Tarmac vs Resin – Choosing the Best Material for Your Driveway

When planning to install or upgrade a driveway, one of the key decisions to make is which material to use. Two popular options are tarmac (asphalt) and resin-bound surfaces. Both materials have their pros and cons, and the best choice depends on various factors such as budget, aesthetics, and maintenance requirements. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of tarmac and resin driveways, as well as compare their costs to help you make an informed decision when thinking of taking the plunge on your next driveway. Please remember, we are going to tell you the pro’s and con’s but your lifestyle factors, taste and budget will also play a factor too.

Tarmac Driveways


  • Cost-effective: Tarmac is typically less expensive than resin, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Durability: Tarmac driveways are strong and can withstand heavy loads, making them suitable for areas with high traffic and heavy vehicles.
  • Quick installation: Tarmac can be laid and set relatively quickly, meaning your driveway will be ready for use in a shorter time.
  • Easy to repair: If damaged, tarmac can be easily patched and repaired, restoring the driveway’s appearance and functionality.


  • Aesthetics: Tarmac driveways have a more utilitarian appearance compared to resin-bound surfaces, which may not suit all property styles.
  • Heat sensitivity: Tarmac can soften in extreme heat, potentially leading to surface damage and deformation.
  • Maintenance: Tarmac driveways require periodic maintenance, such as sealing, to protect against water penetration, cracks, and other damage.
  • Limited design options: Tarmac driveways offer limited design options in terms of colors and patterns compared to resin-bound surfaces.

Resin-Bound Driveways


  • Aesthetics: Resin-bound driveways offer a wide range of colours and aggregates, allowing for greater customisation and a more visually appealing surface.
  • Permeability: Resin-bound surfaces are permeable, allowing water to drain through, reducing the risk of standing water and promoting a more sustainable drainage system.
  • Low maintenance: Resin driveways are resistant to weeds and require minimal maintenance, making them a low-maintenance option for homeowners.
  • Slip resistance: The texture of resin-bound surfaces provides good slip resistance, improving safety for pedestrians and vehicles.


  • Cost: Resin-bound driveways are generally more expensive than tarmac due to the materials and specialized installation process.
  • Installation: The installation of a resin-bound driveway requires skilled professionals, and the process can take longer compared to tarmac.
  • Potential for cracking: Resin-bound surfaces can be more susceptible to cracking due to ground movement or heavy loads, especially if not installed correctly.
  • UV sensitivity: Some resin-bound driveways can be sensitive to UV exposure, leading to colour fading and degradation over time.

Cost Comparison

The cost of installing a tarmac or resin-bound driveway depends on various factors such as size, location, and labor rates. On average, tarmac driveways tend to be more affordable, with prices ranging from £40 to £60 per square meter. In contrast, resin-bound driveways can cost between £50 and £100 per square meter.

It’s essential to consider not only the initial installation cost but also the long-term maintenance costs. While tarmac may be cheaper upfront, it could require more frequent maintenance, which can add up over time. Resin-bound driveways, on the other hand, may have higher initial costs but could save you money on maintenance in the long run.

Choosing between a tarmac and resin-bound driveway ultimately depends on your priorities, preferences, and budget. Tarmac driveways are an economical and durable option, but they may lack the aesthetic appeal and permeability of resin-bound surfaces. Resin driveways offer greater design flexibility, improved drainage, and low maintenance requirements but come with a higher price tag.

Before making a decision, consider factors such as the surrounding landscape, climate, and the amount of traffic your driveway will handle. It’s also essential to hire experienced professionals for the installation process to ensure the longevity and performance of your driveway, regardless of the material you choose.

By carefully weighing the pros and cons of tarmac and resin-bound driveways and evaluating your specific needs, you can select the best material to enhance your property’s curb appeal, functionality, and value. Remember that a well-constructed driveway is not only a practical addition to your home but also an investment that can enhance your property’s overall appeal and marketability.

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