Concrete vs. Asphalt Driveways: What’s the Difference?

June 10, 2021

Your driveway is one of the most visible parts of the front of a home, but it’s not something that is always on the front of our minds when it comes to home renovations. If you decide you’re tired of seeing cracks, stains or other imperfections on your driveway, there are two main options available to you: concrete or asphalt paving.

While both of these may work for your driveway, it’s still important to know the differences between them to choose which will work best for your home. Here are some differences and similarities between concrete and asphalt paving.

Things in common

Before we get into the differences, let’s start with what concrete and asphalt have in common. Both are basically a mixture of sand and stone, and both are laid over a substrate of gravel. Both create durable driveways that can be an attractive entry to your home. But there are differences in the adhesives that hold these materials together, and this may factor into what is best for your home. As with any construction project, there are also cost differences to consider.


One thing that sets concrete apart is its visual appearance. It is naturally a pale gray color, which allows it to take well to tinting or staining to just about any color you can imagine. You can also brush it for texture or even stamp a pattern into it for an aesthetic boost. Its lighter color, however, also makes it prone to unwanted staining, and it can be difficult to get it completely clean.

Concrete handles heat well. It is a very hard material that does not change texture in hot weather. That hardness, however, can be a detriment in extreme cold, leading it to possibly crack, buckle or heave in extreme conditions.

Another important thing to know about concrete is that it will cost more for paving contractors to install than asphalt. On average, a concrete driveway will cost about 50 percent more than asphalt.


Asphalt is commonly referred to as “blacktop” for a reason—it is naturally dark gray or black. This will likely match the color of the street, but it may be tough to match this to the color scheme of your home. On the flip side, its dark color will help hide many stains, including drips and drops from working on a car.

In extremely hot weather, asphalt can get a little soft. The cycle of softening and re-hardening can also cause asphalt to develop cracks over time. Fortunately, it’s easier to repair than concrete.

A few months after installation, asphalt will be fully cured and will need to be sealed to extend its lifespan. It should also be resealed every three to five years.  This can easily be done on your own with asphalt sealer and a driveway squeegee.

When you’re ready for the benefits of a new driveway, it’s a good idea to ask your paving contractor what would be best for you. When you’re looking for the best paving contractors, contact RoadBuilders today.

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