Common driveway paving options include concrete, asphalt and gravel. The option chosen should depend on the driveway's size and the cost of each material.
Concrete is the most commonly used material for driveways. It is versatile and inexpensive and may be stamped and colored to create a look of brick or stone. Concrete is strong and, when pouring a single slab for a driveway, it is easy to maintain. Generally, a concrete driveway costs from $8 to more than $18 per square foot, as of 2015. Although concrete is a popular choice for driveways, it has its downfalls. Concrete cracks in time and is susceptible to stains from leaking automobiles.
Asphalt is a more expensive method of paving a driveway, but it is still durable and looks great year after year. As awareness for environmental issues rise, recycled asphalt driveways are becoming more popular. This method utilizes existing blacktop pieces that are ground small and re-laid. Tar and chip asphalt looks like gravel, but has the strength of asphalt. Generally, tar and chip asphalt looks more natural than blacktop. Some types of asphalt take color well and may be dyed to more than 20 different colors.
Gravel driveways are expensive and require more work to install than other types of driveways. Experts usually recommend having a gravel driveway installed by a professional as the process is long and involved.