Gravel is a popular choice in decorative and landscaping applications, particularly to make Gravel Footpaths. This is because it looks very natural and is sympathetic to the surrounding landscape. That being said, one of the biggest challenges faced by a gravel path is the constant displacement of aggregate. No matter where gravel footpaths or walkways are laid, it is almost guaranteed to move through continued use and will need constant attention to keep it looking tidy.

Self-Binding Gravel

Self-binding gravel is one solution to this. Rather than being only made up of larger pieces of aggregate, self-binding gravel includes tiny particles that stick together when compressed. In many cases, self-binding gravel is rolled after it is laid to encourage cohesion between the fine dust, pebbles and other aggregate particles within it. The finished product is a footpath, walkway or decorative driveway that is more durable and requires less maintenance than traditional gravel paths.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Self-Binding Gravel

In many applications, self-binding gravel is a practical, cost-effective and low maintenance choice for outdoor spaces – allowing you to leisurely allow your new application without having to commit to a rigorous maintenance schedule every month or so. 

That being said, low maintenance does not necessarily mean no maintenance. Having been compressed, self-binding gravel is less likely to slip and slide around underfoot than non-compressed gravel.  However, it will still become displaced after heavy use. For this reason, it will need to be smoothed and tended to over time to create the desired aesthetic appearance.

As well as this weakness, self-binding gravel is not resistant to weeds. Therefore, you are likely to find weeds growing through the aggregates which will need to be removed to keep it looking clean and pristine.

Self-Binding Gravel Alternatives From NatraTex

Both NatraTex Cotswold and NatraTex Colour are viable alternatives to self-binding gravel for many reasons. In fact, across the board, our bound gravel surfacing products outperform both traditional loose gravel footpaths and self-binding gravel walkways because of their many benefits.

As mentioned above, self-binding gravel is compressed when it is laid. In doing this, the aggregate is compacted together; however they are not bound together. This means that it can, and will, be moved around either by repeated footfall, or even following inclement weather.

The core difference between self-binding gravel and NatraTex gravel footpaths is that NatraTex, as a surface course, is bound. This means that the aggregates used in the creation of NatraTex are sealed with a binder, which not only secures them but also creates a smooth finish underfoot. The result of this is a gravel footpath that looks fantastic and is suitable for a wide range of locations.

Furthermore, because NatraTex’s applications are bound, they are less likely to be a source of health and safety concerns. Quite simply, once it has been laid, the surface has been laid permanently. The gravel will never wash away through excessive rain or flood, and it is extremely unlikely that potholes or other warpings will form. 

NatraTex From BituChem

NatraTex Cotswold and NatraTex Colour from BituChem are modern colour  tarmac alternatives to traditional gravel footpaths. Both of these products are ideal for footpaths, walkways or decorative paving. A type of asphalt surface course that is like conventional macadam, all NatraTex products offer a cost-effective and multi-purpose solution that can be used for such applications as Park Footpaths, Coloured playgrounds and Decorative Driveways.

As an alternative to self-binding gravel, NatraTex products offer a low-maintenance decorative finish that is highly durable and extremely resilient to disruption. What’s more, all our products are available in a range of colours to suit their surroundings.

We have a long-standing reputation for providing second-to-none customer service and regularly support a range of clients, from commercial to private, in finding a surfacing solution that meets their individual needs. To get an idea of the kind of projects we have been working on recently, please take a look at our portfolio or speak to our team for more information.

To find out more about NatraTex products, and how you can use them as an alternative to gravel in your project, please contact us today.