Factors to consider before choosing a gravel driveway

6 factors to consider before installing a gravel driveway

What to consider before laying a gravel driveway

Gravel driveways are an attractive and affordable exterior surface, ideal for improving the appearance and kerb appeal of a property.

It is created from a variety of loose, crushed and decorative stones. The gravel surface can be decorated in a choice of colours, shapes and sizes. This means that the look and feel of a new driveway can be personalised to suit the needs of the property owner.

Several things need to be considered before a resin bound gravel driveway is installed. as this blog post explains.

Driveway legislation: all you need to know
A number of things need to be considered before choosing a gravel driveway.

Advantages of a resin bound driveway

Advantages of this type of driveway include:

Budget-Friendly: It is more affordable than many other types of driveway, especially when covering large areas of land.

Life Expectancy: A well installed and looked-after driveway can last for many years.

Maintenance: It does not need much maintenance, other than perhaps refreshing the top layer of gravel every few years.

Drainage: The gravel is permeable meaning it can drain effectively to reduce the risk of flooding.

Installation Time: Laying the driveway can be a fast process, compared to other driveway installations.

West Bridgford Landscaping Ltd - X-Grid Gravel Driveway Finished
A resin bound gravel driveway is less costly and is better for drainage, compared to alternatives.

6 factors to consider when installing a resin bound driveway

1. Gravel driveway grid

A cellular grid system is a series of panels that quickly and easily clip together to form a solid platform that can be filled with the aggregate of choice.

The gravel retention system, such as X-Grid, helps to retain the gravel. Using this will prevent a messy driveway and also areas of gravel build-up that can be difficult to walk through.

Secondly, it helps to prevent the sub-base from being visible through the top surface. 

If an MOT Type 3 granite is used as a sub-base material, then without the grid over time it would mean that the granite aggregate becomes mixed up with the decorative gravel and becomes unsightly.

The grid system gives a driveway a flat finish. Using the grid as a guide, resin bound gravel installation can be completed with a smooth and flat finish.

The grids also give strength to the driveway. X-Grid has a load-bearing capacity of 428 tonnes – to put that into context the average car in the UK weighs around two tonnes.

X-Grid Ground Reinforcement Grid can be used with resin bound gravel to complement any style of property
X-Grid Ground Reinforcement Grid provides strength to the driveway, with a load bearing capacity of 428 tonnes. It can also hold gravel into place.

2. Driveway edging

A resin bound paving edging keeps the aggregate and resin neat and tidy and prevents it from spreading before it dries.

A few examples of edging include:

  • Block paving
  • Existing walls
  • Paving slabs
  • Granite setts
  • Flexible edging

If the driveway is a relatively narrow space between the house and a boundary wall, it is natural for these to become the edging.

However, if the personal preference is for the driveway to have a decorative element, consider using paving slabs or granite setts. For a tight budget, aluminum edging is ideal.

Aluminium edging can be the most affordable and is still high in quality. The driveway edging provides a level, unobtrusive border that is attractive and practical. The trim has the capacity to act as movement joints and therefore ensures it defends against cracking or expansion.

Laying driveway edging for a resin bound project
Driveway edging is available in a number of forms, each with their own benefits.

3. Weed prevention membrane

Using a weed membrane underneath the driveway or path will prevent weeds. It also allows elements to permeate through to the soil beneath, ensuring the ground is provided with the nutrients it needs.

It helps to create gravel clean by creating a barrier.

The weed membrane should be paid directly under the gravel and on top of the sub-base. It can be easily installed by rolling out to cover the surface and pegged into position.

The Geotextile Membranes in our range are hard wearing so are more suitable for use on a drive.

This step can be missed out but it is not recommended as weeds can be detrimental to the aesthetics a new, clean gravel driveway.

X-Grid Installation: Laying the Weed Membrane
A weed membrane can be used in combination with any resin bound gravel installation, including driveways.

4. Boundary wall

One of the best times to repair or rebuild any perimeter boundary walls is whilst a new driveway is being installed. This is because it is the most cost-effective time to carry out these works.

A new resin bound driveway is likely to involve excavating the existing surface, and whilst the machine is on site it makes sense to make use of it and demolish walls and excavate any necessary trenches for footings. This will means that waste disposal costs will be saved as the same waste collector can be used as the previous driveway.

A resin bound driveway installation is also the perfect time to make changes to existing boundary walls.
A resin bound driveway installation is also the perfect time to make changes to existing boundary walls.

5. Driveway maintenance

The surface is easy to maintain than other driveway types. However, there is still action that can be taken:

Removing debris: Little bits of debris, such as sticks or leaves, should be picked out and disposed of. Leaving these in place for the longer term could make it more difficult to remove.

Fill in holes or ruts: Whenever a rut or hole appears in the driveway, it should be filled in. It may be tempting to move gravel from one area to another but this can cause weak spots – instead new gravel should be used.

Add fresh gravel: New gravel should be added to the driveway every one to two years. This will keep the driveway fresh and helps to ensure it is long-lasting.

X-Grid is Made in Britain accredited
Driveway maintenance is straight-forward, including adding fresh gravel every couple of years.

6. Gravel driveway ideas

The last thing on the installation is the design of the gravel aggregate.

The best type of aggregate uses angular stone, as they will lock together to prevent movement. 

Resin bound aggregates provide many benefits. They are visually stunning, durable and hard-wearing.

An aggregate can be chosen to complement what is already present in the vicinity. Pea gravel is available in shades of earthy brown, honey, dark grey, white, grey, black and much more.

Should the driveway attract a lot of shade, it may be worthwhile choosing a pale coloured gravel that has natural light reflecting qualities to brighten the space.

There is also a range of gravel sizes to choose from.

Resin Bound Gravel Driveway
A choice of gravels are available to complement surroundings.

what tools are needed for laying a resin bound driveway?

SoRoTo 100L: This is our most popular resin bound mixer. The forced action mixer is suitable for mixing a standard 4 bag of resin and has a mixing capacity of 234kg. It is also portable to take it to where the installation is taking place.

Resin Bull 500LT: This is a double-handled bullnose trowel which is perfect for resin bound. The Resin Bull range is built by resin bound specialists for resin bound specialists so is tailor-made for the job.

Anti-Slip Crushed Glass: This is used in order to make the surface anti-slip and therefore improve the safety of the resin bound surface in all weather conditions.

Soroto 100L with wheelbarrow
The 100L Forced Action Mixer is perfect for mixing resin bound gravel in the space of a couple of minutes.


For more information on how to lay a gravel driveway click here.

To read a case study on X-Grid being used to create a driveway for a luxury cottage in the West Midlands, click here.

X-Grid is recommended for use below the gravel in order to retain the gravel and add strength to the surface.

Woven membranes are used to prevent weed growth, whilst also ensuring water and nutrients can drain to the surface below.

Driveway edging adds a neat and tidy finish to the edge of the gravel driveway.

Resin bound aggregates provide a bright and vibrant surface. A choice of colours, textures and sizes are available to suit the needs of the user and complement the surrounding buildings.

For more information call our helpful and friendly customer service team on 01246 418144. Alternatively, contact us on webchat or email us here.

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