The Top 4 Driveway Alternatives to Asphalt

When considering driveway alternatives to asphalt, it’s essential to evaluate both the cost and durability of different materials.

Concrete As a Driveway Alternatives to Asphalt

Concrete is a popular option due to its strength and the ability to be customized through stamping, stenciling, and staining. However, it can crack under extreme temperature changes, necessitating frequent repairs.

concrete driveway
concrete driveway


Gravel As A Driveway Alternatives to Asphalt

For a more cost-effective solution, gravel driveways are significantly cheaper to install and allow for effective drainage due to the use of angular gravel. The downside is the need for regular raking to maintain the surface, especially on sloped driveways.

Gravel Driveway
Gravel Driveway


Brick Driveway Alternatives to Asphalt

Another viable alternative is brick, which not only offers aesthetic appeal but also enhances water drainage. Despite its expensive installation process and the need for regular maintenance, a brick driveway adds significant value and character to your home.

Brick Driveway Display
Brick Driveway Display


Tar and Chip As Driveway Alternatives to Asphalt

A lesser-known option is tar-and-chip, which mimics the look of asphalt but involves a different installation process combining gravel and hot liquid bitumen asphalt. This method is relatively affordable and can be applied over an existing surface in good condition, although it has a shorter lifespan.

Tar-and-Chip Driveway
Tar-and-Chip Driveway


Cobblestone As Driveway Alternatives to Asphalt

Lastly, cobblestone driveways are an incredibly durable choice, requiring minimal maintenance and offering extensive customization options due to the variety of sizes and shapes available. While the initial cost is high and installation labor-intensive, the longevity of cobblestone makes it a worthy investment.

Cobblestone Driveway
Cobblestone Driveway

Cost Comparison of Driveway Materials:

Driveway MaterialCost Range (per square foot)Additional Notes
Asphalt$4 – $10
Concrete$6 – $15Depends on customization options
Brick$10 – $30Higher cost due to material and labor
Gravel$2 – $5Low-cost option, but requires regular maintenance
Tar-and-Chip$4 – $8Affordable alternative with customization options
Cobblestone$20 – $50High initial cost but low maintenance

Durability Comparison:

Driveway MaterialDurabilityMaintenance Requirements
AsphaltMediumRegular sealing and crack filling
ConcreteHighOccasional sealing, prone to cracking
BrickMediumRegular maintenance, grass/weed removal, sealing
GravelLowRegular raking and repositioning
Tar-and-ChipMediumLimited lifespan, may require re-application
CobblestoneHighMinimal maintenance required

Aesthetic Appeal:

Driveway MaterialAesthetic Appeal
AsphaltNeutral, utilitarian
ConcreteVersatile, customizable
BrickRustic, classic
GravelNatural, informal
Tar-and-ChipSimilar to asphalt with customizable stone colors
CobblestoneElegant, timeless

Environmental Impact:

Driveway MaterialEnvironmental Impact
AsphaltPetroleum-based, non-permeable surface
ConcreteHigh carbon footprint, non-permeable surface
BrickNatural material, permeable surface
GravelNatural material, permeable surface
Tar-and-ChipModerate environmental impact, permeable surface
CobblestoneNatural material, permeable surface


The alternatives to asphalt to consider for your driveway, include gravel, cobblestone, and concrete. If you want durability for a long period, something very beautiful and not expensive it is best to use gravel instead of other materials. The cost, strength, beauty, and environmental effects are the main things that one must look into before settling on any material as an alternative

This will guarantee that whatever choice they make about their driveways will be based on what they need rather than what they want. The result will be a decision that will yield the most durable as well as attractive appearance for the property’s driveway while costing them less cash in terms of initial costs or terms of maintenance expenses in future years.

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I'm Steve Axton, a dedicated Asphalt Construction Manager with over 25 years of experience paving the future of infrastructure. My journey with asphalt began by studying civil engineering and learning about core pavement materials like aggregate, binder and additives that compose this durable and versatile substance. I gained hands-on experience with production processes including refining, mixing and transporting during my internships, which opened my eyes to real-world uses on roads, driveways and parking lots. Over the past decades, I have deepened my expertise in asphalt properties like viscosity, permeability and testing procedures like Marshall stability and abrasion. My time with respected construction companies has honed my skills in paving techniques like milling, compaction and curing as well as maintenance activities like crack filling, resurfacing and recycling methods. I'm grateful for the knowledge I've gained about standards from Superpave to sustainability best practices that balance longevity, cost and environmental friendliness. It's been an incredibly rewarding career working with this complex material to build the infrastructure future.

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