Have Pattern Concrete Drives lost their appeal?
Patterned concrete drives have been a popular driveway surfacing product for many years both in the U.S.A and here in the UK.
But there is a threat.
Resin is becoming more and more popular.
Now, here’s the question – are pattern imprinted concrete driveways losing their appeal?
And a further question – are imprinted concrete driveways in decline and have resin driveways taken over the top spot?
In this article we’ll take a look at why people would choose pattern concrete drives over resin drives, and vice versa.
We start with an easy pros and cons of both driveway surfaces in the tables below.
As you can see there are many pros for both driveway options.
Both resin and pattern imprinted concrete are relatively easy to install.
Both are relatively inexpensive.
Both will take little of your time in terms of maintenance.
Where it becomes really insteresting is on the big differences of both driveway products.
For example, pattern imprinted drives can be installed relatively easily on steep gradients but drainage is always an important requirement.
On the other hand, resin driveways are more challenging to install on steep surfaces. Careful consideration needs to be given to ‘tyre’ tracking which may cause issues.
With the right sub base resin has the potential to be a permeable surface, which means a seperate drainage system is not necessary.
Patterned Concrete Drives Vs Resin Bound Drives – Installation
For both pattern imprinted concrete and resin bound driveways, installation is relatively straightforward (stress on the relatively!)
Ignoring overlays both sub base preparations are similar, but not the same.
For decorative concrete groundwork excavations will generally be to a depth of 8 inches for concrete with MOT Type 1 aggregate then compacted to 4 inches.
The ideal thickness for the laid slab of concrete is 4 inches.
Resin is laid on a similar type of sub base (but with a smaller aggregate) of concrete or open grade tarmacadam.
But the final layer thickness of resin is much less.
A well constructed and compacted imprinted concrete sub base with bull nose edging
A wide range of colours (and patterns) are available for imprinted concrete installations.
These range from traditional charcoal black/grey, which are mainly used for ‘cobble‘ type designs all the way to deep Terracotta reds and Reddish Sandstone.
These colour combinations look great on wide open driveway surfaces.
Pattern imprinted concrete – European Fan design
Resin is more limited in its range of colours and generally most will be sandy or reddish colours. But things can be spiced up by adding marble or even crushed glass. Different types of gravel can be mixed together to provide more contrast.
The red resin picks up well with the brickwork and the roof tiles
In summary, patterned concrete drives have a larger choice of colours and patterns and resin bound is a little more limited.
Read this post on
Patterned Concrete Drives VS Resin Bound Drives – Maintenance
Both driveway surfaces are easy to maintain.
Read this article on our top two picks for Low Maintenance Driveway choices.
Regular sweeping and the occasional light pressure wash are enough to keep both types of paving in tip-tip condition.
Important maintenance tip:
For any pattern imprinted concrete driveway – Ensure resealing is completed every 2-3 years. This will protect the colour pigmentation and stop fading. A re-seal is relatively inexpensive but will go a long way to preserving the lifetime of a concrete driveway.
Ideally resealing of Patterned Concrete Drives is completed every 2-3 years.
For resin bound installations us a UV resistant resin to prevent ‘dulling‘ which can tone down a resin bound driveway.
Patterned Concrete Drives VS Resin Bound -Drainage
The best case scenario for both types of driveway surface is natural drainage to bedding areas. But as resin is (potentially) a permeable surface, drainage is less of an issue.
Decorative concrete driveways generally need channel drainage as shown below.
Channel Drainage for Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveway
Patterned Concrete Drives VS Resin Bound Drives – Cost
In terms of cost both driveway surfaces are worth it!
If you’re progressive in your outlook and can appreciate that your driveway is the first impression of your home, then cost really shouldn’t be an obstacle.
Investing in the appearance is worth it and increases the value of your home.
Costs can rise significantly if extra work is needed and a lot will also hinge on whether you use an installer direct or choose to pay more via a sales company.
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Decorative concrete continues to be the choice for those with the long term in mind. It’s proven itself to be resilient and when installed correctly creates that ‘lasting’ impression that any neighbour will envy.
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