What’s the Difference? Concrete vs. Asphalt Driveways

If you’ve had it with your present driveway’s ruts, cracks, and stains and want to replace it, you’re probably deciding between the two most popular solid materials: concrete and asphalt. While both are poured over a gravel base and are essentially a combination of sand and stone, they are held together by different adhesives: tar for asphalt and cement for concrete. The differences—both positive and negative—between the two common driveway surfaces are based on the properties of those adhesives.

Both asphalt and concrete provide long-lasting, attractive driveways, but there’s more to it than picking the cheapest choice. That’s why we pitted them against each other in seven main criteria, comparing concrete and asphalt. So keep reading to find out if you should go with asphalt or concrete for your property.

Concrete provides a wider range of visual possibilities.

Asphalt and concrete are both dark gray to black in their most basic forms, thus their popular names of “blacktop” and “concrete.” Unlike asphalt, though, concrete may be stained or tinted to almost any color you want. Concrete may also be stamped with designs or brushed for a textured look. If you want to match your home’s color scheme, replicate the look of brick or another pattern, or add a touch of interest to your home’s main doorway, concrete is the way to go. If you want a streamlined design that complements the roadway, asphalt is a wonderful alternative.

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