Concrete Versus Asphalt: Which Should I Use To Pave My Driveway With?

We asked the foremost driveway paving contractors for their expert opinion on which was the best material to use for paving a driveway; concrete or asphalt.

Although they were noncommittal, they gave us a few pointers about the advantages and disadvantages of the two materials…

CONCRETE

THE COSTS

A concrete driveway may cost between $3-$10 per square foot to lay, for plain, non-decorative concrete.

Whereas a stamped or decorative concrete may cost between $15-$25 per square foot.

The advantage of stamped concrete is that it can look very convincing and charming.

The finished cost of going with some of the fancier stamped concrete designs could cost as much as $5400-$9000 for the finished driveway. This estimate is based on a standard two car driveway.

In terms of the start-up costs, there is no denying that concrete costs more than asphalt does to lay, but it has other advantages.

CURING

When it comes to curing a concrete driveway, then you do hit a snag. Really, you should wait before you drive on it – up to seven days in fact.

If this is not an issue, then you may still wish to consider a concrete driveway.

MAINTENANCE

When it comes to maintaining your new concrete driveway, then there is some good news.

It should require less maintenance than an asphalt driveway. However, the bad news is that when that maintenance needs doing, it is going to be harder work to get right.

CRACKS AND FISSURES

Unfortunately, at some point your concrete driveway will crack. It simply cannot be avoided.

The question is how easily this can be mended and if it can be hidden at all.

Although unseemly cracks can be rectified, it is not particularly easy, or cheap, to do.

WEATHER AND STRESS

A concrete driveway may crack if placed under severe duress.

LIFESPAN

Your concrete driveway can expect to live for thirty years, if well maintained.

ASPHALT

THE COSTS

To asphalt your driveway, it is probably going to set you back around $780-$1800, depending on the size of it. But this price is correct for an average two car driveway, with the measurement no larger than 18 feet by 20 feet.

This works out approximately as $2-$5 per square foot.

If you decide to go with stamped asphalt then it could be slightly more, possibly between $3-$9 per square foot.

Choosing stamped asphalt on a traditional size driveway could bring the costs up to between $1080- $3240, but it will look more decorative and could resemble bricks or stone quite closely.

In terms of cost, there is no doubt that asphalt is the winner. If outlay is your primary concern, then pick asphalt over concrete.

CURING

Although there may be some slight waiting issues, you can more or less drive onto an asphalted driveway straight away.

This makes it clear why there are so many asphalt paving contractors out there happy to recommend it!


MAINTENANCE

We can’t lie. Your asphalt driveway will need some proper looking after and maintenance.

The good news is that this does not have to be difficult to do and we would start by recommending some sort of seal coating to be done, to protect it for as long as possible.

CRACKS AND FISSURES

Although your asphalt driveway may suffer from a range of cracking and other issues, it should not be too difficult to fix it up.

WEATHER AND STRESS

Your asphalt driveway will expand and contract with heat and cold. It also needs protecting from excess standing water.

LIFESPAN

Your asphalt driveway can expect to live for twenty years, if well maintained.

… AND THE WINNER IS…?

Well, the final decision is up to you, but in our expert asphalt paving company’s view (not that they are biased!) we think that the clear winner for any driveway is ultimately the asphalt one!