto a surface, usually tarmac or concrete. This forms a complete layer of hardened resin, which water cannot pass through.

What does the UK Government say?

You will not need planning permission if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable surfacing which allows water to drain through, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally.