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.

About 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. However, it has a few advantages and disadvantages.

The Truth About 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 spread and smoothen now and again to maintain 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 tidy.

Meet The Best Alternative To Self-Binding Gravel

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 an asphalt 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.

What Does NatraTex Offer?

NatraTex Cotswold and NatraTex Colour are similar to conventional macadam, offering a cost-effective and multi-purpose solution, as well as being suitable for many applications including park footpaths, coloured playgrounds and decorative driveways.

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

Contact NatraTex Today

At NatraTex, 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 see examples of projects that have used NatraTex, take a look at our case studies. If you are interested in using NatraTex as an alternative to self-binding gravel, request a free sample from us.