How To Lay Resin Driveways
Resin-bound driveways have increased in popularity over recent years, predominantly due to their relatively low cost, durability, and stylish finish. If you are looking to DIY this project, then the below tutorial should teach you how to lay a resin drive and achieve one of the best resin driveways Sheffield has to offer.
Check the surface
Before you begin, it’s important to check that the intended area is suitable for a resin bound surface.
- Block paving is rarely a suitable base for resin drives due to its propensity to move.
- Soil and/or grass can act as a base for a resin drive, but you will need to prepare the ground beforehand. A sub-base of MOT Type 1, rolled flat with a vibrating roller, tends to work well
- If you already have tarmac or concrete installed, you will need to check it is in good condition – any cracks or crumbling will need to be prepared prior to install your new resin drive.
When you are confident that the area you are installing your resin driveway is suitable, you can proceed to gather the materials you will need to complete the project.
Items you will need
- Standard or UV resin kit complete with aggregates, as per your preference; UV resins are usually preferred, as they help to maintain colour fastness
- Kiln-dried sand
- Forced action mixer
- Plasterers paddle and grill
- Marker paint or chalk
- White spirit
- Spazzel or rake
- Sharp sand (for edging the base)
When you have your materials in place, and you are confident that the base of your intended driveway is in good condition, you can now begin to construct the driveway itself.
Step One: Prepare the base
- Always install resin driveways on a dry base
- Ensure the area is clean
- Sweep the area to ensure that there is as little dust as possible on the surface
- Mark out the intended driveway area using marker paint or chalk
- You will need to ensure that your edgings are firmly fixed into position, preferably using sharp sand and cement
- You should always ensure the intended driveway area is prepared, as above, before mixing your kit due to how quickly resin drives tend to cure
Step Two: Preparing the first mixture
Each mixture you prepare should be around one-third of your total kit, so you will make at least three mixtures to complete your driveway, and potentially more if using more than one kit due to a larger area.
- Combine Part A and Part B into a bucket and stir for at least 30 seconds or until the colour becomes uniform
- Place your aggregate into the mix and let it mix alone for around 15 seconds in order to remove any dust
- Add the resin into the mixer and wait around 30 seconds
- Add the dried sand to increase the strength of the mix
- Wait a further minute for the entire mix to blend, until the stones are completely covered in the resin/sand mix; all stones should look wet to the touch
- Add Part A to your bucket, then add one cap of the supplied catalyst and blend for around 15 seconds
- Then add Part B to the mixture and blend for 30 seconds
- The rest of the process is the same as above; add the resin to the mixture, add the sand, and ensure that all the stones are completely covered in the mixture
Step Three: Pour the first mixture onto the intended area
You will have between 20 and 30 minutes to lay and smooth each mix before it sets, so try to work as quickly as possible. Be particularly careful when laying resin driveways in summer, as the time you will have available to smooth each mix can be as little as 10 minutes in hotter temperatures.
- Carefully pour the entire mixture over the area you are covering, checking to ensure that all stones poured are suitably covered in resin
- Use your spazzel or rake to distribute the mixture over the intended area evenly, aiming for a depth of around 15mm
Step Four: Smooth the mixture to create a flat surface
- Apply white spirit to your trowel in order to prevent the trowel from sticking to the mixture
- Trowel the mixture downwards, smoothing bumps in order to ensure the surface is as smooth as possible
- You will find this process easier if you keep applying white spirit to the trowel each time you remove the tool from the surface; if the trowel does stick, the surface can be damaged, which extends the entire process. Try and develop a rhythm: add white spirit to trowel, trowel down, add white spirit to trowel again… and so on and so forth.
- If you do not have any white spirit available, you can use a clean spray bottle filled with water instead
You can then repeat steps two to four to create a second mixture, then a third – and more if required, depending on the size of your driveway. Ideally, the time gap between the application of each mixture should be as short as possible in order to ensure each new mix can blend with the one that has already been laid.
Step Five: adding the anti-slip surface
- Your resin mix will usually include glass beads along with the resin.
- After you have applied two sets of mix to your driveway, throw a small amount of glass beads onto the drying resin-bound surface in order to create an anti-slip surface
- Repeat this process every two mixtures until the driveway is complete
When will the driveway be suitable for use?
As mentioned, resin driveways tend to cure very quickly, and you should find the entire surface feels hard to the touch within around four hours. Your driveway can be walked on after this period, but it is advisable to wait at least 24 hours before parking a car on the surface – this is not strictly necessary if you need to use the driveway sooner, but it is preferable if at all possible.
Hopefully, following the above process should ensure you can create a fantastic resin driveway that will serve you well for many years to come.