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Tarmac, Resin or Block Paving For a Driveway? 

Giving your driveway a new lease on life is a big investment. Naturally, you’ll want to pick the right material for the job. Generally speaking if you are using a quality driveway company then no matter what you choose, it will enhance your property and add value.

Generally speaking, there are three different materials most people use – tarmac, resin and block paving.

So, which is best? Is there a perfect option? It’s tricky to answer, and truthfully it depends a lot on your situation.

However, a solid understanding of the three options will help a lot. So, with that in mind, let’s take a quick look at them.

Tarmac Paving

The first option to look at is the tarmac paving. This surface is one of the most common. It’s pretty heavy-duty, so it’s more universal.

tarmac driveways

Tarmac is rated for heavy usage. If you’ve got a driveway shared by a lot of people, this is your best bet.

As a surface, tarmac is flat, and offers good grip in a lot of weather types. It is made of tar and broken stone, hence the dark colouring.

The benefits of tarmac are many. For example, it’s tough. It’ll last you a long time because it’s built to last.

Tarmac is also fast curing, so it’s good to go quickly. You can use it for paths and driveways too – it’s flexible.

This flexibility also lends itself well to playing with other surface types. You can mix this with block paving surfaces if you want!

This surface is good for vehicles and transport options because it’s flat. Furthermore, it‘s cheap and easy to use, so you’re in luck.

Resin Paving

The second type of paving material that we are going to be looking at is resin paving. This is a single layer of material that is mixed using bespoke resin, and then compacted down into paving using hand tools.

It’s good for both pedestrians and vehicles, because it’s durable, environmentally friendly, and tough. Furthermore, because it’s highly permeable, water drains back into the water table on a natural basis.

As a product, it can be made of many different materials, mostly different recycled options, such as natural gravel, crushed rock, marbles, even in forms of glass. You can get plenty of different colours and patterns, which means that it has almost universal appeal.

The end result is a material which is exceptionally tough, built to last, and something that will thrive in both an indoor and outdoor space. It’s quite low maintenance, but it can be very expensive. Finally, resin bound paving is exceptionally resistant to temperature changes, so it can deal with both heat and cold effectively.

Block Paving

Last but by no means least on the list is block paving. Block paving has become quite popular in recent times, owing to the fact that it provides a well rounded design and also offers value for money.

Block paving can be applied to a wide variety of different situations, like for example driveways, pathways, and even patios. You can seal block paving in order to protect the surface, which adds to the durability of the product.

block paving Stoke

This kind of paving is incredibly durable, and also quite attractive. It comes in a broad range of styles, textures, and colours. Because of this, you can use it pretty much anywhere, and it provides a very smooth finish. However, it does have its disadvantages.

Generally speaking, block paving requires quite a bit of maintenance, and is prone to plant life growing through it, meaning that you will need to put some effort into keeping it looking nice.

Which is Best?

So, what kind of offering is the best one when it comes to picking the ideal pavement and driveway options for your situation?

Truthfully, it’s got a lot to do with the situation you’re in. You might find that spending a large amount of money isn’t for you, so something like resin wouldn’t be an acceptable choice. Alternatively, you might have plenty of money to spare, so you may experiment with different types of paving to find what’s going to work best for your specific needs.

Choosing the right kind of option is pretty straightforward once you take a look at all the offerings. There are a lot of choices to pick from, and they have all been designed to be effective, so it’s really up to you to pick and choose what will work best for you under the circumstances.

You will need to select an option which is going to be suitable for the weather conditions that you will experience on a regular basis. If you live in an environment which is wet and humid, then the paving that you select must be suitable for both hot and cold conditions.

So many people make the constant mistake of not choosing the correct paving for their driveway. This often results in a poorly designed driveway which will require work to maintain and replace after a short period. For the best results, you must consider the type of situations that your driveway is likely to encounter.

This can definitely take time, and in our expert opinion, there is no one paving type which is universally the best. It will depend quite heavily upon the situations you encounter, so it is necessary to study and put together a broad range of different scenarios to test each paving.

Final Thoughts

Picking the right kind of driveway is tough. You have to consider all the options because there’s a lot of them.

Ultimately, you’ll find the best results through careful experimentation. Making sure that you take the time to look at what’s on offer is a good idea, and so is checking out all of the options.

You’ve definitely got a lot of options, so you should really look at everything that’s available. If you do that, then you are pretty likely to get the ideal results, which is exactly what you will want.

The best paving choice is entirely based on experimentation, so don’t hesitate to experiment. You will find that there are plenty of different options available to you.

If you are thinking of updating your driveway in Stoke, Alsager or Staffordshire, here at Designer Drives, we have the expertise to build you the best driveways in the area.

In recent years, due to an increase in flooding and public awareness of flood prevention, the permeable resin bound paving market has grown considerably.

Unfortunately, as the demand for resin bound paving has grown so has the number of companies completing sub-standard installations. Frustratingly, this creates a bad reputation for a premium paving product that when installed correctly will last more than 25 years.

As it is a relatively new product, it’s one of only a few trades within the construction industry without a governing body or Trade Association of its own; and, apart from the Paving Expert website, there isn’t anywhere to go for independent advice about resin bound paving.

Nearly 22 years ago we revolutionised the concept of clear resin bound paving for external use, and our staff are still as passionate and excited about the product and its potential as Peter, Kevin and Michael were when they set up SureSet in 1997.

So here they are – 10 really good reasons to choose resin bound paving…

  1. It’s permeable: cold mixed on site using a process that ensures every particle of stone is completely covered in resin; forming a structurally stable 3D matrix. During the laying process, minute voids are created that allows water to drain through.
  2. It’s aesthetically pleasing: not only is it decorative, resin bound paving is sustainable, practical and versatile.
  3. It’s resistant to weather conditions: doesn’t soften in summer, freeze in winter or fade in sunlight.
  4. Its longevity: resin bound paving is a long lasting durable surface. While guarantees vary between 10 – 21 years, when properly installed and maintained, can last for more than 25 years.
  5. It requires minimal maintenance: there are no weeds to ‘weed’ or loose stone to sweep. A regular brush and occasional power wash will keep it looking as good as new.
  6. It provides natural filtration: as surface or rain water seeps through the sub-base a natural filtration takes place – reducing or removing impurities and pollutants caused by oils and metals.
  7. It reduces standing water (puddles): which in turn reduces surface water run-off and flash flooding.
  8. It’s SuDS compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems): a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality.
  9. It reduces the ‘heat island’ effect: heat islands happen because hard surfaces, like asphalt and concrete, absorb and store heat. Permeable paving allows the soil underneath to breathe, which reduces surface temperatures and thereby the ‘heat island’ effect.
  10. No planning permission required: Since government legislation in 2008, planning permission is not required for areas less than 5m² or if the new surface is permeable.

In comparison to traditional paving options that…

  • Are impermeable
  • Have a more ‘industrial’ look
  • Are not weather resistant
  • Have a relatively short functional life
  • Require more maintenance
  • Create puddles and contribute to flash flooding
  • Are not SuDS compliant (a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality) and therefore require planning permission.
  • Retain heat and contribute to the ‘heat island’ effect.  

Resin bound paving is a popular alternative to traditional paving thanks to the many benefits over traditional gravel or paving stones. Resin bound paving is made up using naturally sourced aggregates from all over Europe blended with SureSet’s UV stable polyurethane resin which enhances and maintains the natural appearance of the aggregates. This makes it an attractive alternative that can be designed specifically to meet your needs. At SureSet we can offer different colour options for resin bound paving, which truly lets you choose the ideal colour and texture for your project.

Why is it unique?

There are many reasons why people prefer resin bound paving to other techniques of paving. Here are just a few:

  • It’s permeable: which means it’s fantastic in wet weather and doesn’t ‘puddle’.
  • It looks great: Resin bound paving can be tailored aesthetically to you home / business / driveway.
  • It is sustainable, practical and versatile: Resin bound paving suits a variety of surfaces and purposes.
  • It’s resistant to different weather conditions. For example, it won’t freeze in the winter, and it won’t fade under the summer sunshine.
  • It can last for more than 25 years – which means it’s long-lasting and great value for money.
  • It doesn’t need much care or maintenance.
  • It’s a level surface with no loose stones – this is particularly good for wheelchair and pushchairs.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to love SureSet Resin Bound Paving! As a paving choice it can make your life easier, and make your property more attractive – so it’s a win win scenario!

How is resin bound paving made?

The process is complex, and it’s one we have perfected here at SureSet.

We use a unique cold mixed process that ensures every particle of stone is completely covered in resin; forming a structurally stable 3D matrix. This mix of stones is made up of natural aggregate, marble or recycled materials.

One of the key parts to ensuring the strength and longevity of resin bound paving comes down to how tightly the stones are packed – whilst also ensuring that the surface has the tiny voids (which are key to making the surface permeable).

This system mixes the natural aggregate, marble or recycled materials and clear resin thoroughly together. It is during this process that we coat each one of these tiny stones in resin (every single one). Once this is complete the particles are laid immediately on the base, and smoothed into the flat, smooth surface resin bound paving is known for.

Once the surface has been laid, the finished depth could vary between 12mm and 24mm – depending on the size and type of stone used and the function of the surface too. For example driveways and public spaces (such as playgrounds) will require slightly different depth.

Did you know?

We offer a 21 Year Guarantee for our SureSet resin bound paving, when it has been installed by our Installation Team a SureSet Approved Installer or a SureSet Global Partner. We’re so confident in the quality of our product, that this guarantee covers you for:

  • Loose stone
  • Cracking
  • Oil damage
  • Softening
  • Colour change
  • Frost damage
  • Workmanship

Questions to know if resin paving is for you?

If you’re considering investing in resin paving, and you’re looking for more information to see if it is the right choice for you and your property, hopefully this article will help you ask the right questions. Asking the right questions is crucial to getting the information you need, and is an easy way of finding out if resin paving is the right option for your project.

Let’s start by saying, resin paving is a fantastic option for many types of surfaces. It’s long lasting, looks attractive and is available in different styles too.

Question 1: What is your budget? 

One of the first things most people have to consider when planning a project such as resurfacing a driveway or communal area, is budget. Budget is probably the first question you want to ask – as resin paving isn’t the cheapest option available when it comes to surfaces – but for good reason. Resin paving is a long-lasting, attractive, personalised option – that offer many benefits above other paving types.

The best way to see if resin paving is in your budget – is to get a quote! We provide free quotes, and there’s no obligation involved.

Question 2: Are you having problems with planning permission? 

If you’re having problems with planning permissions for other types of paving, you won’t find this with resin paving. Actually, since the new government legislation in 2008, planning permission is not required for areas less than 5m² or if the new surface is permeable. Because resin paving is permeable, no planning permission is required for resin paving – this is ideal if you’ve been having issues in the past.

Question 3: Have you been having problems with flooding? 

In the UK, where the weather tends to be wet a lot of the year, we know many properties and driveways struggle with flooding and water damage. Resin paving is permeable though, which considerably reduces flooding and water collection on surfaces. During the laying process, minute voids are created that allows water to drain through.

Question 4: Do you want to make a long-term investment?

If you’re looking to make a long-term investment on your property or driveway, resin paving is a sensible choice. Resin paving can last for more than 25 years, which means it’s incredible long lasting and great value for money too.

Question 5: Do you have time for maintenance? 

If you’re short on time, and you want a flooring / surface with minimal maintenance, resin paving is the ideal choice. For many people, they want to choose something with minimal maintenance that doesn’t require constant upkeep or care. If this sounds like you, then resin paving is an ideal choice. In fact, at SureSet, we offer a 21 Year Guarantee for our SureSet resin bound paving. The guarantee covers you for: loose stone, cracking, oil damage, softening, colour change and  frost damage.