Here Are The Major Differences With Blacktop vs Concrete

Whether you are building a new home or simply refreshing some aspects of your property, it is essential that you choose the right material. While there are many material choices for driveways, blacktop and concrete are the most common ones. If you are deciding between these two materials for your paving project, you should consider several essential factors. Note that while these materials have some similarities, they vary in many ways. For instance, both are made with stone and sand. Plus, they both have a gravel base. But blacktop is petroleum-based while concrete is made using cement. Continue reading this blacktop vs concrete comparison to learn more about these materials.


A concrete driveway offers a black and white appearance difference between your property and the roadway. Driveways made with blacktop (asphalt) look like the roadway individuals drove into it from.

When it comes to finishing, one has many options with concrete than asphalt. You can stain or tint in various colors within your driveway. Plus, this material can be engraved, stamped, or etched in a variety of patterns to create an attractive look. Additionally, individuals can brush or polish it to customize the texture. If you combine these finishes, you will create a unique driveway for your home.

Unfortunately, asphalt does not have many finishing options since it must be rolled then compressed. However, it can provide a custom pattern as well as texture. Plus, today there are some coloring options available and patterns can be applied even on existing surfaces.


Climate and Weather

Both summer and winter pose unique challenges to a paved surface no matter its material. Climate is always an essential factor to consider when choosing paving materials. Usually, concrete cracks. Plus, it suffers from frost heaving during extremely cold conditions. Additionally, when salt touches this surface, it can make it pitied which leaves marks on your driveway.

Blacktop climate issues are caused by hot weather. This weather can soften the tar in asphalt and in extreme conditions, it can deform. Heavy items that lack enough surface area for spreading their weight like a motorcycle kickstand tend to dig into blacktop hence damage the surface.


Installation and Maintenance

Blacktop can be better than concrete for certain projects since it is much easier to work with. Installing asphalt is easier than concrete. But it needs more maintenance along with repairs. However, in most cases, only the top layer needs to be replaced as the middle and base layers are considered permanent. This makes asphalt more cost-effective than concrete. But note that you may need more preventative maintenance with asphalt but it’s only to keep it good looking and functioning for a long time.

blacktop vs concrete

Blacktop vs Concrete Cost

Blacktop is generally cheaper than concrete. It costs $2-$4 per square foot averagely. But bear in mind that fluctuations in crude oil prices affect the price of asphalt. Concrete, on the other hand, has several factors that can make it costlier like different custom colors, textures, patterns, etc. A driveway can cost between $4-$6 per square foot for basic installation. If you include finishes, stains, and details, the price can go as high as $15/sq. ft.


Final Thoughts

A new driveway is not a cheap expense no matter the material you choose. Now, there is no winner in the battle between blacktop vs concrete. Both materials create appealing long-lasting driveways. But the best for you depends on your climate, budget, and tolerance for maintenance as well as repairs.

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