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Surfacing That's Natural

By Gary Beaumont, Chameleon Ways






Although not capable of supporting vehicular traffic, by incorporating the porous paving mixture into a matrix paver tray sufficient load bearing capabilities may be obtained and there are a variety of applications where water drainage is important, such as for pathways and around water features.
Photos courtesy of Chameleon Ways


Using semi-clear binders combined with decorative aggregates from across the country and around the world it is possible to create surfaces where the natural color and beauty of the aggregate show through. The landscape architect can even choose to use local decorative aggregate if that is what the design calls for. Some has to be imported. Even better, this surfacing is designed to go over an existing surface, to provide the final touch.

With a full palette of hot and cold-applied products, Chameleon Ways is all about choice and may change the way you think about asphalt or concrete enhancement. These decorative surfacing products offer a totally new concept in that they provide tools for the architect to introduce beauty to an existing asphalt or concrete surface, with imagination being the only limiting factor in creating a truly unique natural finished surface. There are six main products, and all of them are environmentally friendly.






This cold applied clear resin bound natural aggregate or recycled glass paving system is both flexible and resistant to cracking and gives a natural feel with a smooth surface. This recently surfaced park created permanent hopscotch courts tying the colors used in the courts to the playground equipment.


The resin bonded surfacing system, which provides an attractive, hard wearing, low maintenance surface, bonds natural aggregate to existing asphalt, concrete, wood or metal. Aggregates bonded with resin to a surface give the appearance of loose gravel without the many maintenance problems.

A wide range of colors and sizes of natural aggregates or recycled glass can be resin-bonded to a variety of surfaces making it ideal for historic sites, landscaping schemes, parks, walking paths, driveways, roads and visitor attractions that want the look of loose stone but the convenience of a paved surface.

The cold mixture of clear binder and natural aggregates is troweled in place and then stamped with a with a pattern usually brick or cobblestone and can be done in a straight or herringbone pattern. It can be used in a park for walkways and it is approved for use in crosswalks and does not require additional maintenance since the natural color of the aggregate goes through the entire mix.

It is also possible to combine differing combinations of course and fine aggregates, to meet a specific mix design which is dependant on the application. Design mixes take into account the final color desired as well as anticipated traffic and pedestrian usage. Aggregates are double washed, dried, and bagged by weight to the specific weight required to meet the mix design for the specific project.






The porous system is typically used to replace grates or mulch around trees. The open texture provides a highly porous surface allowing the tree roots access to air, water and nutrients while keeping weeds at bay.


One of the products is a resin bound porous paving system which gives the appearance of loose gravel and is ideal for tree pits. This system is typically used to replace grates or mulch around trees. The open texture achieved provides a highly porous surface allowing the tree roots access to air, water and nutrients while keeping weeds at bay. This keeps the area around the tree tidy and easy to clean and eliminates the unsightly litter problem associated with tree grates. This porous system can also be used in a park setting or on a downtown streetscape where limited sidewalk space or ADA compliance issues come into play.

Although it is not capable of supporting vehicular traffic, by incorporating the porous paving mixture into a matrix paver tray sufficient load bearing capabilities may be obtained and it has a variety of applications where water drainage is important, such as for pathways and around water features.

A cold applied clear resin bound with natural aggregate or recycled glass creates a paving system which is both flexible and resistant to cracking. This product gives a natural feel with a smooth surface. The mixture is available in a wide range of colors allowing imaginative designs to be incorporated within the paved surface.

It can be placed on a newly constructed or existing asphalt or concrete surface provided the existing surface is structurally sound. Applications include historic sites, landscaping schemes, parks, walking paths, driveways or anywhere you would like a truly natural look but maintain a smooth finished surface. A recently surfaced park made permanent hopscotch courts tying the colors used in the courts to the playground equipment.






It is possible to combine differing combinations of course and fine aggregates in exotic patterns or specific mixes. Design mixes take into account the final colors desired as well as anticipated traffic and pedestrian usage.
Photos courtesy of Chameleon Ways


Hot applied materials are also available and used when the area to be paved is too large for hand troweling. These start out with natural stone colors and a clear binder and are mixed in a blacktop plant and laid with a conventional paver and rolled in place. The surface should then be compacted to the predetermined optimum density. All local requirements for placing conventional hot mix wearing coarse materials apply.

Natural stone color can also be enhanced by an added coloring agent. The color won't change as it wears since the natural color of the aggregate goes through the entire mix. These can be used on driveways, paths in a park and other areas that need demarcation and both have the same strength equivalent inch-per-inch as HMA while offering unlimited design/ creation possibilities utilizing durable natural aggregate, as to the finished surface, color, and texture to stand the test of time.

Artful Applications:






Photos courtesy of Chameleon Ways






















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December 14, 2019, 8:41 am PDT

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