A Guide to Driveway Paving Options

driveway paving options
There are a variety of driveway paving options to choose from

If you have travelled around the world you will know the UK and US stand out with both the variety of driveway paving options and unique designs.

driveway in Europe
Typical driveway in Europe

That isn’t to say the UK and US don’t have their fair share of awful driveways, because they do. (No pictures are necessary, just walk around your neigbourhood.)

Specific to the UK.

Temperatures range considerably from region to region.

Substrate soils vary from soft and mushy to rock hard.

Drainage is a problem in some areas and no problem in others. The need for plenty ‘off road parking’ is high in some places, and low in others.

Disposable incomes vary widely regionally, as does the ability to finance home improvements. Just like all inequality, this leads to disparity between stunningly beautiful driveways and awful ones. (Again, no pictures necessary!)

Driveway Paving Options……..Number 1 – Resin Bound Driveways

resin bound gravel
Resin Bound Gravel

This driveway surfacing product is gaining in popularity because it’s an ‘easy‘ overlay product, as long as conditions are right.

As long as suitable drainage is in place and the sub base is suitable (not cracked or sinking) then a resin bound driveway can provide a cost effective make over.

The increasing popularity of resin is due to it’s modern look, relatively low cost, range of colour options (read this on choosing stone) and speed of installation.

Need a Resin Installer?

Driveway Paving Options…….Number 2 – Block Paving

what is permeable paving
Beautifully Installed Permeable Block Paving

The quality of concrete blocks is surprisingly inconsistent in the UK. Cheap imported blocks can cost as little as £30 for 50 blocks but quality UK manufactured blocks can cost up to £80.

Many colour blends are available, as well as permeable block paving. This type of block paving satisfies Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) requirements (on the basis of a suitable sub base.)

What is Permeable Paving?

More on SUDs

Getting the Right Block Paving Design

Choosing a Block Paving contractor

Block paving can be completed using clay pavers but this type of block doesn’t provide as smooth a finish as manufactured concrete blocks.

Clay Pavers Leave an Uneven Finished Surface

Driveway Paving Options………. Number 3 – Pattern Imprinted Concrete

Imprinted Concrete red brick
Pattern Imprinted Concrete 


The monolithic giant laid as a slab and then coloured and textured in a variety of patterns.

Some Patterns Available for Pattern Imprinted Concrete

This type of driveway surfacing product is very popular in built up suburban areas. Costs start from as little as £60 per square metre but some folks have paid up to £150 per square metre – if they’ve been ‘harassed’ by one of those smooth talking (or aggressive, pushy and intimidating types.)


Pattern Imprinted Concrete (Questions and Answers)

How long to Complete an Imprinted Concrete Installation?

Block paving or Pattern Imprinted Concrete

Need to Know about Pattern Imprinted Concrete


Driveway Paving Options……….Number 4. Tarmacadam

open grade tarmac-closed grade tarmac-tarmac-driveway-asphalt-driveway
Larger stone – open
Smaller stone – closed

As a driveway surfacing option Tarmacadam has proven itself as strong and durable. It became popular in the 1970s and its popularity continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s. However, block paving and pattern imprinted concrete enabled customers to vary colours considerably which led to the decline in demand for the black stuff. That isn’t to say tarmacadam (which is basically a by product of the oil industry) doesn’t have its uses. It can be the perfect sub base to install a resin bound driveway on (as long as the right grade of tarmacadam is used) and it can also be easily overlaid onto the most shabby looking of driveways.

It’s Cheap – Tarmacadam Prices

Tarmacadam Installation is easy (well sort of)

It smells nice – well to most of us anyway.

BUT if improving the look of your house is top priority – Tarmacadam falls short and it is far better to opt for a pretty perfect pattern imprinted concrete driveway or a beautiful and stunning block paving driveway or a rapturously delightful resin driveway.

Driveway paving options……..Number 5. Gravel Driveways

Gravel Driveway
A typical gravel driveway

Yes. Gravel. The picturesque wide open sweeping driveway leading up to the Manor Born…. The easiest of driveway products to install. And with the availability of quality grid systems stability and sinking are a thing of the past. There are a variety of gravel colour and size options.

Other driveway paving options

Natural stone – when money isn’t an issue natural stone will always come out top for looks

Natural paving

Eco friendly – Grass grid systems

Eco Grid


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