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DIY Resin Bond Patio / Paving



Spring is here and it's time to start thinking about the garden.
I, like most people, like to sit out and enjoy the sun.
What better place to do this, than in your own back garden, surrounded by nice gardens, with the centre piece being a well laid patio.

I've looked at many options for a patio -
Wooden Decking - Easy to install, but doesn't age very well, and ends up looking old in a few years time.
Slabs - Just a bit boring and bit a been done a million times before.

Because we (me and the missus) wanted something unique, we decided to have a crack at Resin Bonding.

Reasons -
Endless choice with colour and grade of stone
Curves are possible
Very long lasting and durable
No weeds can grow through it
Relatively easy to lay once the concrete has been done

So we created a design and I worked out how to go about laying it.
First thing is to create the base layer, which in our case was a concrete slab.

DIY Resin Bond Patio
Here you see the concrete slab laid and the general feel of the curve of the slab. I won't go into great detail on the technicalities of laying a concrete slab as the internet is awash with such details. But for reference - I laid my slab 80mm thick, with a 20mm sub base layer.




DIY Resin Bond Patio
The edge of the slab. The edge isn't too bad in regards to it's roughness, but it isn't perfect and I have my doubts as to how the resin bond will look after it's laid. In my opinion, if the edges look rubbish, the whole thing will look rubbish, so I've come up with an idea of using aluminium strip to edge the slab.

DIY Resin Bond Patio Aluminium Edging
The edge of the slab with aluminium strip glued to it. What I've done here is glue (using no more nails) aluminium strip to the slab. This has achieved a couple of things -
1 - Has created a nice crisp edge that will contrast nicely with the neighbouring grass
2 - When the gravel is glued to the slab, the aluminium strip will retain it, preventing the gravel from crumbling off the edges.

The strip is 50mm in height and 1mm thick. I've left it proud by 5mm - you may need to adjust this depending on the average diameter of the gravel you're using.

DIY Resin Bond Patio Aluminium Edging
Not a lot to see here, other than the other side of the aluminium. Eventually you won't see this because it will be buried when the soil/grass is put back against the edge. You'll also notice the concrete "laitance" I suffered...more about that below.

DIY Resin Bond Patio Aluminium Edging
This is a wider view of the slab with the aluminium glued to it. You can get a feel for the curve and if you imagine the soil/grass against the edge, you can begin to appreciate how nice it might end up.

Concrete Patch Repair
There was some height difference and general uncleanliness where the slabs met each other. I bought some of this patch repair stuff, which did the trick.

Concrete Scabbler
All new concrete has what's called "laitance" and my slab was no exception. Laitance is basically a thin film of dusty cement that sits on the top of concrete, which is not fully bonded to the core slab below. To lay resin bond on top of this would be a bad idea...as over time the laitance would come away from the slab along with the resin. I spent ages researching the best way to remove this, and decided that a hand-held concrete scabbler is what I need. I bought a brand new one from Ebay for £100. What can I say - it was crap. It kinda worked, but the teeth of the scabbler would get clogged with concrete dust, which would stop it working right. I spent more time cleaning dust out from the teeth than actually doing the job. Don't buy one...instead buy...

Angle Grinder Diamond Disc for Laitance Removal
...Angle Grinder Diamond Disc. I paid £10 from Ebay for a 100mm Diamond Grinding Disc. Compared to the scabbler, it was awesome. It ripped through the concrete like butter. Expect clouds of dust!! I managed to do the entire 24 square metre slab with one disc, and it's still got plenty of wear left in it. The only downside is that the angle grinder got really hot...too hot to hold, which meant I had to take breaks to let it cool before continuing.

DIY Resin Bond - Daltex White Flint
Daltex White Flint 2-5mm gravel. This is the core gravel we used on our patio. We bought 150kg in total.

DIY Resin Bond - Dolomite Marble
Dolomite Marble 1-3mm gravel. This was a mixer to be added to Daltex White Flint. We bought 40kg in total. This was added to the Daltex before application in relevant ratio. We knew that the Daltex White Flint might have gaps in between the individual gravel bits, so we bought this Dolomite in an attempt to fill those small gaps...it worked!

DIY Resin Bond - The Spread
Here we are spreading the resin. There's no messing about here. Once mixed, we had about 15 minutes working time. All hands on deck - I had my Mum, Dad and Missus lending a hand. I used a 30cm squeegee - I couldn't find a serrated one, so I made the serrations myself with a pair of cutters. It worked a treat.





DIY Resin Bond - The Spread
Here we are spreading the gravel. Not rocket science! You need to ensure the resin is not too thick, otherwise the resin can kinda dampen through to the surface of the gravel. You also need to be very liberal with the gravel. Don't scrimp, cos if you do, you'll only regret it. We were so liberal that we ended up running out of gravel. Wasn't a problem though as we simply came to a halt, left the gravel to harden (approx 1 hour), and then swept up the excess. We then finished the last section with the swept up excess. We had loads of gravel left over...enough to fill a 25kg bag.

DIY Resin Bond - The Result
And here's the end result. Considering there was zero experience amongst us of doing anything like this before, we think the end result is brilliant. It really isn't that hard to do for the modest DIY'er.

DIY Resin Bond - The Result
A different angle.




Comments

john - 02/07/2017 22:57:12
Excellent Job and Attention to detail and you made It look so easy .

john - 02/07/2017 22:56:55
Excellent Job and Attention to detail and you made It look so easy .

Liz - 24/05/2017 21:37:07
Very informative & lots of helpful pictures, thank you. I was looking at a website where they use plastic framework filled with gravel as a base (creativegardensanddriveways.co.uk) and wondered if this would work or move too much (I just don't fancy using an angle grinder). I love the fact that you can do curves easily. How easy is it to keep clean(ish)? Did the aluminium edging stay in place over time? Thank you, Liz

Anne - 19/02/2016 22:29:06
Thanks for this informative piece, just wondering what suppliers you used for the resin and gravel?

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