Driveway Surface Materials–What are Your Options?

Planning to add a driveway to your landscape? Know what surface material options are available for you by going through this article.

Brick residential driveway

Brick residential driveway

Driveways have always been a staple element in most front landscapes. Depending on their design, they can lend drama to the space or simply enhance the area’s utility. They, too, can help ease the problem of slopes and deluge, not to mention enable homeowners to maneuver their vehicles in and out of the garage with great ease.

One of the most important factors that define the longevity and aesthetic of a driveway is the type of surface material used to construct it. If well chosen, the material will help tie the driveway’s appearance to the house and landscape and will give it the ability to standup against snowplows, fluids, and road salts.

If you are thinking of adding a driveway to your landscape, there are numerous surface materials available from which you could choose from. They differ in terms of price and quality, so it pays to consider how each will hold up according to your specific situation. Below are some of the most common driveway surface materials you can try.

Loose materials

These include gravel, shingles, crushed stones, and pebbles. Among the said options, the least expensive choice is gravel, which is notably easier on tires and bare feet. The main advantages of loose materials are that they are durable, come in a wide variety of shapes and colors, and are relatively cheap compared to other surfacing materials. However, due to their loose nature, they usually require borders to hold them in place and they tend to develop potholes, demanding regular topping.

Solid surfaces

Surface materials that fall in this category include asphalt and poured concrete. Poured concrete is the most commonly used driveway material due to its durability and price. However, proper attention should be given to its installation to help control cracks from developing. Its dull gray appearance can be stamped, tinted or accented with stone aggregates. The problem with concrete is that it does not perform well in cold areas and is susceptible to damage brought about by exposure to freeze-and-thaw cycle.

Meanwhile asphalt is made of oil, giving it its elastic properties. It can be a better choice in cold weather climates but doesn’t perform particularly well in hot climates. This system is popular due to its cost. However, it demands regular maintenance to prevent brittleness.

Blocks and pavers

These types of driveway materials are often pieced together to create a patterned surface and can either be man-made or synthetic. Some of the most common options include bricks, cobblestones, pavers and clay blocks.

Compared to other surface materials, these options usually come at a hefty price tag. They also require the skill of a professional so that they can be accurately laid in place. The good thing about these materials is that they are available in a multitude design and color options, giving you the opportunity to give your driveway a more polished appearance. Many of them also come with a warranty, especially the pavers, gaining you a driveway that will virtually last a lifetime.

More information about driveways can be found at


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