Asphalt or Concrete Driveway: A Tough Comparison

Before you pave your driveway, you first need to figure out which is better between asphalt and concrete. What you feel when driving through the driveways depends on the material you used to install it.

Between asphalt and concrete driveway Seattle, there is only a super thin line that divides them.

Paving asphaltic concrete

Here are factors that make a top-quality driveway.

  • Durability – Unlike indoor floors, a driveway often gets exposed to heavy traffic, mostly vehicle traffic. It must withstand heavy-weight objects and constant friction for car tires.
  • Easy-maintenance – Rubber materials from the wheels of the cars will often leave dark marks or the treads on the surface. When this happens, the marks often are difficult to remove, requiring the user to resurface, repair, or replace the damaged cover.
  • Outdoor stability – Driveway floorings must also stand against esteem weather changes. Cracks often happen due to the constant exchange of expansion and contraction of the flooring surface.
  • Heat stability – Concrete driveways are exposed to heat above and below. The surface heats when a vehicle on the go generates power, and the warm temperature escapes from the heating engine. The moving tires also cause friction that heats the surface. 

Below, the ground warms up from absorbing natural heat from the sun. You need a flooring surface that can tackle both hot conditions.

Now take a more complex look at comparing asphalt and concrete as a top choice of material for driveway resurfacing.

Comparison Summary: Asphalt Vs. Concrete

The Benefits 





  • Asphalt driveways have a standard 4 to 6-inch slab reinforcement and carry light to medium-weight vehicular trucks.
  • Concrete driveways can hold as much as 3,500 kg or a lightweight truck.

Cost -Efficiency

  • Asphalt materials are cheaper than concrete. This is why asphalt is the most preferred material for public roads and highways. The heavier traffic the surface meets, the more it needs replacement.
  • Cheaper asphalt costs you less when you need constant replacement of the flooring surface.
  • Concrete is cost-efficient in terms of repairs and maintenance. Concrete does not need replacement often.


  • Asphalt maintenance occurs more often than concrete, but the process is easier to perform.
  • It is so rare that you will require repairs and maintenance to concrete. 


  • Asphalt lasts until 25 years.
  • Concrete lasts up to 30 to 35 years.


  • If you opt for a simpler, unifying appearance, asphalt works best for you. When you do not need a form and focus on better function, an asphalt driveway is the best way to go.
  • If you opt for hundreds of design possibilities, concrete materials are better for your driveway.


  • Asphalt can be melted down to be used again as the same material.
  • If concrete gets damaged or too worn out, you can resurface to save the old floors and restore their natural strength and beauty.
  • Old concrete debris can be turned into aggregate and used for finishing floors.
3 door garage with concrete driveway

The Downside of Asphalt Vs. Concrete: Comparison Summary





  • Most damages that asphalt gets are severe forms of cracks since it often endures medium-weight traffic.
  • Cracks are common to concrete. Those often happen, especially with poor concrete surface preparation.

DIY Options

  • Asphalt, though it comes in a monolithic form and plain appearance, installing it is hard work. 
  • Although you can DIY concrete flooring, doing it yourself most of the time results in more issues later on.

Curing time to use

  • Asphalt is much faster to cure than concrete. Within the day, asphalt cures completely, and you can drive on it right away.
  • However, you can not apply much decorative process to it. 
  • Using asphalt serves you best if you are resurfacing massive areas such as commercial driveways or parking areas.
  • Concrete needs full curing time before you can use it. You need at most three weeks to let the concrete dry and solidify. 
  • Also, you need to make sure that the time of curing and installation occurs while there is enough heat in the current weather.

The Bottom Line

Now, after you weigh in all the factors that influence your driveway preference, you can take your pick. It all boils down to your planning. It would also help to talk to professional contractors. You can communicate your requirements with Northwest Concrete Resurfacing, and they can offer you the most cost-efficient solution.

Our Clients:

University of Washington
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