Resin Drives VS Concrete Drives

Resin drives vs Concrete drives – Completely different looks, cost and installation.

Concrete drives, and in particular pattern imprinted driveways have been very popular since the 1990s. Resin drives have been around almost as long but is was advancements in resin technologies which have made resin an increasingly popular choice in recent years.

There are two types of resin driveways. They both use the same products – resin and aggregate (stone), but the key difference is how the stone attaches to the resin.

Resin bound driveways: Resin is mixed with the aggregates and trowelled onto the sub base.

Resin bonded driveways: A layer of resin is brushed onto the sub base and aggregates are thrown on top which will then stick to the resin.

We will compare resin drives with concrete drives and give you the pros and cons of each.

resin drives

Resin Drives Look Great!

Weed control

The surface of resin drives will prevent weed growth which means the driveway is easy to maintain.

Concrete driveways may have joints cut into the concrete surface and weed growth is more likely along these joints. Applying a suitable mastic jointing will help to prevent weed growth, but this will need to be reapplied every couple of years.


Resin bound driveways are the only permeable driveway surface. Both pattern imprinted concrete and resin bonded driveways may need drainage installation if no natural drainage is present.

More information on SUDs compliance for driveways


Maintenance is minimal for both resin and concrete driveways. Using a hose and a broom will keep the area clean and tidy. Pressure washing is also an option but taking care to only use low pressure is important.

Thinking of buying a power washer? Read this review first to make sure you choose the right one.

Pattern imprinted concrete surfaces need to be resealed (minimum every two years). This is to ensure they do not fade.

You can contact a driveway installer to have your driveway cleaned, have mastic jointing reapplied and the whole driveway resealed.

It’s also possible to reseal your imprinted driveway yourself by purchasing sealant, for example from Smartseal. 25 Litre will cover between 100m2 and 150m2 depending on the condition of the driveway.

There are two options for pattern imprinted concrete sealant: Matt and Silk.

house with black imprinted driveway

Black cobble pattern imprinted concrete driveway

Resin Drives Vs Concrete Crives – a DIY job?

Resin drives are an option for a DIY-er to attempt as long as they are no more than 10-20 Sqm. For those that are ambitious and handy an overlay of an existing driveway can be attempted as long as a good sub base layer such as a permeable tarmacadam or concrete (with adequate drainage) is in place.

Resin bound driveway – simply mix resin with stone of your choice and trowel it onto the base layer.

Resin bonded driveway – brush resin onto the base layer and gently distribute stone onto the resin. Remove any loose stone.

Pattern Imprinted concrete drives are not recommended to attempt as a DIY project!

DIY guide to resin installation

Some technical aspects for resin

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Resin Drives vs Concrete Drives – Colour

For resin there are different types, colours and sizes of gravel to choose from. These combinations can be mixed to give unique looking driveways that stand apart.

More on CHOOSING resin bound gravel

For pattern imprinted concrete driveways there are many colour options to choose from: This range from traditional looking charcoal to blends of grey and lighter options include sandy colours.

Pattern imprinted concrete – Frequently Asked Questions – MUST read


Resin drive patterns can be added to the driveway for example one or more shapes, your house number or a specific pattern. Keep in mind that any type of feature patterns look best on large driveways (more than 100 sq m) and kept minimal.

Concrete drives have a variety of patterns from Ashlar slate, Cobble (standard and deep joint), Basket Weave, European Fan and Slate.

imprinted concrete driveway bournemouth

Large Italian Slate Design


For resin drives you can have bricks, block paving, slate or aluminium if curves to the driveway are required.

Pattern imprinted driveways can have different designs and even a different colour edge, to provide contrast.

Both allow curves which are always more visually pleasing.

How curves are made for pattern imprinted concrete!

Resin Drives vs Concrete Drives – Conclusion

Both resin drives and concrete drives are great driveway surfacing products. They’ll enhance the look of your home and will add value in more ways than one. Both provide strong support and require little ongoing maintenance. Both look great with traditional and contemporary looking homes. Visually concrete driveways look closer to stone while resin driveways can look more warm and natural, so it depends very much on the style and look of your home and of course your personal taste.

Do you have a favourite? Resin drives or Concrete drives?

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Author: Steve Goldstone

Steve has been in the driveway and construction industry for a long time and knows the ins and outs of the business. His aim is to help consumers see the wood through the trees in the world of concrete, resin, paving and patios!

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